Despite a busy first week at school I managed to cast and put into production both Twin Stars episode 208, and Little Gou and the Kind Word. It’ll be nice to have Little Gou back again, and I have a couple more Gou stories planned for this year as well. (Likely the gap between Book Two and Book Three of Twin Stars will be filled with Little Gou stories.)
Twin Stars 209 is still giving me trouble, but I think I finally have a real handle on it. Why has it been so hard to write? Well, prior to this when I’ve been doing space battles they’ve all been skirmishes or largely off screen, so I could focus on simple tactics and note the battles rather than show them. In TS209, however, we have a huge fleet battle which is the central focus of the story itself, and needs to be explained clearly to the audience in some fair levels of detail so they can follow it. Not easy to do when you’re working in pure audio without a narrator!
I originally tried to write it as I do most Twin Stars battles, focused on the characters and the dramatic elements with the battle itself done in fairly vague terms. That failed miserably. The battle is the center of the episode, I can’t just dance around it like I usually do if I want it to work. In the end, I spent a lot of time playing (my personal passion) Go, trying out various wargames, re-watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and doing a lot of reading on the subject of space warfare. From this, I actually sat down and worked out the battle in real terms of strategies and maneuvers, and I figured out exactly what happens and how it happens. The end result is the battle is the story, and is now front and center throughout the episode. How the characters experience it and deal with it has become the window to that story, instead of the story itself.
I had thought that episodes like this would turn out to be the easiest part of Twin Stars to do, but as usual what looks easy when done well in presentation is actually damn hard to do when done in practice.