Yesterday was all about playing around. There wasn’t any writing going on, no novels to edit or develop, so it was all about doing things that might not seem interesting to you, but could be great fun to me.
There’s the whole “brainstorm the story” thing I’m working on, and while it goes slow–because I have to think about whats happening, to come up with a few ideas here and there, and then line it out–it’s interesting. I see how the program works, how the whole idea should come together. If I see something that I forgot, I make a note and tag it back to a certain, particular idea.
I can see how I can use this to work on one character, one that needs more defining than I’m able to give in my head. I can lay their name out in the middle of the page and start putting character ideas together. I might only have a couple of weeks to work on it, because this public beta goes up in smoke on 15 September, but that’s okay, because I can save the information off, and even export the map to a pdf or image and show it to someone who . . . well, they’re always a good help.
But the one thing I really wanted was to do The ‘Verse. By “to do”, I don’t mean engage in some strange sexual congress: I mean I wanted to design it in my AstroSynthensis program. I wanted to bring the information down from various sources and load it up in my program, and see what works.
There is a map that’s been created that is now considered cannon, so I decided to use that as a guide. I mean, you look at the stars and it’s pretty easy to figure out what they should be. But then I came across a white paper that has just about everything in terms of planetary data, and this helped a lot, because suddenly I have something which makes modeling far easier.
Right off the bat I discovered something: The ‘Verse is huge. If measuring the orbit of the farthest star in the system, it’s about forty light hours across. From the next orbit in it’s about thirty-five light hours across. Distance between close systems–and by that I mean when they are in conjunction and you are at the shortest distance between their outermost planets–averages about twenty AU, or about three billion kilometers, or about one billion, eight hundred sixty million miles. That’s in conjunction, which doesn’t happen too often.
What this means is if your little Firefly Class transport doesn’t go really fast, it’s going to take a hell of a long time to get from one place to another. Having to travel a distance of, say, twenty-five light hours isn’t that bad–if you’re a beam of light. If you’re not, you could find yourself getting a little bored on your years-long flight. But we know they have fast ship in The ‘Verse–
They travel at the speed of plot, don’t you know?