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Pen and Paper (and Datapad)

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Dear Lyn,

I know I should really be asking this of one of the published authors, but I wondered about your take on this, since you’ve kinda been the non-artist in a group of artists before. So, my friend challenged me to write her a story. But the problem is, she’s a really good writer, and I’ve never actually sat down and written anything before! What should I do?

Signed, Intimidated on Iego


“We should’ve vetoed this idea in the first place,” Bacta grumbled, settling into the booth. Lyn glanced up at him, then the corner of her mouth quirked.

“It made Leenik very happy,” she said. “He’s been…” She held her hand out flat, then tilted it back and forth.

“Yeah. It’s good the crew pulled together for him,” Bacta said. He glanced across the table, eyes lingering on the datapad in front of Lyn. He jerked his chin towards it. “So you got me,” he said.

Lyn nodded, then slid the datapad across. “Why don’t you read it?” she said. “Don’t worry. It’s not like the other three’s.”


Tryst: Wow, Iego. Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?

Bacta: What?

Tryst: When they- because, like, Angels, right? Oh, nevermind.

Bacta: Moving on. My advice to you would be – don’t.

Leenik: What? You can’t tell them that!

Bacta: Okay, Leenik here is obviously pro-writing challenges, but let me just… Okay, so, on the Mynock, we did this…thing, once. It was actually Neemo’s idea. We all wrote down all the stuff we like to read about and swapped it around and we all got someone to write for. Tryst, Leenik, and Neemo here all got each other, and it was…

Lyn: I think the word you’re looking for is ‘smut.’

Neemo: I mean, I think mine was pretty tasteful. I’m pretty well known for tasteful love stories.

Bacta: It was a story about Leenik wooing some, some smuggler or whatever from one of your books!

Neemo: But it faded to black…

Tryst: Mine didn’t.


“I believe you. The things Tryst thinks it’s funny to read out loud…”

“It was all in fun.” Lyn looked at him, tilting her head. “You must’ve gotten me, too, right?”

“Perfect match,” Bacta said. “Yeah, actually, why don’t I go get mine?”

The original exchange of stories had happened in the kitchen, but they ended up climbing up to Bacta’s gunnery bay instead, for a little quiet. “Mine’s kind of long,” Lyn had said apologetically.

“This is really accurate,” Bacta said, surprised, not very far into Lyn’s story. “How do you know all this stuff about the clone army?”

“I’m a researcher. It’s kind of what I do best,” Lyn said. She hadn’t looked up from Bacta’s story. A while passed in silence, then Lyn spoke up. “Aww, you included kissing?” she asked, a note of teasing in her voice.

“Your request had notes about relationship dynamics,” Bacta said, a little flustered. “I thought you might like it.”

“It’s really sweet, actually,” Lyn said, still reading. In another minute, when she was finished, she added more seriously, “That was good, Bacta.” Bacta looked up, and she went on. “I thought I was going to maybe, at best, get a couple of swashbuckling women making out a lot, but the…the tactical stuff really added to it. It was a good adventure story.”

“I’m glad you liked it,” Bacta said, but he couldn’t hold her gaze long. He looked down at Lyn’s datapad again, just for something else to look at.

“Wow,” he said when he was finally finished, all the weight of his astonishment in that single word. “So how many secret talents do you have?”

“Stop it!” Lyn said, laughing. “It was fun, I like thinking up stories. I don’t really choose to write for other people, but…” She shrugged. “Didn’t you have fun?”

“You know,” Bacta admitted. “I kind of did.”


Lyn: No, we are not doing that now, Tryst. So, I think the question was addressed to me? Well, I would say to try it! It never hurts to try new things, and if they are a good friend, then I’m sure they’re prepared to support your efforts. I wouldn’t worry about thinking you have less skill or anything. You can’t learn to do a thing well without practicing – she’s just had more practice than you have.

Neemo: Yeah. Everyone’s writing is rough at first, but you learn as you go on.

Lyn: Yes, exactly.

Leenik: What are you talking about? I was a natural.

Lyn: …Well. On that note, I think it’s time to wrap up. Intimidated on Iego – don’t be intimidated. Just have fun!