Hey-O! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count!
It’s July, a new month, a new series, and we’re talking all about the things that have inspired me over the years. Television and books have both played a huge role in my inspirations to write, and so those will be the main things we’ll talk about. Who knows, you might even find yourself with some new shows you need to watch, or some new books to add to your to-read list. ;-)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
I’ll admit, I never watched any Star Trek until about halfway through college, and I still haven't watched more than two episodes of the original series. I hadn’t honestly had any interest in it, and until one of my friends convinced me (by having me watch one of the Next Generation movies), I was certain I would never have any interest in it.
I started with The Next Generation (the series, this time), at a friend’s request, and finished it relatively quickly. Never liked Voyager, no matter how many times I tried watching it. I blame Janeway's hair. And then one of my good friends, one of my best friends, told me how much he loved Deep Space Nine. Well, I’ll pretty much watch anything this friend recommends, so, I started watching it.
And I fell in love almost immediately.
See, Deep Space Nine is probably the best of the Star Trek series’ primarily because its nature is so completely different from the rest. Not everything is hunky-dory, not everything is happy-happy we’re in the Federation. It’s real. There’s real life going on. And that makes it seriously interesting, and seriously good—and also an extremely good inspiration for writing a series set entirely in space.
Deep Space Nine found a way to have a lot of characters with very unique stories of their own, stories that would carry on from episode to episode, while the show still maintained its episodic nature. The primary stories didn’t generally have any interconnectivity except in that it all took place during the day-to-day of the station, and yet there was always something going on in the background, something that kept viewers interested in the characters, and some small running plotlines keeping everything interconnected and moving forward (especially in relation to Bajor and the Cardassians).
I learned a lot from that.
I learned how to make good characters, unique characters, compelling characters, characters my readers will want more of, even after the book is done. Because that’s how it was with Deep Space Nine. The show has one of the best television endings I’ve ever seen in my life, and although it tied things up in the best possible way, it left me still wanting more from these characters I’d loved for so many seasons.
That right there, is excellent writing—and an amazing piece of inspiration, which helped me spawn a five-books-and-counting space opera series.