Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Stone That Sings: Chapter 20

Chapter 20 is Captive

This was a difficult chapter to write because the events bother me. I don't like writing about cruelty and abuse. But, if the events didn't bother me, I don't think they'd have much of an impact on the reader, and this chapter is designed, hopefully, to take the reader on a bit of a roller coaster ride. Its also very much where Juliette realized she's way out of her depth; and plotwise, things reach as low as they go. In my first draft, I what drove me through other chapters, enjoyable as they were, was getting to this one for many reasons.
I was excited to write the chapter because explains a lot about P'Nem and what's been going on at the monastery. Like a kid with a secret, it's been hard keeping it all this time. I hope the reveal is worth it. This chapter is also a springboard for the action that occurs after, and also lays out something I thought should have been more obvious in the Trek universe, that I bring forward in mine -- an unsettled past between the Vulcans and the Romulans.

Minor Spoilers below the fold.

Depite the fact the shows are human-centric, I've always had this idea that the feud between the Vulcans and the Romulans was an ongoing thing, even in times of relative peace. Their shared history and previous conflict, which was resolved only by one side leaving, seemed to be a conflict that would be natural (to Terrans) and something the reader could relate to.
Still, I can't help but wonder, as an aside, how the Romulans survived. I know, I know, lots of authors explain in, and their explanations are as good as any other for a made-up universe where people wanted space elves.
However, you have this society, which clearly demonstrates it's destroying itself through its warlike nature. One side embraces logic and peace and flourishes, the other -- well, leaves, and becomes a Star Empire because it seems we like Drow Elves.
Which kind of gets me to some of the things that annoy me about Star Trek:  Every species, no matter how screwed up and stupid their positions may be, somehow manages to keep from destroying themselves and achieve warp power. When people use that tired canard 'Political Correctness', to me, it's the idea that no matter how heinous or self-destructive the species, somehow everyone got warp power,  Fermi Paradox be damned.  But, back to the story.
Juliette is in the middle of that feud, which unlike most space opera, where feuds like these are writ large, I wanted the feud to be small and personal because that's kind of the world Juliette is in. It has starships and holograms, but motivations are still very private.
Just a funny side note. Of all my chapters that I write, it's these chapters that get the least reviews. Its strange that way, because I think they are far more intense than others, but I don't rely on fanfiction.net to validate my writing -- to a certain point I can't, because first of all reviews come and go, and also there seems to be a demographic that wants something different than what I write. Just the nature of the beast, and whether the story I want to write has an audience or not, it's something I have to write, and I leave it at that. Still, it is puzzling, that there is such a disconnect between the chapters I find the most satisfying and the chapters that people seem to like. Perhaps it's a skill I do not have yet.

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