A Dummies Guide to Writing a Space Opera
Chapter Two, Construction of a Galactic History
Now that you have drawn the map of your galaxy, midnight stardust sprinkled backdrop, overlaid with spiral or ellipse or whatever, the time has come to paint this canvas with the lives of all that ever lived in it. Shoot sparks of fire with your pen that become creatures, civilizations, and solar empires. Gentle gaseous interstellar minds, warlike toad people, insatiably curious machine civilizations, and five eyed mystics wielding powers they refuse to understand. Wash over this rough outline, hints of a history wounds, tears, defeat, victory, conquest, complexity and contradiction. Now rip some holes in the fabric, and do not fill them in so dark wonder can accrete. Roll everything tightly back and forward in time until it is worn and ragged, lived in. You come now to the crucial choice. If good is greater than evil, then on a galactic time scale, billions of years of sentience and progress, a gradual decay of that which brings destruction by repeatedly successful defense of goodness ... ... by the time your story starts all remaining battles would have to be against the impossibility of someone's beautiful dreams and not with the dark shadow lurking, patiently waiting to emerge. Or, if evil is greater than good, then the galaxy is therefore empty, long since rendered sterile, by the repeated choice to destroy everything within reach rather than submit one powerful will to another. Neither of these seem interesting, so in this galaxy, for the reason that you need it to be so, good and evil hang in an eternal precarious balance, each one drawing life from the other trillions of meaningless lives offered as fuel to the machine which sings the alternating songs of hope and heartbreak. You are now ready for Chapter Three, "Creative Freedom and the Heroic Archetype" If you can get over wondering, what kind of God you are, and what will be your fate, when your creations are called to give witness?