Reflections, Hindsight, Regrets, and Thanks
Well what can I say? I dont even know if anyones going to bother to read this final commentary about STDragon, but I thought what the heck, write it for posterity!
What started as a simple strong desire to get people to read my Trek stuff became a method to improve my writing, to experiment and get feedback on what I was doing. Of course, it wasnt until recently that I received the most in feed back (although in the final season there were maybe 3 people who commented about each episode and that was it. To those three, thank you!!) But I could talk about my writing style until I was green in the face and it probably wouldnt be of great interest, lol.
Lets begin with what it is compared to what it would have been now. Who are the crew members? Humans. Betazoids. A token alien here and there. I often wonder if this was the reason STDragon never became such a massive success like Argus or TFF, but even without considering that, if I were to start STDragon again today, its crew would be very different. Granted Chris would still be Chris Harriman, simply because of how long his characters been in mind (see my article about the character of STDragon) Same with Sarah. But in a Federation of over 100 member worlds, youd think Chris would have more than just human and Betazoid friends. Furthermore when I did begin STDragon, I had this teen-like mentality probably because I was a teenager. Hence the Lisa Ogawa, a surprisingly similar name to her cousin Alyssa, eh? Yeah. My imagination certainly had its short comings back then.
Anywho, picture if you will for a moment a crew coming aboard the USS Dragon that is so completely different even from some of the most out-there fan fics today. Terry wouldnt be a Betazoid, nor would he even be named Terry. Id make him some new alien that may have been a Federation member for decades, but wed never heard of them in cannon trek. Perhaps cat-like since I like cats Arent Phobians cat-like? I honestly dont remember. But then picture Sarah stopping by to talk to the counselor about her relationship with her CO in the fourth episode, only to find that shes allergic to the counselor.
Picture an alien with no known background, found by Starfleet on an abandoned and damaged ship, so damaged its computers were completely destroyed. Orange skinned, four legs, two arms, and a peculiar taste for Cranberries. Picture this same alien as chief of science and best friend of Chris Harriman, instead of Tom.
How about a Cardassian security officer? Nah, too much like Worf. Maybe a Cardassian engineer, whos loyalties are put into question during the 5th season when a Cardassian ship uses a cutting phaser to destroy a Federation subspace telescope? Or a brutish Lantra, an entirely made-up species with an exoskeleton and a strong dislike of Klingons (howd that go over during the 4th season? I sense some fun stories in that!) at the tactical station. How about an Orion woman at the helm? Dont worry, shed be in Starfleet uniform at all times, I wouldnt want her to be STDragons equivalent of Seven of Nine. Id shock the hell out of readers by giving her a very deep personality and humanizing her, as much as you can a non-human any way And Vendar and RSharn would become one, as in the ops character would be from the start an Andorian rather than the Andorian coming in during Season 2.
I made up all of those characters on the fly, its easy, and as I made them up, I thought of so many character-driven sub-plots for all of STDraogns episodes. So why didnt I change them later on, make some of the crew leave when we got back to Earth? Well first I didnt think about it yet when S4 launched, in fact it really wasnt until the 6th season started that I regretted a mostly-human crew. But I also fell in love with the characters that are here! Even the ones I never fully developed! Ada Ive finally made up for it somewhat in this season, but left her character very open. Tom, he kinda became a background character after he and Ada broke up (that relationship was very poorly written ) Kara, not much personality there either, but at least I did give her character moments. Terry, holy crap did I leave his character in the dark! There was what, one episode really involving him?
And you know why I neglected all of these characters? I used to think because I was lazy. But really how do you develop character archetypes that have been developed in Trek time and again? The new crew list I made up above opens the door for character development with each of them in each episode, theres so much to explore! I made the mistake when I started STDragon of making my own versions of TNG and Voyager crew members with some originality in there here and there. Heck even RSharn was a kind of copy of that one Andorian from the game Starfleet Academy, which is why the Andorian I mentioned above would be very different, breaking Andorian stereotypes to the nth degree!
Yet even still, I fell in love with the characters, and this entire last season, Ive enjoyed writing them. More than ever as I finally find in my imagination ways of developing characters in the final episode, James and Vickis relationship, Kalias visit with her parents, Vendar becoming friends with the (slightly) enigmatic Jerry Sukan, possibly more (dont ya just love how I leave that in the air?) The problem with STDragon is, yes, Ive improved my writing, but I left the status quo for far too long. Even with Sarahs death, not a whole lot changed on the Dragon, and I seriously over-developed Chris character, further neglecting the rest of the crew.
I have enjoyed writing STDragon these past 7 years, I like the story arcs, particularly with the Kiklar and the more recent mirror universe. Id not change that story arc much at all. But I do have one massive regret: the characters. I really really really wish Id made the characters different from the get-go. But simultaneously, the characters that are here in STDragon will be a part of me for a long time to come. So I guess that regret is a mixed feeling.
Still, I wanted to thank you all for reading STDragon despite its short comings, those of you who are fans and regular readers, you are all wonderful wonderful people, and Id never have finished STDragon if it werent for all of you. I hope to keep your readership on my next projects in the years to come. To those Ive talked to, I hope to continue talking to you in the future. To those I havent, I hope some day youll email me, but even if you dont, thank you so much for reading and putting up with an author who had so much to learn and still has so very much to learn.
One final quick note, Ive been considering two little side-projects with the end of STDragon, that of digitally remastering, or in other words making multiple images for each episode (a process that will no doubt take many months) as well as not only finishing re-writing the first season, but rewriting up to about episode 10, maybe episodes 11 and 12 too. So once the new episode is online, I hope youll all check out the site occasionally to see whats going on. For certain, once the final episode is posted, Im going to work on a new layout, maybe even make several for you to choose from. So keep coming back, I promise I wont let you all get bored!!