Filthy Henry Novels

Captain Kirk Draft


I'm currently working my way through draft five of Duplex Tempus, or as I suppose refer to this draft: the Captain Kirk draft.

This is actually a joke a friend of mine made many moons ago, long before Filthy Henry ever appeared. I had just written some opening chapters for a book and wanted to get the opinion of somebody who read similar tales to myself. The notes back were that the story had been funny, engaging, and definitely something that they wanted to read more of. But, sticking to my request for actual criticism to be given, this friend pointed out that there were several 'Captain Kirk moments' in the chapters.

But what is a 'Captain Kirk moment' I don't hear you ask because this is a rant and not a phonecall. Basically it stems from the good old days of the Star Trek television series, the original ones. Back then continuity was sometimes seen as an extra cost for production as opposed to something required. It meant that, fairly regularly, Captain Kirk would beam down from the Enterprise to a planet, completely unarmed, and then in the very next scene be brandishing a phaser rifle at the aliens.

I'm pretty sure that it got to the point that nearly every episode had one of these 'Captain Kirk moments' in them, all because the writer's needed them to happen in order for the story to continue.

Draft Five has always been my Captain Kirk Draft, the one that I go through and pay attention to some of the smaller details. Did the main character pick up her drink with her right hand when I made a huge deal about her being left handed? How did the bullet end up in the wall if the gun was fired at the ceiling? Did the hero of the tale just reveal some information that they couldn't possible know at that point in the story?

It's actually a pain in the ass draft to work on, because you really have to read everything. Keep an entire world in your hand, influx, so that you can catch these little things. Thankfully I never do just one Captain Kirk Draft, draft five is always just the first time doing it. Once it has been done I may have some new ideas that I want to work in. Maybe I take out some plot bits that don't work. Generally the second to last draft is another Captain Kirk Draft as it helps to ensure I haven't left any dangling plot threads or devices from the edits of the previous drafts.

I tell you this writing lark has more work in it than my full time job most days.

But if I didn't get the stories out of my head then I'd go crazy with them in their all the time.


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