Where Did This Story Come From Anyway?
The Loudest Actions is one of those stories that dropped in for a visit in the old brain box without a previous address. That's not nearly as exciting as starting as fanfic that got tidied up or coming from a bunch of short stories or a GURPs Space scenario.
It started out as a few scenes (Peter trying to escape the burning deck on his ship, Pashan falling into the ginormous pitcher plant, and Kirsten fighting Foster in a tournament). They sounded totally unrelated, and really, I was going to write them as separate short stories and call it good, but then other parts started building around them.
The tournament fight turned into a mech battle. Peter's escape from the burning deck left him with some mental scars that he still struggles with from time to time. Sora's youngest was still in training when she fell in the pitcher plant ... only did she really fall?
To connect all these things, I went for a first contact mission, but like the Numodyne in Remnant in the Stars, I wanted the aliens to be really very alien. They became buggy ... with no verbal language. To complicate things, the first contact ambassador has an ego the size of a supergiant.
Parts started filling in gradually and details shifted to accommodate. Not only the details, but different segments of the tale reorganized themselve. The prologue detailing Peter's trek through the burning deck started out as a flashback, but really, I dislike non-linear stories. Getting into and out of a flashback believably is hard, but a few folks told me that prologues are frowned upon. In the end, I went with the prologue anyway. The structure worked better with my linear story-telling brain.
Terri Pray at Under the Moon accepted this sequel, and gave me lots of good notes to fix the parts that needed fixing. There is a Part 3 in my brain, but it needs a lot of figuring out still.