In the past 3 or 4 months I’ve been involved in an online Star Trek sim. “What’s that?” you say. The idea is that there is a fleet and each ship in the fleet is off on missions. The captain sets up the mission, without telling the rest of the crew exactly what is going on. Each active crew member whenever they get a chance writes mission post (aka a chapter of the story) or a log (yes just like “Captain’s log stardate 4325.6”). In general the mission posts are written in the 3rd person, the logs in the 1st person. Things can tend to go places where no one thought they would go (ahem).
I’m on my second mission. We are a the crew of the USS Washington – NC-11998 B, a Sovereign class vessel. The time period is post-dominion war, in Cardassian space. So think Deep Space 9. The current mission is pretty fun. One of the things that I didn’t expect was how much research I’d have to do to write a single post. I mean, I know star trek, but the problem was, instead of being a security officer or a red-shirt or something I’m chief of Engineering on the vessel. Which means of course, in the tradition of Scottish Chief engineers, I have to sandbag whenever a request comes in and simultaneous save the ship for real over and over again. So I really have to look up how different parts of the ship work, where the armaments are on a sovereign class vessel, how the shields and warp drive work et cetera. Other characters get to spend more time on the race relations, diplomacy, et cetera.
So one thing I was going to offer was that any of you budding writers, this is really good practice. I write maybe twice a week for this, very quickly and always taking the cue from the last few posts to extend the mission. You don’t have to write perfectly, and you get to take the story in your direction in any one post (although you can’t veer off too far from everyone else’s contribution)
If you’re interested, let me know via email, facebook, linkedin or twitter, and I’ll figure out how to send an invite from the mission. You’ll get to create a character, race, rank, job et cetera. Yes, shockingly, there are women writers who do this too, just in case you were wondering. And no this isn’t second life, there are no avatars doing things. It’s just writing and reading.
Anyway, I hope you at least enjoy reading the mission.