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Sep 10

Commentary: “Stand and Wait” (Part 1)

Before I open up the behind-the-scenes commentary of “Stand and Wait”, I’d like to start out with an overview of the Tales of the Storyteller universe in its earliest stages.

Falling to the Dark Side

The series was called something else. I hesitate to reveal the title because it’s very spoilerish for what I plan to do in the future. Let’s just say that the name of the universe came from my constant (relation)shipping of two individuals. I generated a lot of material, some of which was so syrupy that you could get cavities from reading it. I also experimented how a marriage could work out amidst the problems that could come up. Certain characters didn’t like or were miffed about the match, friends of one would be suspicious of the motives of the other, that sort of thing. It was fine for playing around when nobody was looking. When I decided to finally write fanfic for others’ eyes to see, a great deal of it had to be thrown out. Mostly to save myself a great deal of embarrassment. Some of the leftovers would be recycled into other stories.

When the idea was first germinating, I had been away from Star Wars fandom for a few years. I left because of the disappointment of the Prequel Trilogy, plus writing SW fanfiction was terribly frustrating. Fanfiction there is tidal locked on canon characters, and it’s difficult to next to impossible for a writer of original characters to get read. OCs aren’t treated well, getting the “Mary Sue” tag. Or no comment at all. In the SW forum I posted my stuff in, I was among a handful of people who fought for solutions to the problem of getting exposure for non-canon writers. We were ignored, and it was implied that if we weren’t getting readers, it meant we weren’t good writers. Somebody actually said that. I was so disgusted by the whole episode that I put a note to my website saying I had stopped writing SW fanfic for good.

Then I fell to the Dark Side. I went back to my first love: Star Trek.

Origin of Sydney Satterwhite

Sydney started off as part of something I entertained myself with. I guestimate she came about around the time of TWOK, with that movie making an impact on me. If I like a TV show or movie enough, I often made up characters to interact with the principle characters or do their own thing in that ‘verse. Because I was the sole audience for these adventures, they only had to make sense to me. So they did things like forming musical groups, from which was born a twelve-member superband called the Dirty Dozen. Only one of the Dozen had a permanent name (not Sydney). Over the years I put them away and brought them out several times to play around with, especially when ST came back to TV. None of their exploits were ever written down, but I tried to make sense of having a group of twelve Fleeters managing to hang in a more or less cohesive group long enough to make any recordings–and not strain disbelief to the breaking point.

The Dozen had a gimmick: a set of identical twin sisters who played rhythm and bass guitar. They didn’t wear exactly the same thing, and one of them always colored their hair. African-American and in their 20s. It was a long time before they got a last name, and longer still before either of them got first names. I settled on Satterwhite for their last name, to play off their ethnicity and because, to my ear, it sounded “down home-like”. The “oldest” twin began to stand out–sneaky, snarky, giggly–so she got named first. Then she had adventures away from the band more often than not.