Building a Universe, One Word at a Time
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When Edmund Alexander Sims started out to write the version of SpaceStation Colt that we now know and love, he was faced with an interesting decision: Reboot the series and start over or remake the series and start again.
Fortunately, he chose neither - thus this article, but let's take a step back. The earliest known writing of SpaceStation Colt came from a play in 1987. The first published eBook of the iteration that we currently sell on this web site and in selected online stores went on sale in 2009. That twenty-two years also added twenty-two handwritten books of relevance to this discussion.
What were his choices again? Let's see: Reboot the series and start over from scratch or remake the series and start again by trying to replicate all that.
Again, those weren't choices that he could accept, and as a character, I admire the alternative that he wound up going with. Let's look at this from the characters' perspective. What about all the work that we did to get him to the point where he was confident enough in his style to continue pursuing and perfecting it? I'm not saying that we were demanding attention, but a character is always hoping for respect.
So why not just reboot the series despite our wishes? Besides, characters are like easily replaceable employees. Right?
Apparently not. See, Edmund is from the old school. He likes two spaces after his periods. His favorite font is Andale Mono. And dash (-) differentiation just seems like madness to him.
He's also fiercely loyal. Couple that with the time in which he grew up (1970's and 1980's) when originality was the rule and remakes were the exception and there's no question as to why a third option was being sought.
Those older books had been written into such a corner that Edmund's reason for seeking out another literary tact, in the first place, was to make things right by...his...characters! And how could he've possibly done that by going a different direction than resolving the troublesome plot and giving up on those very same characters?
SpaceStation Colt: Damnitio Exeum (2009) reads very similarly of SpaceStation Colt (1989), but I could tell from the beginning that this was going to be the twenty-third story in the series - not the first eBook of some new series. Certain characters just knew too much, and there was way too much going on with the stage having already been set.
From the Depths of Death in the Midst of Chaos (2010) confirmed it as not only a nod to the S.S.C.: From the Depths of Death in the Midst of Chaos (1994) effort by the same name but the appropriate closure that resolved the incredibly sad ending to those older books. This was done by penance and design.
Above all, it showed an expert handling in universe building and a profound understanding of universe mechanics. Universes are built one word at a time, and the mechanics of a universe build up over time.
The work that Edmund put in on those older books during his childhood set the foundation for Dope Enterprises' professional work. Compared to what he's writing now, those older books might not seem to even be in the same league, but it was the best that he could do at the time. As with the current library, in ten years, these eBooks would have been the best that he could do at this time.
His philosophy on writing is that there is no wrong way - only a write way. If something didn't quite pan out during a previous effort, he works to get it right the next time around but continues to build upon what came before rather than completely throwing things away and beginning anew.
Characters love being a part of systems like that and put in stellar performances as a result. The plots tend to become even more epic than ever expected because the background stories already exist, so development comes in the eloquence of stride. And at this point, the universe can be built out horizontally (spin-offs) as well as vertically (core property).
Even though I made my debut in a 2011 eBook, I still consider Edmund's 2010 eBook to be the best story that he's ever written for the various reasons listed above. But the point in writing that sentence is to say that he didn't just start out at the level of that 2010 eBook.
As with anything, it took hard work, dedication, and perseverance to pull off. So for that alone, those older books hold a special place as not only the backbone to our literary universe but the representation of the work that Edmund continues to put in to hone a creative writing style that he can call his own.
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