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Writers Workshop: 25 Common Word Alternatives

Ever sit down to write a sim and find yourself stuck for words? Read through what you’ve written and realise that you tend to use the same words over and over again?

Below you’ll find a list of alternatives to 25 common words to spice up your writing. Let us know how it goes in the Writing Improvement Forum.

Angry:
Irate, enraged, touchy, cross, resentful, indignant, infuriated, wound up, worked up, seething, raging, heated, bitter, bad tempered, offended, frustrated

Bad:
Awful, lousy, poor, unacceptable, crummy, dreadful, rough, inferior, substandard, atrocious, appalling, dreadful, defective

Beautiful:
Striking, stunning, magnificent, lovely, charming, gorgeous, radiant, dazzling

Big:
Massive, huge, giant, gigantic, enormous, large, colossal, immense, bulky, tremendous, hefty, sizeable, extensive, great, substantial


Poll of the Week: Pick Your First Officer!

Congratulations! Starfleet Command has seen fit to request and require you to take command of the illustrious USS Insert-Overly-Used-Starship-Name-Here. This is a proud moment for us all, but the challenges are just beginning. Your first command decision must be the selection of a crew from scratch, and what crew selection could begin without bringing on an executive officer?

You have a variety to choose from; each is willing to serve under you. Spock, a half Vulcan, is renowned for his effective performance and coldly logical approach. Will Riker maintains that devotion to duty, but appreciates much more informal surroundings. Kira Nerys, a former Bajoran freedom fighter, is known for her quick temper and tough-as-nails constitution. Chakotay, though having resigned previously from Starfleet to fight with the Maquis, is a kind soul wrapped in a stern countenance. T’Pol, a Vulcan woman, has begun to explore her emotions, and attempts to integrate them into her otherwise uninhibited reasoning.

This week’s poll asks you to name your choice. It should be a decision that reflects your personal idea of what a first officer should be, and how you’d want yours to behave and look at situations.

Head to the forums now to vote in this week’s poll, and be sure to comment in the thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: Species Development

There is no shortage of alien species in Star Trek. However, at times a species can lack a certain level of cultural complexity. Alien races in science fiction tend to become singular, monolithic entities without much variation or development outside of the defining features of their species. The Klingons are warriors obsessed with honor and combat, and this is reflected in almost all aspects of them that we see on screen. Everything on Ferenginar, including ideas of the afterlife, are wrapped up in business and the acquisition of profit. The Vulcans are always collected and logical.

Despite this, Star Trek does manage to give its aliens a fair amount of development and worldbuilding to help make them feel more realistic. We learn more about the major players in the Alpha Quadrant and beyond both through storylines featuring them and in how specific characters like Worf grow and develop over time.

This weeks’ poll asks which species you think was the best developed, and which was the most monolithic?

Click here to head to the forums and vote in the poll now. And be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts!


First Officer in Focus – Nijil Aehkhifv, Starbase 118 Ops

Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail.

Nijil, a Starfleet officerThis month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of Starbase 118 Ops, Lieutenant Commander Nijil Aehkhifv, a Rekarian Male.

Tell us a little about the writer behind Nijil. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?

Well, my name is Noelle and I hail from Michigan, US. There’s not much to tell, I’m not nearly as interesting as my character. I work in a machine shop but have begun adventuring towards self employment. I’m a huge fan of haunted houses, working on them not going through and being scared. And have come to enjoy face painting, as all those doing the scaring need scary face paint. I’ve been doing this for nearly 8 years now and never bore of it. And when I’m not writing or face painting, I’m kept very busy with my toddler!

Amazing!  Now that you’re a first officer, are you thinking about command at all?

It is definitely on my mind, but I’m in no hurry to launch on my own. I’ve enjoyed getting to this point with SB118 and intend to enjoy it. While also learning as much as I can.


Poll of the Week: Position Your Character Is LEAST Suited For?

Not even Starfleet officers can be brilliant at everything. The years upon years of schooling Academy cadets undergo are grueling to be sure, but, upon graduation, the vast majority of new ensigns are qualified for one department alone. Beyond the fact that the education required to succeed as an officer on a Federation starship or facility is extraordinarily demanding, cadets almost always have some sort of personal preference that helps them decide what path they want to pursue. Skills, goals, and demeanor all have a bearing on what service the ensign will end up providing.

This week’s poll asks you to name the department or position that your character would be least adept at. Would their brawny, combative nature make a career in the medical department a struggle? Perhaps their dislike of violence would lead away from the security team?

Click here to head to the forums and vote in the poll now, and be sure to leave your comment in the thread below the poll!


Duty Post Award Winner – David Knight, USS Atlantis (The Black Cross)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2018 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 David Cross playing a Human Male Intelligence Officer assigned to the USS Atlantis. He won the Black Cross award: “Given to a member of the Intelligence community that strives to accomplish the goals of Starfleet Intelligence, while simultaneously upholding the ideals and structure of Starfleet command. This person has the cunning to gather intelligence by means of deceptive dialogue or espionage, as opposed to force drawn confessions. While matters of intelligence are often game changers, this person strives to attain those goals within the boundaries of their Commanding Officer, and the regulations of Starfleet.

GALVEN: Thank you for agreeing to have an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

KNIGHT:  My pleasure, I have been a fan of star trek since some of my earliest memories and enjoy reading star trek novels. I have been simming my character off and on for almost a year know aboard the Atlantis as the ships Signals intelligence Officer

Winning a duty post award that’s outside of our normal range of  selected duty posts must be a great feeling! Do you take any inspiration from films, television, or books when writing your character and his actions?

To be honest, I was quite surprised when I won the black cross, I had been doing my best at the time to portray a Federation intelligence officer and never would have guessed I would even be nominated for the award. As for inspiration, I am particularly fond of the Deep Space Nine series. Specifically, Captain Sisco and Commander Worf, though the characters were miles apart as far as story lines and personalities. They both find themselves conflicted with the morality of how important the right information can be and whether acting upon it would be morally right. Moreover they both portray Intelligence work in more realistic light as opposed the more popular 007 approach made popular by the movies.


Poll of the Week: Starfleet Insecurity

Starfleet seems to have a problem with keeping their ships safe. In a fight between ships, a Starfleet ship can usually hold its own. The problems begin when someone gets on the ship. Starfleet Security has demonstrated time and time again that it might be just a little bit too trusting. Starfleet ships have been hijacked by just about every group imaginable. The Maquis, Klingons, Romulans, and Bynars are all among the many powers who have successfully commandeered Starfleet ships. The flagship of the Federation itself was once taken over by a group of Ferengi in a few surplus Klingon ships.

It doesn’t even end there. Security protocols are easily bypassed by the officers and civilians aboard the ship. If you want to avoid being tracked, all you need to do is remove your combadge. At one point, a civilian was able to escape the ship in a shuttle without assistance or permission from anyone. People could be replaced by changelings for months and avoid having their identities or their acts of sabotage being discovered.

However, not every ship had this problem to the same degree. There are some threats that can’t be prepared for. No security is entirely foolproof!

Which series featured the worst ship security? Click here to head to the forums and vote on the poll now. And add your comments below the poll!


Duty Post Award Winner – Valin Dermont, USS Atlantis (The Phoenix Award)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2018 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 Valin Dermont playing a Human male Chief Engineer assigned to the USS Atlantis. He won the Phoenix Award: “a duty post award that recognizes engineers. Named for the vessel that legendary engineer Zefram Cochrane piloted during his historic first warp flight, this award goes to those Engineering officers who continue this tradition of excellence in the field of engineering. By performing their tasks with enthusiasm, imagination and diligence, by managing to make their equipment perform above and beyond its rated capacities, the officers meriting this award further the mission of their ship by their superior know-how. In short, miracle workers.

GALVEN: Thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

DERMONT:  I’m just a guy doing his best outside of Trek.  I am married with a daughter and spend far too many hours working.  Writing and D&D are my two biggest passions when I can find the time!

Your duty post is an engineer. Could you explain why you chose that and is there any show/movie/book that take inspiration from?

The idea of making things work just really appealed to me.  No matter what is going on….sooner of later in an episode of Star Trek something is going to need to be fixed.  I feel Dermont is a blend of Scotty, Torres, and my own inner thoughts that I would never be so coarse as to say out loud.


Poll of the Week: Best of Quark?

If there was a single recurring character that (at least upon first glance) seemed to embody the very antithesis of Star Trek’s sweeping vision, it would be Quark. The scheming, capitalistic, sexist Ferengi is truly despicable from the very beginning of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and shamelessly displays his materialistic mindset at every turn. Even so, over the course of seven seasons, Quark managed to work his way into the hearts of viewers. His development throughout the series is undeniable and one of the many treats audiences were able to enjoy. What was once a mostly shelved idea for a villainous species was given life through Quark and his fellow Ferengi characters. His popularity is best exemplified by the numerous episodes that had Quark as a focus. Though some of them were truly malignant (looking at you, “Profit and Lace”) the vast majority were effective, meaningful, and often hilarious.

This week’s poll asks which Quark moment or episode you found most enjoyable.

Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll, and be sure to let us know below the poll what you think!


Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant JG Maddi Hyden, USS Atlantis

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 Lieutenant JG Maddi Hyden playing a Human Female Tactical Officer assigned to the USS Atlantis.

GALVEN: Thank you for taking the time out of your day to do an interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

HYDEN: Thank you for giving me the honor to be interviewed. My name is Stephen I’m 21 years old and I hail from West Virginia. I’ve been writing for a little over 4 years now never expected to enjoy it as much as I have, but wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m excited for some things that will be happening soon in the meantime just biding my time and waiting.

Are there any movies, shows, and/or books you take inspiration from?

Not exactly I’ve got a lot of my inspiration from multiple Star Trek shows. Usually though I have a very creative mind so I take quite a bit of time to refine my character into what I want them to be in the end.


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