Weakest Link: Beyond Gimmacks to Stories
If it is not obvious that I love Space Opera, then you are new to dashPunk and Banned from Argo, so Hiya! Nice to meet you! I’ve said it often, I love to watch:
Spaceships blowing each other up
Strange aliens doing strange alien things
Robots who cannot comprehend human emotions
Bolognium so thick and juicy it belongs on a sandwich with tomatoes and cheese
Those are all part of the genre, but just adding those elements to a story does not make it a space opera… and those elements on their own do not make a story at all!
Space Opera is not as easy to write as most people think it is.
The Spaceships need to feel real and lived in
The aliens need to make some sort of sense, even if it relies on major conceit or internal logic.
Robots that do not serve a purpose would never have been built
Bolognium needs to be used sparingly and have a believable sound and cadence.
That sounds like a lot of strictures to place on a genre, but honestly, they are only a few of the many rules a space opera writer needs to follow.
Our weakest link as a genre is that any idiot feels like they can make a Space Opera, ie J. J. Abrams… Lens flares do not a good movie make.
The problem is that so little space opera is made that we are often willing to overlook the shortcomings of what we get.
We need standards and tools.
I meet so many fans at conventions that have great ideas for stories, films, and novels, but they do not feel qualified to work on it…
Maybe an idea exchange or talent exchange. A place for filmmakers to find scripts, publishers to find novels, somewhere dreams can become a reality. I hope our community will evolve into this, but it will take a lot of effort on our parts to make it a reality.
Solutions are welcomed in the comments.