Tips for writing a great Star Trek fanfiction story or series.

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by surak-toc, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You fail to see the point. Forget about the specifics of giant amobea, or ghosts. It's about how real world humans would react when they are confronted with things like that. Are the character's motivations to do something believable? Etc...

    And again, just because there are examples how sometimes they didn't follow the advice, doesn't mean it's wrong advice.
     
  2. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The objection comes when you couch this particular bit of advice in terms of "This is what Gene would do" or "This is what Gene said to do" when in fact Gene can-x-ed his own advice on a regular basis, starting with the original pilot, and he didn't really give a damn if his writers ignored his advice either. His basic criteria for approving a story - whether he ever admitted it or not - was "Is the girl in it hot?" and "Will I get all the money and credit for producing it?" Every other comment of his on the subject is Hollywood Boilerplate.

    I didn't say the advice was wrong. What's horseshit is that Gene Roddenberry or any canon writers killed themselves trying to follow it.
     
  3. surak-toc

    surak-toc Commander Red Shirt

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    That's the end of the topic, back to tips, what would you say is a good tip for creating a ship
     
  4. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Less is more. Don't go into the fanboyish stuff of "it has 70 phaser banks and 500 torpedo tubes and a dozen warp nacelles". They did that even in Star Trek Nemesis, it was cringe worthy.

    Take a look at the TMP Enterprise and the TNG Enterprise. Those are thorough designs, for both interior and exterior.

    I'd also look at contemporary ship designs, like aircraft carriers, to get some idea on why things are designed this or that way in the real world.
     
  5. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Make the design goal-oriented. Decide what you need the ship to do before you try to figure out what it looks like. Also, ignore the word "fanboy." It's shorthand for "I'm a more enlightened Trekkie than you." If your ship needs 70 phaser banks to accomplish the mission you set for the crew, put 'em in. Those who object don't have to read the story.
     
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  6. Smokncatfood

    Smokncatfood Cadet Newbie

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    With regard to ship design, I like to read about existing ship classes (I.e. - Constitution class, Galaxy class, Miranda class, etc.). They can be modified, but I like being able to look up what the base ship looks like on Google, etc. thoughts?
     
  7. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unless you have your heart set on a certain class or type of ship, firstly devise interesting and engaging characters and think about what stories you want to tell about them, then select a ship to match.

    If they're explorers go for a Nebula-Class, soldiers go for an Akira-Class, scientists a Nova, workhorses a Miranda, etc. Also try to be practical. If a ship has 70 phaser arrays and 500 torpedo launchers then there aren't many hostiles they'll come across that will be a threat--unless they have 100 phasers and 800 torpedo tubes, in which case the UFP would be pretty screwed. They don't have to be on the best ship there is, when something a little more average will help ramp up the tension and make readers ask, 'how are they going to get out of this?'

    The class of ship will also have a lot to do with your Captain. NuTrek notwithstanding, it is doubtful a newly promoted 30 year old captain would get command of a Galaxy-Class ship. Ships of that size and complexity would go to older, more experienced and seasoned officers. Such an officer might get a Sabre-Class or possibly even a Miranda, until they gain more time in the big chair and prove themselves capable of greater responsibilities. Look at Picard, he made Captain at 28 and commanded the Stargazer for two decades before he was eventually given the E-D.
     
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  8. NinjaRaiden2005

    NinjaRaiden2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Rather than make a whole new thread going over the exact same thing, I'll just post this here. The Captain of my story is in her late 20s with her First Officer slightly older, and both come from a tactical background. I agree with you that those have been deciding factors in what ships I look at, but I also figured that since she's still at the rank of Commander that she would be running an older vessel. The original Excelsior seemed to be a good fit for that since it appears to be a workhorse in TNG and on, and I need an older vessel for the story. I know that's much larger than the Sabre or Miranda you mentioned, however being old and a tried-and-true design means it can be more easily maintained for a crew that's still learning. The way I figure is that they're the furthest thing from being the flagship making cargo runs, charter flights, doing border patrol, and the odd bits of space exploration here and there. I know in a future story I'd like to upgrade them to a newer ship like the Defiant or even an Intrepid (that way I can keep my science officers for story possibilities). So do you think I've made a good choice here given the things I've thought up or do I need to do some more work?
     
  9. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Since posting that I've since written my short shorts (a small number of short stories) about the crew of the U.S.S. Orion, a retired Constellation-Class ship dragged out of mothballs, brought up to minimal operational status and put to work as a support ship during the Dominion War. Her Captain, Reihyn, was 30 when wartime losses saw him promoted to CO of a Sabre-Class ship for a few weeks before she was lost in an ambush. After which he was given the choice: command of the Orion or demotion to Commander and an XO billet somewhere.
     
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  10. NinjaRaiden2005

    NinjaRaiden2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My original idea back when the ship was named for Amelia Earhart, before I found out there was already a canon starbase named after her prompting the change, was that it would be a Constitution refit pulled back out as a PR stunt after Voyager made it back to Earth and the knowledge of her actually being alive would be shared. Janeway, who I presume would have been very inspired by someone like Amelia, would see fit to relaunch the ship in tribute using her recent promotion to Admiral. 20 or so years later hardly anyone even remembers this special ceremony and Starfleet has relegated it to a trainer for up and coming commanders and their crews. At the end it would wind up being either too damaged to salvage or destroyed in combat leaving the crew to get a new ship in a possible second story.

    But, uh....do you think I've got the right idea with my current set of ideas? This is my first Trek story and I'm really worried I'll screw up some detail somewhere. As a stickler for details this weighs heavily on my mind.
     
  11. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Starbase Earhart was operational back in 2327, between then and the time Voyager returns there's nothing to say the base was still operational--maybe it was decommissioned or destroyed. Though I don't see a problem with calling a ship Earhart at the same time, I'm sure most in the Fleet would be able to make the distinction (you could always name her the U.S.S. Amelia Earhart to further separate the two if you so wished).

    If I'm reading this right, your story would take place in 2398 (20 years after Voyager's return home). Depending on when the Constitution-Class ship was built that could make her around 150 years old (had she been among the first batch built) or closer to 100 if she was built at the end of the 23rd century (all these figures are based solely on the Prime Universe). The latter might be a little more believable, especially if the ship went through another extensive TMP-style overhaul in the late-2370s which could give her a new lease of life.

    @NinjaRaiden2005 I would say, so long as what is within your story makes sense and follows the same pattern (your own personal fanon) then most fanfic readers will go with you on the ride as you tell the story you want too. Keep the characters interesting, the story compelling and the reader guessing about what will happen, then you have the workings of a good tale to tell.
     
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  12. NinjaRaiden2005

    NinjaRaiden2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Hmmm. Those are very good points. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this is around the time of Star Trek Online. The way you talk about upgrades reminds me of this. http://www.starbase400.org/avalon/starship-constitutionrefitvariant2.htm I have just a couple more things to ask about.

    1) Being a newer or younger crew would it be at all realistic to say that there are more NCOs than officers? I like the idea of a Chief O'Brien type being in charge of Engineering since the main bridge crew are still relatively fresh-faced.

    2) Is there an easier way to understand naming conventions for races like Andorians and Romulans? This being a Federation ship I try to have more than just Humans and Vulcans aboard so I came up with an Andorian tactical officer. I'm just hung up on how their names work and the sites I found about it don't do a good enough job of explaining it to me. I found the Romulan conventions even more confusing even after reading it several times over, which is bad considering I want to use a Romulan character in the future.
     
  13. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looks like a sensible progression of the Connie.

    Onboard any ship there will always be more non-coms than officers, we've just never been privy to them. An older, more experienced NCO would fit in to any role (other than CO, XO or CMO) or appoint one as the Chief of the Boat--though a Chief of Engineering works just as well.

    It depends what line you follow for Andorians, if their simply two sexes or the more complex four from the novelverse. I'd also say to look for other aliens out there that have been established as Federation members, there are the likes of the Bolians, Deltans, Saurians, Rhaandarite, Tiburonians, etc to choose from, plus also the opportunity to make one or two of your own. Memory's Alpha and Beta would be a good source for these, as well as any that have been named before on TV shows, in scripts, or in books/comics.
     
  14. NinjaRaiden2005

    NinjaRaiden2005 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I've decided to break my own rule and not worry about all of the little details for now. If I didn't I would never get started. I kept the Andorian at tactical although you gave me the idea to change my Engineering Chief into another alien, so I changed him to a Saurian. I've also got a Bajoran science officer and was thinking of either a Rigelian or Tellarite crewman at Ops. Probably one of the best pieces of advice I read on here was to play around with race types to keep things fresh which is why I have a Bajoran doing science and the typical Vulcan as Chief Medical Officer, because Vulcans obviously have the best bedside manner.