We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.
This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Kettick playing a Remmilian male Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Juneau.
GALVEN: Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?
Kettick: I’m French, grew up in a little wine village in the South-West, then moved to Bordeaux, to keep up with the theme. I now work as a safety engineer for the aerospace industry… and I guess that explains quite a lot about me and my quirks already.
What has been your favorite moment writing with UFOP:StarBase 118?
That moment when you see the plot coming together. People have been simming around, bouncing ideas off each other, almost at random, maybe with just a light touch here and there from the CO, XO, or the person who came up with the mission, and then at some point suddenly everything, every bit of information, every plot hook aligns, and boom, you can see the big picture, and where this adventure is going. That’s the bit I’m in love with.
Do you take any inspiration from movies/TV/books when writing for your character?
A lot. Star Trek, of course, but I’m a bookworm at heart, and Terry Pratchett or Iain Banks are pretty much guaranteed to find their way into anything I write. Kettick is also heavily inspired by the Formics from the Ender’s Game series.
What are your thoughts on what you’ve learned in the Academy as you look back compared to now?
The Academy gives you the basics, but I have a feeling I’ve never stopped learning. Just by being in contact with other writers, IC or OOC, you end up absorbing the bits of their style you like, and making them your own. It’s a beautiful thing, in hindsight.
And of course, your mentor is here to give you OOC pointers, and teach you all the stuff that happens behind the scenes. Right now I’m trying to learn about pacing myself, and it looks like I’m going to need some time for that one (laughs).
What is your process for ideas regarding character development?
Usually, I have a rough direction where I want to take my character, and when they’re exposed to a situation I think is relevant to this travel direction, I have them react accordingly. Counseling sessions are a very efficient tool for that; if you want to describe the ways the last mission has made your character change his way of thought, have them talk it out with your resident shrink.
For instance, when I created Kettick, his main concept was “the stranger”, someone completely alien to most species’ thought patterns, and with a very dim sense of individuality. This concept ensured that he would inevitably grow up and develop when exposed to other people and their way of life. So, he pretty much writes himself in that department.
And lastly, what kind of advice would you give those who would like to sim in your specific duty post?
There’s no such thing as too many redundancies, and no matter your level of technological advancement, duct tape jokes will never, ever become obsolete.
Thanks for your time, Ensign Kettick!
You can read more about Ensign Kettick on the wiki.