Content contributor: The fabulous Liana Brooks
Controls, bulk head, lights, doorways that seal, ladders, rivets, metal paneling, ridges, pock marks, fire dampening foam, emergency lighting, seats, galley, head, berth, space suits, uniforms, boots, rations, weapons, stars, port holes, viewing deck, safety webbing, robot, buttons, switches, cables, boxes, labels, wooden packing crates, sterile crates, plastic/metal crates, loading equipment, uniforms, ship’s patches/badges, planets with rings, asteroids, satellites, moons, space station, enemy vessel, cargo ship, solar flare, crew members, rank insignia, captain, admiral, ensign, pilot, navigator, weapons crew, refugees, alien, large kinetic weapon (rocks), laser array, hazard signs (explosive, flammable), power core, steam vents, walkways, grates, hoses, computer panels, hologram technology
Engines humming, computer clicking, people talking, meteorites/weapons hitting the hull, bang, slap, crunch, boots on the deck plates, engines whining, hissing, lights buzzing, electronics chirping, paper rustling, waste disposal grinding, luggage dropping, cloth rubbing against cloth, air in mask, coughing, hiss of burning dust on the hull during reentry, weapons sizzling as they charge, whoomph of air as kinetic weapon recoils, crying, orders, intercom chatter, whir of computer fans, heart beating, orders relayed through intercom, automated warning system
“canned” air, recycling filters, mildew, body odors, stale smell, diesel, frying grease, burnt ozone, methane, dust, mildew, bleach, disinfectants, perfume, acid-sharp smell of hot metal, fear
Blood, tin, citrus sanitizer, fresh oxygen from plants, chalky ration bars, mildew, salt, sweat, soap, grease, imported food, fresh vegetables from hydroponics, algae wafers, water, vitamin gels
light (low gravity), heavy chest (lift off and extra gravity), dimpled buttons, sharp metal edges on repairs, textured hand grips, weightless, squishy acceleration couches, rubbery, air on skin, hard, firm, bouncy, pliant, bones grinding/organs grinding, smooth metal surface, pocked surface from damage, cloth against skin, head craned up, rubbing at back of the neck while scanning content on monitors/displays, wires to make sure cargo is secure, bump, jerking as the ship lands, jostling, exhilaration, blood rushing, heart beating fast, calm
–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Alone on the bridge, I settled into the captain’s chair for the first time. Hard metal ridges rubbed against my hips and dug into my shoulder blades. I nodded to myself. This was just how it should be, for the work done here would not be easy and each moment should be a reminder of the human cost behind my decisions. I took a breath of the slightly metallic air and smiled, imagining the starry view that would greet me tomorrow, when my new crew and I set off on our first mission.
My fingers flew across the keyboard, recoding an override before the security system locked out our eject pods. Chaos surrounded me, people running and screaming as consoles and overhead panels shook loose in the aftershocks of the kinetic blast. I didn’t know who had hit us or why, nor could I spare a thought to anything but my erratic tapping. Provided I did my part here and Devit ejected the toxin canisters in cargo before the seals broke and infected the crew, most of us would live to see the the suns rise over Omanna again.
–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile)
As the missile approached, Captain Marcus clenched his chair rails like a minister clinging to his preach pad during a solar flare.
Example 2: (Metaphor)
As we hit warp, stars streamed past the view field, reminding me of lasers skinning against a class seven force field.
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.