June 2017

In the pale darkness of dawn

Did a slight rework of the story to have it stand as two distinct fics, especially following my reading of Vanity Fair’s excellent Star Wars cover. The first story centers around the Resistance, and has quick but persistent mentions of the Saka (my main OC) story, which features a lot of great worldbuilding but which I’ll leave to the side for now. I don’t want to overwhelm the first fic by looking like a completely different universe from the get go, even though I tie it in pretty strongly to various canon plot points (and it’s a really cool little world that I absolutely love writing).

The main fic starts around the same time the Aftermath novels do. It invalidates a lot of what the latter Aftermath books plot out, especially on the founding and role of the Resistance, but that’s an AU for you.

Finding and writing Leia’s voice and role is probably the hardest and I’m pretty sure I haven’t quite gotten there. Fortunately I’ve deliberately put her back, away from the main storylines, from the very start. But she’s still in a lot of the in-universe plots, so she has to appear and she does affect everything, so I can’t just ignore her.

Luke is much easier, probably because there’s a lot more freedom to write him how I want him? There’s a lot less canon material around Luke, especially the newer stuff, and what’s there is pretty straightforward. However, this fic doesn’t feature Luke front and centre either, so it’s not too much of a worry at this point.

As I commented to a colleague a few weeks back, I had to create a lot of OC extras. There’s just not enough non-humans and not enough non-males in Rebellion and Alliance High Command, and that really sucks. It’s not even trying to maintain a balance or anything, it’s that when I think up a scene I place beings in it that are kind of a blob of “I want that kinda thing” feelings. Then I flesh them out, at least to give them a name and a description if the writing needs it, and to figure out logistics like who moves where and what they’re wearing and the movements they’re going to make with their arms or other appendages, plus the facial expressions, even down to the verbs I can use to punctuate their dialogue.

But I don’t like just pulling beings out of thin air, so I go look at the wiki and the books I have and the canon ref sheets I made, and guess what, something like 80% of the character pool is Human Male. Not only is that incredibly boring, it clashes horribly with the scene I built up in my mind. Like, yeah, there’ll be a few, but it’s not going to be 80%. It’s worse for the gender distribution; some pools of characters have a 95% or higher male content, which is plain ridiculous. So I create OC extras. I’m constantly running out of names, it’s a real problem!

A new project

I’ve been quietly designing, speccing out, and writing a stack calculator in the spirit of dc, but more legible. Instead of being character-based, it’s whitespace-separated. It has first-class support for a variety of number formats, dates, times and durations, booleans, strings, comments. It’s a simple little language, too, so I’ll get to experiment with all that a language is.

Right now I’m writing the parser, and writing out the bullet-point spec I started with into a more precise form. It’s not a toy, but it has no great aspirations, either. It just wants to be a calculator.

A new job

I’ve successfully applied and interviewed for and obtained a brand new job at another local tech company. I’ve been at McKay for over two and a half years, and in that time it’s grown, shrinked, evolved, and denatured. I really liked the people there, but I’ve grown cynical about the company itself, and that’s a good sign as any that change is needed.

In three weeks I’ll start at Uber, no, not the taxi company. They’re a little ISP serving Northland and Whangarei since 2008. It’s a completely new sector for me, but I don’t know much more than that just yet. To be discovered!

A new avatar

I commissioned a new avatar this month, by a young artist named Luke, whom I found via a recommendation / Alice’s timeline.