The idea happened like this: I thought about how a space station would get started. A really big space station that will one day have thousands of people living on it. Maybe even a million.
I expanded: some people would want to live on the space station to operate a business of some kind. But what about lower level laborers? Someone needs to sweep the floors, or move boxes of cargo from docked ships to the station and such.
I thought about the station administrators who were responsible for finding such people. And how they would have to mold such workers, along with other station inhabitants, into a community.
I decided the administrators would be Chinese, and atheists. Scientific atheists. And their worker pool would be speakers of the German language, and Catholics. Why Catholics? I decided my atheist administrators would want to use Christianity as an instrument of social control. They wanted workers who could be pressured into obeying the more socially useful of the Ten Commandments, like Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal.
But Christianity isn’t about being good, it’s about having a relationship with God. And the priest brought in to control the faith of the new workers is more interested in winning souls than in aiding administrators.
OK. Now, the first step in turning these random ideas into a functional story is to write things down. So I picked out a nice new composition book for the project.
I already had notes for what I call the Destine universe and so I set my story there. That’s how I came up with the name of the space station. Or space city. Tiberius Base. And, yes, it is named after James T. Kirk’s middle name.
I had been reading K. M. Weiland’s books Outlining your Novel and the Outlining your Novel Workbook, so I started answering questions from the workbook into the composition book.
I found that the basic story when written into a short description sounded dull, so I added a love subplot and a troublesome-aliens subplot that raised the stakes on the main plot— if my main character failed to build a viable community on Tiberius Base, the base might have to be handed over to some aliens who were claiming it.
So, that’s how I got one idea and how I’ve been developing it. Have you had any good writing ideas lately? Tell us in a comment, if you like.
Some coming attractions:
Wednesday: Worldbuilding Wednesday blog hop is on.
Saturday: I will be sharing a recipe for low-carb/ketogenic Dutch Baby Rolls that I have been working on.