I Like Writing Space Opera. Space Battles, Not so Much.

This final battle is totally kicking my ass.

Because I’m writing in first-person, I am trying to limit the battle to only what my narrator sees and does, which on the one hand makes it easier, but on the other hand does precisely the opposite.  HE may not see what’s going on in another part of the fight, but I have to know, and it’s making me insane.

While I am a decent star pilot–at least in the admittedly-unrealistic realm of computer simulations–I am not a tactician by any stretch.  Give me one ship and an objective, and I can usually get it done without having to reload and restart.  But give me a fleet to manage a wide-scale battle with, and I will get that fleet largely destroyed, if not completely annihilated.  Apparently I come from the Ender Wiggins school of sacrificing ships to win a battle.

I’m trying to keep my narrator instrumental to the plot, and not rob him of agency–but at the same time, it isn’t realistic to have him come through all this by himself, so I’m having to rewrite my original plans so that he isn’t sitting in space getting rescued by someone else, but he also isn’t saving the day alone.  It has to be an ensemble effort.

Anyway, my students are writing in-class essays, so I really ought to get back to work grading the last assignment.  Then we’ll see if I can’t find some time to write this afternoon.


About Michael Johnston

Father of a fifth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Forty-six years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA
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