Monthly Archives: October 2013

3-4-All Writing Canon Species

Well Admiral Jespah has been on again just don’t mention the bunny suit! My orders this time seem to suggest I need to fill in a diversity census to help the admiralty confirm they’re getting the right mix of aliens on their Starships.

As always orders can be viewed here: –

Well as always let engage the questions.

A metal butterfly is about to flap it's wings.

A metal butterfly is about to flap it’s wings.

Q1. Do you use canon species in your writing?

A1. Yes, while not all of them have made it so far into my Weekly Free Writes or to the Archive yet, I’ve indeed featured in my WFW practices stories, Aenar, human, Klingon, Romulan, Caitian, Betazoid, Tellarites and Bolians. With many more still to make there debut going forward.

Q2. Do you select a species for any particular purpose?

A2. Why do I select the species that I do? I like to be able to give a smart answer to this one but the honest answer is most of my casting is just to demonstrated the diversity of the federation, and what I think suits the role in some strange way.


The only two selections that stand out in my mind are Ineiri the Aenar Admiral and form No.1 of Lily Fitzroy. Because I want to challenge myself but trying to show the strengths and weakness of a blind command officer and Naurr because I want to play with the quarks of humanity and food, plus I want someone who could question Captain Gorrim without it being out of place, plus I like Cats. 

Q3. When putting together your cast of characters, is species diversity at issue?

A3. Um, I do like to include a bigger mix than TV shows, except for my Romulan cast. I do like to keep to Canon species so I’ve got something firm to base the character on.

Q4. For canon alien species that are not well known, how have you given more detail to their back-stories and characteristics?

Q4. Slowly, The only real candidate is Naurr and the Caitian and when I get round to writing more Ariane NX-04, I’ll will pull in the things hint at in TAS, and other Fanfic Authors who had some good suggestions.


Q5. For those that are better known, how have you made them your own?

A5. I try not to as Star Trek is a huge thing, I don’t try to make them my own but rather try to focus on my character and insure they tick believably for me in light of their culture.

Q6. Is there a canon species that you have not added to your fan fiction, but you are considering adding?

A6. Yes many but the Axanar (Enterprise) and the Breen (Post DS9), as different enemies for my regulars and so are likely to be appearing soon.


Q7. How will you do that?

A7. Now that would spoil the surprise for you, wouldn’t it? But it’s most likely with an unexpected attack. While if I want to add more of the Federation guys, I might seen my Fed crews for some shore leave on their home world.


Bonus Questions!

 Q9. Whose canon alien species characters do you like the most?

A9. So many, more than i can quickly mention but let do the big ones,

Spock goes without saying or explanation.


T’Pol for been a better character as the straight laced Vulcan who deserved better from the show writers, Who manage to fill a proto-Spock role and yes she was easy on the eye, I admit it.


Sela, might not be a popular choice, but she shows it the screw up and paranoid nature of their society and yet how close they still remain to humans.


The unnamed Romulan Commander from the Enterprise incident, as she show that there is more to their society than the federation propaganda suggests, only a shame that TNG writers didn’t go back and watch it before writing some of the TNG Romulans Episodes.


Quark and Rom for the Ferengi, they try so hard and despite been envisage as comic relief they to me yet remain the anti-heroes of DS9. Even if Rom did manage to land the dabo girl of his, and others, dreams in the end. (Alright Quark, that’s your sponsor support I expect the gold pressed latinum before the weekend)


Garek (Sadly you don’t have clearance for the answer) but i do like his tailoring.


Q10. Do you think the character is true to the species?

A10. Spock & T’Pol yes are true to the Vulcan’s, once we learnt the truth about the Vulcan’s.

Sela & Romulan Commander – Maybe _ I think so but I do think how the Romulans represented on screen later do leave some questions unanswered about why they act then way they do.

Quark – yes he is always out for profit and only occasional let his loose sense of right stop him.

Rom – yes he shows the species but how he fails at all the things that are stereotypical Ferengi.

Garek – O yes even as the outcast spy, he shines a light on the Cardassian mindset just as much as Dukat.

Q11. If the character differs from established species canon, is the difference reasonable?

A11. As I said in answer ten above bar for the Romulan Ladies Yes, for the Romulan duo it come downs to a matter of taste and personal judgment but I’m happy however know others aren’t. Particularly not mention no G&T show hosts.

Q12. If the character is of a species with only a sketchy background, does the author’s vision work within the limited framework established by canon?

A12. For once I feel all I can said that is not a applicable question, at the moment.

Q13. Can the author’s changes and coloring within the lines fit with how the species was originally drawn?

A13. For me yes, as for some of these characters they did help define the species for the future and the exceptions can often prove the rule.

Q14. Would you have taken that mysterious though canon species in a different direction? If so, how?

A14. Well the only one I do different would be the Romulans and yes I’ve would have taken them more in the Rihannsu direction of Diane Duane Novels that Star Trek On-line have chosen to follow instead of the TNG/DS9 direction.


Well they we go but before we go here are my top Ten Star Trek favourite Species in reverse order: –

10 Breen


Just what is their secret?


9 Betaziods


Wouldn’t it be nice to visit their world?


8 Tellarites


Well arguments should be a sport.


7 Caitians


Intelligent Lions – what not to love.


6 Trill


Because it two aliens for one in the intergalactic lottery.


5 Cardassians


Because it complicated in space and not all bad thing are done for bad reasons.


4 Klingons


Bring on the blood wine and tales of honour.


3 Andorians


Blue and ready for a fight.


2 Humans.


If only we were the species Star Trek paint us as, things would be better in so many ways on this little rock of ours.


1 Romulans.


Engage cloaking devices and prepare our next master plan.


Well that all for now, Thanks for reading and till next time keep on to the second star on the left, Feel free to comment as always.


Yellow Alert – NaNoWriMo

So here I’m gently patrolling this quiet ad astra sector, waiting for my next orders from the admiralty, when from the officer at the tactical station gives the call “Long blog with pictures directly ahead sir,”

“Break out the Hot Drinks Yeoman!”

“Captain, I’m also detecting NaNoWriMo on long range sense, impact in T-minus twelve days,”

“All stop, shields full intensity and deflectors full intensity, Yellow Alert! Brace for impact!” is the only response.

I can already feel the vague worry starting to build that once more I must face this challenge. I’m sure Q is behind it!

Is this Q to blame?

Is this Q to blame?



Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

Well actually there is one other response which is to ignore this strange writing phenomenon that is getting stronger year by year but what sort of writer would that make me?

A sane one?

“Thank you Jalke’i, as your sarcasm will help me to prepare for writing 1,167 words a days in November,”

Orion Slave-trader

Orion Slave-trader

Now while those Orion Pirates gag and carry Jalke’i off and lock her in a deep dudgeon for the next month, I can carry on with this Blog post.

NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month to give it the full name is something that happens every November since 1999, with the aim of encouraging more people to write a novel length story, but showing that it can be a fun also.


The full back-story and the briefing can be found on there website from here: –

In short it’s a daily short write that link together so something akin like tackling an Ad Astra Forum WFW every day. A mere 1,1667 words so it only about two and half side of A4, just how hard can it be?


Well I can only speak for myself on my past experience but it’s very hard. It does all depending upon how cooperative one muse feels like been on each day in November.


So let me explain my writing history with NaNoWriMo, so you know my road to this re-match.

I’ve personally tried NaNoWriMo since 2009, the first time I had no self confidence and so didn’t sign up official and just did some minor scribing and then after a week realises as I had hand written it all, I had no easy way to check my word count beyond a manual count and the thought of doing that on a week worth of writing combine with my lack of belief, fuel by the nay Sayers both real and my own characters lead by my inner editor kill off the first project. I did try typing it the following year but again my inner nay Sayers and a lack of time become the excuse to kill off project number two.


I realise something had to change for 2011. So I decide that I would be more serious with this project and thus took the bold step to sign up to the website and hold myself accountable for success or the more likely the failure.

So I sign up and set off on the story “2764 Ab Urbe Condita” as the synopsis still says on my NaNoWriMo profile this story was a steam-punk story in a crumbling Roman Empire, sadly this story only got to 27,437 words. Which isn’t to bad but it’s a long way short of 50,000.

20th Century Romans

20th Century Romans

So what did I learn from this failure and what lessons did I learn that I could now share with you, if you wish to tackle this challenge?

The first thing I learnt was that I didn’t sort out my research in advance, I should of at least re-watch TOS episode Bread and Circuses again as the struggle to come up with the right words and feel for this story. Having to stop and to research a new Roman name or title each time another bit part character walk on stage and then trying to decide which bits of Roman culture to keep and which to modernise while not lose the favour just slowed the writing. Then due to an under-develop plot line wandering off into different sub plots, which hinder my main plot development.

I guess it proves the old adage, write what you know and if you don’t know then ensure you have your notes ready and to hand.

Then the other delay was the dread real world kept getting in my way. I let work and travel to/from, plus the weekly shop and meeting with friends all eat up my time.

In short I didn’t make a plan and I didn’t stick to the writing. I let all the distractions win out, whether I should of or not.


Looking back now I feel like I’d try to run when I should have walked. So I came aware of the realisation to succeed that I need to do some prep work in October before November started.

So last year I decide to think in advance about what to do, I look at what I was writing with the most ease and enjoy writing, which back then were my mock Viking saga stories from the fantasy land of Okoumene. So I decide I write a story featuring my favourite two characters, the neo-Viking shaman Oweodry and the mysterious giant grasshopper Cardinal Theta.


Now both these characters like to run their mouths and I found there voices easy to write. Putting them together for the first time in what was intended to be the two of them having a simple go kill big bad evil giant wolf story which I would then back fill with lots of short story from them and the other minor character around the camp fire at night time. Plus if I was struggling to progress the story an Orc or something could attack and I then have a quick hundred words of the Viking fighting it off.


I then change my word count ideas, I would still try to do 1,667 but aim to increase up to 2,000 words on a normal week day, when the muse was flowing but I had to force myself to write on the train into the office, at lunchtime and on the train journey home again, now this at best only give me 700 words, but it did mean that I only had to write another 1,000 words after I cooked dinner.


Then at the weekends I would try to do double the normal amount i.e. 3,334 to 4,000 words. I would tell everybody this was what I was attempting and so I would be less available for other things and the pressure of others asking how it going to keep me on target.

Then Bizarrely last year I had a late camping fest weekend away arrange for November and so I had to come up with a solution for that lost time. As I would need to write longhand, cut off from the joys of technology. So what I did was take a big old fashion A4 pad and force myself to write just ten words a line to keep better track of my score. Then I would focus during my travelling and waiting for transfer time to keep write. I would get up early despite the hangover and write maybe a few hundred words, I knew I wasn’t near my daily word limit but I felt that as long as I did something I would be able to make up the difference in a future weekend.


In reality much to my surprise I did manage to make my word limits during this weekend but I don’t recommend writing with a hangover and no coffee in the great outdoors.

T'Pol in a strange land.

T’Pol in a strange land.

I also plan my weekly shop like military raids, to ensure that I got everything for the week ahead and wouldn’t run out of anything I need, and thus not lose writing time to wandering the store lanes or having to go down the corner shop for emergency supplies.


Then in advance of writing I set-up my small Viking cast and their enemies and on 1st of November set them lose.

I had great days, I had bad days but on 29th of November I was confident that I was now over my 50,000 words and so I submit Tales of Okoumene for Validation and it came back as a winner validate at 51,038 words!

Mission accomplished.


Looking back now the story still has plot holes and some ideas that need to be re-visited and re-edited and I do hope to go back and tidy it up but I achieve my objective.

Was it easy?

No! There were times I felt like jacking it in but the characters would let me. So that remain my key thing for this year, I have to care about my central character and know they will insist I keep on to the end of the novel.

Did it require me to keep good discipline for once?

O Yes.

Did I get a great sense of accomplishment from finally beating the 50,000 words?

YES! It was party time for FalseBill the sense of accomplishment and the winner e-mails from NaNoWriMo felt like cream on strawberries.

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.


Then it was over and I got back to my normal routine, but I still felt like I was on air. I had write a short novel, it wasn’t very good and being my first draft it has more grammar errors than you can shake a stick at but it was my work and I had done something productive to release my inner artisan.Then I realise having done it once I would have to try again, to prove it was a fluke, but now I face the dilemma what to write next?


So many ideas were fighting for space and time and each seems great but yet none of them were a novel. I mean each of my Star Trek crews was saying I should write them. However my other characters were saying that they hadn’t been getting to much attention since I join Ad Astra, thus it was now there turn. So I banished them all to the Brig and those that still didn’t get the hint were gagged and sent to the Orion slavers holding pen.

(O to point out that this is approximately the 1,670 word mark, i.e. your minimum day write target)

Is it just me or do other authors get lip from their characters, when they not getting story time?


Then I had an idea, twisting last year attempt I will write November tales a tale for each day, so I can write a series of little stories using all my various writing characters, so all I need to work out is what villain or events links all these stories together, the Chilo are trying to volunteer but I think they going to stay in the SLWalker/Ad Astra toy box this time around.

NX-04 Ariane

NX-04 Ariane

Anyway I’m not sure how much help this Blog will be to any of you who are looking to face this year NaNoWriMo Challenge, all I can say is I will be endeavour to repeat the feat again.

My top six tips are: –

  1.  Know you need to make time to write, every day even if it not the target value.
  2. Ensure you know your main character, can hear their voice and they know their mind, even if you don’t.
  3. Be aware that there is a writing wall for novel writing, and so just like people who run a marathon warn you of the wall, it will hurt to hit it but you must push on or you have only half a story. So have some emergency plot twist ready for that moment.
  4. As we say in the forums Don’t Edit It To Death Just Write (DEITDJW), so follow the flow of the story and if your main star decide to stop to smell the roses, let them and see what they want to do, Your Characters can and will surprise you. Accept this it can be a great source of new ideas.
  5. You will suffer from writers block accept it, go have a drink, go look at a pretty picture for inspiration or check your NaNoWriMo messages.
  6. They no shame in failing to met the target.


All the Ad Astra Writers who are declaring that they’re taking part can be found via this link.

Don’t be afraid after all as Will Riker said long ago “fear is the only enemy,” so be bold and join this year adventure, after all they’re no shame in trying and failing, but winning is so much fun.


I would point out there are 2090 words before this point, i.e. this is the sort of length you might need to think writing on a daily basis to slay this monster, once you allow for lose word days.


Thanks for reading, as always feel free to comment and maybe I see you out here in the sector of space known only as the Land of Fiction.

Take care, till next time 

False Bill

3-4-All Prompt #11 – To AU, or not to AU?

Fleet Admiral Steff has issued new orders, which can be viewed at: –

So without any further ado lets us see what the various trousers of time hold.


A1. Do I like writing alternate universes? Well as it could be argue that all Star Trek Fanfic is AU as it will likely as not all be wrong whenever the next Movie or TV season comes out. Then I could reply as I write Trek Fanfic it could be said naturally I enjoy AU writing 😉


If we ignore that twist line of though and look at AU where a major cannon fact is change, such as Kirk or Picard is never born, or maybe what if Riker or Shelby command the Enterprise-D/F instead after Best of Both Worlds, or AOS stories. Then yes I do enjoy reading and writing these stories to see where they go, I do indeed enjoy the occasional writing trip to the Mirror universe or  other trek universe stories, but then my ISS Ares NX-04, Lily on the USS Argonaut or Sclick and Ha’rris of the USS Excalibur would show that, (Well they would if I actually got round to writing/editing them and actually posting them to the Ad Astra Archive).

Not this future Enterprise :(



A2. So Admiral Steff is asking more specific do I like branching my key characters off and seeing where a different path leads them?

Then again to a to a less extent I would still say yes, not that I’ve written one of those stories in a while, but I do have a couple planned.


A3. Where do I start a AU Story?

Like all my stories I start where my Muse leads me to, So I can’t give a good honest answer to this, I just go with the flow, for example part of the reason I first created Lily and the USS Argonaut was created was to do a single sliding door series showing how the little changes get bigger the further the AOS gets from the destruction of the Kelvin however for one reason or another this is currently a pipe dream but maybe I start it one day. (Maybe I’ll try as part as this year NaNoWriMo project). 

Actually while my brain is in order, for the October Story Challenge of Dress up I was struck by the simple idea if the TOS Story ‘The Menagerie’ was made a DS9 story, focus on Wolf instead of Spock past then the decade old story would be the TNG Crew, and it start rolling from there.


A metal butterfly is about to flap it's wings.

A metal butterfly is about to flap it’s wings.

A4. How do I go about it?

Like any other story, I let my muse lead me to the key “what if” question and then try to work out the likely new effects.

So many parallels

So many parallels

Well it was a short mission this week so all that is left is for me to say thank you for taking the time to read and constructive comments or questions welcomed as always.