Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2019 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.
This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lieutenant Junior Grade Chloe Waters, playing a Human female assigned to the USS Eagle as the Helm Officer. She won the Pilot’s Sextant which is given to those Helm officers who have proven themselves to be the best of the best. From finding a safe route home to flying an emergency atmospheric landing, pilots who have earned the right to this award know the importance of staying focused, and puts their ability to make spectacular maneuvers at the service of their ship and its mission.
GALVEN: Thank you for agreeing to have an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?
WATERS: Thanks for the invitation to do this interview.
Well, my name is Jesse. I’m a blind cancer survivor who hails from Canada. In my spare time I enjoy working on audio projects, promoting accessibility and playing choose your own adventure games.
I’ve been a Star Trek fan for almost twelve years, but took my fandom to a whole new level around 2015-2016 when I started listening to various Star Trek podcasts (audio dramas such as Starship Excelsior and Star Trek Outpost and discussion-based podcasts such as Mission Log).
It wasn’t long after that when I started poking around the web and joining up with various Star Trek roleplay groups, before eventually landing here.
Winning such a unique duty post award such as the Pilot’s Sextant award must be really exciting! Is there any kind of inspiration from anything in Star Trek or elsewhere when you write a scene?
I try to include as much Trek history as I think I can in my sims, referencing events from TNG or Voyager whenever I think they fit. Chloe is based on a unique combination of characters. Data, for his struggle to grow and become more human as Chloe has struggled significantly over the past year to grow into something more than a silent member of a crew. Seven of nine for her social awkwardness, as she tries, but more than often not fails to assert her humanity in the ways we might normally interact with one another, as Chloe takes after this to a gradually shrinking degree. In addition, there is Rieva, from Loud as a Whisper who is both mute, and def. The way he was still able to communicate fascinated me, and I wanted to try my hand at that, but with a twist.
Captain Oddas Aria mentioned in their presentation that you write in a way making the reader believe that they are alongside her as she’s flying. Could you explain in more detail what that means?
Well, when I write, I always try to include as much detail as I can. What is Chloe seeing? What does she hear? What is she thinking/how is she feeling? What is she doing, and why? Everyone is, to some degree, familiar with the various beeps, bleeps and hums associated with Star Trek, so I reference them and allow the mind to do the rest.
What kind of advice can you give to new and experienced writers who are apprehensive about playing the helm post?
One of the upsides of playing the helm post is that it isn’t as technobabble dependent as some of the other stations, which benefits me as I don’t feel that’s something I’m very good at. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any challenges, though. The biggest of which, I find, is that tags aren’t always streaming like water in my direction, so much of the time I end up reacting, rather than acting. And that’s okay.
As a writer, no matter what your post, you shouldn’t feel downed by your inability to react. Examine what’s going on around you. Ask your character what they think and how they feel. Write that as your reaction and maybe, just maybe, that writing will bring a unique perspective to a scene that no one has considered.
And lastly, what kind of character development have you implemented into Chloe and how has it affected her? Do you have plans for her future as she gains more experience?
Since Chloe has been conceived of, she has grown significantly. Although she is still awkward and sometimes clumsy, she isn’t as standoffish as she was a year ago. Chloe is willing to communicate more, willing to talk about her story. And she has also learned the value of trusting and opening up to others.
Thanks for your time, Lieutenant JG Chloe Waters!
You can read more about Lieutenant JG Chloe Waters on the wiki.