Friday, April 11, 2014


By Sharon Srock

I grew up in the late sixties and early seventies. Long before I was a writer, I was a serious Star Trek fan. I don’t think it was their intention to teach writing principles with the show, but some of their stuff translates nicely. Let’s explore a new universe.

Our mission: Seek out new life and new civilizations.

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” ~ Orson Scott Card (1951-), American author

Writers should be people watchers, Internet browsers, and readers. Your next story idea could be waiting in the next gesture, word, headline, or newspaper. I’m not saying you need to eavesdrop or spend hours buried in the paper or Internet, but if you’re stuck, it doesn’t hurt to browse and see if something sparks your imagination.

Non-interference is our prime directive.
We’re all Christian authors, but our beliefs stretch from Amish and Catholic to Baptist and Pentecostal and every spot in between. Write, share God’s love in your stories, but don’t use those stories as a pulpit to bash people over the head. Allow God’s love to shine in your writing, and it will do more than a specific doctrine ever could.

Keep your phasers set on stun.
Anyone here know what a phaser set on disrupt does to its target? Yep, from solid object to vapor in a blink, and all you have left is a memory. That’s a good lesson to keep in mind when you’re editing. Go easy on the delete key. I prefer a file full of cut scenes that can be used later in some form or fashion than my faulty memory about the brilliant scene I wrote once that didn’t fit then, but sure would now. Stun ‘em, don’t vaporize them.

Humans are highly illogical.
This is Spock’s Vulcan opinion on the multifaceted emotional state of the human race. Illogical to him, beneficial to us. As writers to a human audience we need to learn to twist every last drop of emotion out of our stories. We need to take our characters through the gamut of emotional highs and lows. Love and hate, sorrow and joy, terror and calm. Because humans love that stuff. It isn’t logical, but it is why we read.

There is no such thing as a Vulcan Death Grip.
I know its fiction, but keep it believable. Nuff said.

Live long and prosper.
Embrace the future. Storytellers, cave paintings, stone tablets, scrolls, hand written tomes, printed books, e-readers. The technology is changing, but the stories remain.

Having is not so pleasing as wanting; it is highly illogical, but often true.
As unpublished authors we look at the lucky ones and we want to be just like them when we grow up. I want to caution you not to wish for too much too soon. If you think your life is busy now, wait till you add in edits, deadlines, and marketing. A raw idea for a new book in your head, edits on a contracted one due back on a deadline, all while promoting the one that just realeased… Day job, kids, spouse, home, church…
It’s busy, it’s confusing, it will take over your life if you let it. You will wonder what you’ve gotten yourself in to. I’m not complaining, it can be very satisfying, but you do need to be prepared.

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.
IDIC, it’s what we do. We take men and women, boys and girls, from every walk of life, race, income bracket, belief system, and we weave them together into stories that shouldn’t work, but they do. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Life would be boring without it.

Tribbles hate Klingons (and Klingons hate Tribbles).
Conflict, conflict, conflict
Klingons = Big hairy mean kill-them-all-and-let-God-sort-them-out warrior race.
Tribbles = Fuzzy little puffballs with no claws or teeth.
Their mutual hatred of each other is so unexpected and so illogical ... and so entertaining.  Use the little, unexpected things to stir up trouble for your big things.

Enemies are often invisible like Klingons they can be cloaked.
Even the Bible bears this out. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Our enemies are often disguised as good things. An Internet presence and all the little time consuming bits and pieces that go with it, events, public speaking, marketing, promotion, all to be mixed in with those things we mentioned earlierfamily, home, school, church, jobs. No one can do it all. What works for me won’t work for you and vice versa. I know writers who have pretty much given up their online presence in favor of spending time with their families. Despite the hype, I’ve avoided Pinterest like a plague, I just don’t have the time for one more thing. I know some writers that spend all day with their marketing plan. There is no right or wrong way. Find what works for you, learn to say no to what doesn’t, and watch out for the hidden traps and distractions.

When your logic fails, trust a hunch.
Critique is a good thing, but don’t let the logical voice of a fellow writer override your gut.
Sometimes that little voice in our head is smarter than we give it credit for.
Listen closely.

Insufficient data does not compute.
Do your research or your readers will do it for you. Just sayin’.

Even in our own world, sometimes we are alien.
Groups and loops and organizations. Writers are special. Seek out some like-minded people and become one of them.

When going out into the Universe, remember: "Boldly go where no one has gone before."
Go boldly. The whole idea behind Star Trekto boldly go. It isn’t enough to sit at our desks and write our stories. We have to submit them, we have to sit across the table from agents and editors and talk about them.  For a newbie, that’s scary. But why else are we writing? Go boldly. Stretch your comfort zone. Learn to sit in front of a room full of people and talk about your newest story with a smile plastered on your face and sweat running down your back. No one in the room can eat you, and it’ll be over before you know it. 

Go boldly!

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Sharon's latest book, The Women of Valley View: Pam.

Pam’s divorce broke her heart. The cruelty of her ex-husband broke her spirit. A bottle of sleeping pills almost took her life. Four years later the scars of Alan Archer’s emotional abuse are beginning to fade under the love of her new husband. When Alan returns to Garfield, Pam must learn that buried secrets and carefully cultivated indifference do not equal forgiveness.

Alan Archer has returned to Garfield with a new wife and a terminal heart condition. His mission? To leave a Christian legacy for his children and to gain Pam’s forgiveness for the sins of his past.

Two hearts hang in the balance waiting for the delicate touch of God’s healing hands.
Buy Women of Valley View: Pam at AMAZON, B&N, and PELICAN BOOK GROUP.



Author Sharon Srock went from science fiction to Christian fiction at slightly less than warp speed. Twenty-five years ago, she cut her writer's teeth on Star Trek fiction. Today, she writes inspirational stories that focus on ordinary women using their faith to accomplish extraordinary things.

Sharon lives in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma with her husband and three very large dogs. Her books include: The Women of Valley View: Callie and The Women of Valley View: Terri, both of which are currently available. The Women of Valley View: Pam will release April 11, 2014.

Connect with her at
Please visit her AMAZON page to find current info on her books:


  1. Sharon...I never watched Star Trek, but even so, your post is great...even for a reader! Thanks for coming. I really want to read Pam's story!
    Too hot to bake today,or yesterday,but never too hot for coffee!

  2. Good morning,

    I'll go out today with my eyes wide open. Thanks for sharing!


    I love that episode!!!!!

    And I had a secret crush on Captain Kirk.... but who didn't????

    I have gotten over that, by the way!

    This is wonderful, and it's like we planned this pairing with my post yesterday because we're on the same page here: Look. Listen. Be aware...

    And then run with the idea and create at will!!!!

    Welcome Sharon! And may the force be with you.... because I love Star Wars, too. And Jedi Knights. And Wookies and ewoks!!!!

    Oh, this is my kind of street language!!!!!!!!!!!!! Exclamation points abound!


  4. Marianne, DVDs are great, you should catch up on some great TV. Thanks for coming.

  5. Ruth, I love tribbles, I taught mine to sit and stay on command! Who knew it would be so easy?

  6. To the Seekerville crew. Thanks for hosting me today. Live long and prosper!

  7. Thanks For a fun post, Sharon! I wasn't a Star Trek fan but I loved when it came on—I knew when it was on that I had a short time of quiet for myself—my two kids wouldn't have missed Star Trek for anything!

    Thanks for the writing analogies—good stuff. :-)

  8. I love this! "He's dead, Jim." How many times did McCoy say that? Thanks for the memories!

  9. Sweet post! Loved Star Trek. The Trouble with Tribbles has to be one of the best episodes for humor.

    I don't think I'll watch Star Trek quite the same way after reading this post. I'll be thinking about writing now, not sci-fi stuff. I especially liked the "Stun 'em, don't vaporize them" principle. Oh, and THANK GOD humans are highly illogical - no conflict without it.

    Thanks for the freebies at the end there. Downloaded For Mercies Sake. You appear to tackle tough issues in your writing. I look forward to getting to know your work.

    RUTHY: so there on the James T. Kirk crush... so there on being over it too (having Hugh Jackman come along helped, oh a ton *heh*)

  10. I love your one-liner reminders. Thanks for the pep talk.

  11. Humans are highly illogical.

    Yes, we are!

    I've never been a Star Trek fan but I love your points. Thanks for the post,Sharon.

  12. "We’re all Christian authors, but our beliefs stretch from Amish and Catholic to Baptist and Pentecostal and every spot in between. Write, share God’s love in your stories, but don’t use those stories as a pulpit to bash people over the head. Allow God’s love to shine in your writing, and it will do more than a specific doctrine ever could."

    Well said, Sharon. Thanks for sharing. And by the way, folks, I'm one of the lucky ones who got to read Pam before it released, and it's excellent. You'll love it.

  13. Mary, quiet time is a blessing, where ever you get it. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Jericha, someone was always dead, usually in a red shirt. See you tonight.

  15. Connie, glad you enjoyed it. Good luck in the drawing.

  16. Robin, Pam is the woman she is because of you. :)

  17. SHARON!!! WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, my friend, and I'm laughing right now because I just sent you an email saying you are live. LOL ... now I find out it's ME who's not a"live," so forgive me for sleeping in ... AGAIN!! Getting a house ready to sell/move is WAY too taxing for this little wimp!!

    Sharon, I put the links in just now for your book, so forgive me for the delay. Just ANOTHER example of a brain buried under (by mulch! Shopping/landscaping are on the agenda today!!).

    Coffee's on because as Marianne says, it's never too hot for coffee. I've got every Keurig flavor known to man, so dive in. And since Fridays are supposed to be easy, no hot kitchen for me -- donuts and kringles on the table along with fresh fruit. Bon appetit!


  18. Sharon, what a delightful post. I especially appreciate the exhortation to look around me. 1,000 stories that never get told, or even seen? Yep, I'll be looking for them. :)

    Your book sounds like a great read!

  19. I am so glad that I have joined in with Seekerville. All these blogs are filled with so much great wisdom and knowledge. Yes, there IS a difference between the two! A person can have all the knowledge that books can provide, but if they don't have the wisdom how to best use that knowledge, they are nothing. As a newbie writer, I gain from all of you and look forward to each of these blogs, this one included.

    Living with a Trekkie Fan for a husband and children that have grown up with it (I think my oldest has become an even bigger Trekkie) I have had no choice but to see most of the shows (and Star Wars too), and The Trouble with Tribbles is my favorite. Thanks for the memories, and showing us how to incorporate these lessons into our writing. (And I need to concentrate on the stun gun--going to have to start that file of deleted scenes!)

    Lastly, I love that you are dealing with tough subjects in your writing--I have a couple of those in the works as well. Please enter me for your giveaway and thanks for the free novella.

  20. Being the wife of a longtime Trekkie, I've heard these words many times, but never applied them to my writing. Very funny! Now I'll certainly think of Tribbles in terms of conflict and GO BOLDLY ! Thanks, Sharon!

  21. Sharon - I love your post! I'm much more fond of Tribbles than Klingons. I'm cant wait to get my hands on my copy of Pam. Your books are so full of God's love and how He works in people's lives. Definitely a recommend to everyone!

    Ruthy - did you ditch Captain Kirk for Jeter?

  22. Jeanne, eyes open, head uo, face the day! Thanks!

  23. Julie, dont work too hard today. Thanks again for letting me play in your sandbox.

  24. Vicki, Trekies are fun people. Enjoy Mercie's story.

  25. Sherida, its all in where you look. Thanks for stopping by

  26. Terri, you are such a talented author. It m akes me smi l e that you enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy yours

  27. Hi Sharon and welcome to Seekerville. I love Star Trek. Great analogy to use for writing.

    Have fun today. You already started my day with Star Trek fun and challenge.

  28. Wonderful post , Sharon. While I have never been a Star Trek fan, the advice you listed is very true.

    JULIE!!!! You're getting a house packed and ready to move too???? I actually finished most of mine a couple of weeks ago, but I so know what you're going through. Treat yourself to some chocolate ice cream when you're finished. It'll make the whole world seem better. Oh, and while you're eating it, you should probably be people watching, per Ruthy's advice. :)

  29. Sandra
    Seekerville us a great place to spend the day.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. LOVE the Star Trek analogies!! As a newby I'm terrified of sitting across the table from editors, etc. I will remember GO BOLDLY when I face a situation that I dread (and Kirk/Spock et al have wicked senses of humor)!


  32. Stephanie, if i help, it was worth it. Thanks.

  33. Hi Sharon!

    I love the Trekkie analogies. They fit so well!

    The "Having is not so pleasing as wanting; it is highly illogical, but often true," section is so true. I often wonder when Castle finds time to go on all those cases with Becket.

    I suspect he has a ghost writer hidden in his closet.... :)

  34. Jan, Castle is fiction, the realities are not so glamerous.

  35. Welcome to Seekerville, Sharon! You have given us some terrific advice. Thanks!

    My favorite tidbit regarding public speaking made me smile: No one in the room can eat you, and it’ll be over before you know it.

    Go Boldly.

    This wisdom applies to anything we might dread. We will get out alive.

    Pam's story is intriguing and promises strong emotion and conflict.


  36. Janet, i hope you enjoy the story when you have the chance.

  37. Welcome, Sharon! What a fun post!

    I'm not a Trekkie, but I'm like Ruthy in that I had a secret crush on Capt. Kirk! LOL

    Oh, and I also have to say that I'm afraid I can't follow your rule not to eaves drop! I've been known to do that a time or two in a restaurant when someone was talking too loud (see, it was their fault!). And I got story ideas like crazy. :)

  38. Congrats to our TBL finalists!!! Woo hoo!!!

  39. I plan on enjoying your book, Sharon. I'm saving it as a reward for reaching a writing goal.(nothing like a good carrot dangling to help reach for something)

    Orson Scott Card is one of my fave authors. Love the quote. Forgot to say that in my first comments.

  40. DebH, Card is my one of my son's favorite authors, too. :)

  41. Missy, thanks for the welcome. Im enjoying my vist.

  42. Love it, love it, love it! Fun post, Sharon! I'm a Star Trek fan from the original series in the '60s! I've watched every incarnation of the series and seen all the movies!

    But seriously??? There's no such thing as a Vulcan Death Grip??? Rats. I thought I just wasn't doing it right.

  43. Thanks Sharon. I'm sure I will!


  44. Trivia question of the day:

    Who knows what the T in "Captain James T. Kirk" stands for?

  45. I'm late to the party. Is our guest still here? There she is!!

    I brought biscotti! Will I be forgiven? Chocolate covered.

    What a great post. I am not a Trekkie but that said, all the men in my family are so I am by default.

    Great profile picture btw!!!

  46. Cute! Perfectly logical, Sharon!
    I think you might have made me want to watch old school Star Trek again. It's been years... ahem.

  47. love this! LOVE THIS!!!
    I was such a Star Trek freak, the original, not the Next Generation, though I know that was good, too.

    Wow, Sharon, baby. Live Long and Prosper!!!!!

  48. I have always struggled with Insomnia and for years I played these head games of memorizing things while I lay awake. (later I started writing!)
    The fifty states and their capitols, states in alphabetical order.
    The Presidents
    Books of the Bible
    And at one time--I had memorized every episode of Star Trek.
    79. I couldn't do it anymore but for a long long time I could and I wasn't reading a list and memorizing it, I was scrolling through my memory and thinking
    The One with Spock's Parents
    The One with the entity who wanted to keep the Man
    The Trouble with Tribbles
    The One where the steal Spock's Brain
    The One where Kirk goes back in time
    I could do them ALL...which is just such a stinking waste of time, right?
    But I loved that show.

  49. PS they had two I can remember where they went back in time.
    Once it was Kirk and Spock had to go after him to pre-world war II America
    Once it was Spock and McCoy to some Ice Age

  50. Mary, my high school best friend and I used to write our own Star Trek stories. We even sent one to Gene Roddenberry hoping he'd use it.

    We got a form rejection saying they couldn't even read it for legal reasons. :(

  51. Myra, sorry to burst your bubbleabout that death grip thing. And yes i knowwhat the T stands for, but ill let the others play.

  52. Sharon

    Thank you for this post. what I could read through the blurry vision thanks to my vertigo that is extreme today. It is a good thing I can save it for a better day.

    I would love a chance to win a copy of your book.

    Looks like writing and reading is on hold today, but the Lord is good.

    Have agreat weekend everyone!

  53. Tina, i can forgive a lot if late for chocolate...just sayin'

  54. Debra, go treat yourself to a nice campy rerun, you just never know where the nuggets are buried.

  55. Mary, the correct response to your "live long and prosper" would be "peace and long life."

    You counted episodes like sheep...and here i thought the three uniforms hanging in my closet made me a Trekkie.

  56. Myra, i got the same note when i submitted my novel to whatever pubishing comoany was doing all the novels back in the day. The sad part...most of the fan fiction was better than the traditionally published stuff.

  57. Wilani, i hooe you feel better soon.

  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. that was so cool i like star trek. MAkes alot of sense. (STargate is better)

    In city met narelle Atkins yesterday wefound her book. first sighting it was so cool

  60. JENNY, are you a Stargate fan? ME TOO!!!!! I really missed it when they took it off the air. I never liked the spinoffs as much as the original, but I was hooked on them anyway.

  61. Jenny, i never saw an episode of Stargate...better than Trek? Thats sacrilege! :)

  62. Myra, I liked atlantas it was good.but I still miss it. I have all the series and rewatch them alot even yesterday I did a stargate reference at one stage.

    Sharon, I am watching reruns of deep space nine on Saturdays (will miss today) and Star trek next generation some afternoons. they are so much fun.

  63. MYRA! How sweet would THAT BE!
    Just that you subbed a story is so cool. GOOD FOR YOU!!!

  64. LOL, MARY--we broke every rule in the book. We were such ignorant dorky teenagers and knew ZILCH about submitting a TV script, much less formatting it. We basically just sent what I suppose they would call a "treatment."

    I hadn't thought about this in forever, but I guess it qualifies as the first story I ever submitted. And my first rejection. :(

  65. Sharon, a woman after my own heart. A trekkie! Welcome to my world. I was born after Star Trek's original run, but I used to watch the re-runs with my dad, and of course I'm one who followed The Next Generation avidly. Still do.

    One thing I thought of as you were listing all the things that could be learned from Star Trek, is this:TO BOLDLY GO where no man has gone before-- the most famous split infinitive phrase ever (and one that everyone recognizes), but it works! My translation- it's okay to break the rules occasionally as long as it works.If you're too set on following rules, you could miss the spontaneous creativity of writing.

    Loved your post. Really.

    Live long and prosper!

  66. ooo, ooo, MYRA, I know what the T in James T Kirk stands for!!!! I do, I do. When should I post it? *heh*

  67. Diana, I loved all the versions of Star Trek, except for Enterprise. I just couldn't stand to watch them break their own rules.

  68. MYRA AND DEBH....I know what the ' T ' stands for, but I'd be disqualified because I'm not sure if my spelling would be correct.

    MYRA, what a first rejection story!

    TINA, thanks for the biscotti! You need JELLYBEANS after the cat/purse/coffee experience.

    SHARON, thanks again for your post. I've been telling my TREKKIE hubby all about it!

  69. Wow what a busy day! Finally stopping by!

    LOVE Star Trek, from the 60's series with James TIBERIUS Kirk, all the way to the new Star Trek movies with Chris Pine!

    Great post! Thanks Sharon!


  70. Sue, Thanks for making time to stop by. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  71. Sharon, I think it's kind of cool that God gives authors a different awareness of what's going on around them.

    The "see a story" in every moment kind of thing.

    So I wonder if it's the same for artists? Do they "feel" a painting from an inspiration and then have to recreate it as they felt it????

    Or as they imagine it could be?

    The creative mind is such an odd thing, and yet it feels normal to us.

    Mary, you hush.

    I am so normal. Kind of.

  72. Funny thing is, I also know what the T stands for, because not only is my husband a big Trekkie, he is also a big trivia man. And Susan is correct.

  73. Sharon, I have seen every one of the original Star Trek episodes multiple times. Great series. Never thought about the conflict between Tribbles and Klingons.

  74. Terri, I think there was someone between Captain Kirk and Jeter...

    Ah, yes.

    Remington Steele



  75. S., I see the name STEPHANIE!!!!!


    I love that name.

  76. My college roommate (a million years ago) was a dedicated trekkie! So I watched with her. My husband and grandson love Star Trek, too. It applies so well to writing!

  77. Remington Steele, be still my heart. I STILL love him.

  78. Ruth, interesting question. Lets see what they say.

  79. I'm late stopping by Seekerville today, but still wanted to say hello to Sharon! What a fun post (and very useful too).

    I met you at ACFW in St. Louis a few years ago when a group of us ate together at a restaurant (Robin Patchen, Janet Lee Barton, and some spouses)--what a fun time!

    Congratulations on your writing success, and I hope to see you again at ACFW.
    Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

  80. Patti Joe, of course I remember you. Thanks for stopping by. Better late than never.

  81. Cara, The secrets are buried everywhere. :)

  82. Walt, Those shows were always great one for hidden messages. Mostly good ones.

  83. What a timely post!! I have been MIA for a week or so due to my MIL having lung surgery due to lung cancer. It's my turn to spend the night with her at the hospital. Whenever I got here tonight, there was a guard posted at the door of the room beside my MIL. My brain immediately started thinking about all the things that could go wrong with the prisoner being next door! And I got an idea for a new story.

    Imamgine my surprise whenever I finally was able to visit Seekerville and find this post:)))). Story ideas are everywhere. This idea will have to be put away for a bit while I finish the WIP I'm working on but how fun it will be to come back to whenever I'm ready :))))

  84. SHARON ... thanks SO much for taking such good care of my sandbox today -- you rock, girlfriend!!

    And, CRYSTAL ... oh, man, this is real work, isn't it? Every bone in my body aches tonight after spending the day in the yard, raking mulch, digging/planting bushes, planting flower pots. And I'm 3X as old as you, girlfriend, so it's 3X as bad!! :|


  85. I've watched more than my fair share of Star Trek. Loved this post thank you.

  86. Pat, So glad you found the article interesting. Hope all is well in the hospital.

  87. Julie, Thanks again for this chance to visit with Seekerville's readers. It's been a blast! I'm so glad I figured out how to do this stuff on my Kindle, I would never have caught up with it once I got home. Get some rest today my friend.

  88. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I thought I was seeing my twin when I clicked over to this link a friend sent me and saw your picture. And a Trekker too. This is too spocky . . . I mean spooky! I'm first-gen ST.

    I learned to write by watching ST. I mean, honestly, you could write a new post about "Forget the writer's books, just watch Star Trek." It's got the entire novel right there:
    The HOOK--2 minute opening scene
    The ACTS--(chapters) each ending on a cliff hanger so you don't change the channel
    The CLIMAX--will our heroes survive yet another alien encounter?
    The SOLUTION--with a touch of character humor.

    How is this not the model for every great fiction novel? It was my model from childhood on. Like you, I went from writing Star Trek (and still dabble when I'm tried of meeting contract deadlines) to writing Christian Fiction for kids (16 books). But Star Trek will always be my favorite stuff to write.

    Best post I've read in two galaxies . . . especially the part about "Having is not so . . ." because writing used to be fun! Not so much any longer, with all those deadlines, edits, and new ideas exploding.
    ~ Susan Marlow (the Blogger name is my character's)
    Live Long And Prosper!

  89. Hey, Sharon, I just went to your website and saw that you are a CAN member. So am I!
    ~Susan Marlow

  90. Hi Andi, the realities of writing are certainly different than what most think.

  91. Loved this article! As a 'TREKKIE' myself, all of your points made sense and brought a smile, too!

  92. Tracy, I'm so glad you found something of value in my post. Good luck in the drawing.