I managed to punch out 1,700 words last night. At the end of it, I was not terribly happy nor inspired by what I had written. None of it mattered. The premise informing this particular story had a very loose foundation. The more I chipped away at it, the more unfulfilled it left me feeling. Prior to writing, I did some free association brainstorming, writing down thoughts as they occurred to me with respect to the baseline premise. Alien aggressors turned into rebellious colonies, which turned into heroic revolutionaries and thereby became the protagonists.
After writing with that as a baseline, feeling comfortable with my parallels to the Revolutionary War, I began mulling over why, exactly, the same generic paradigm would make any sense. Why would colonies in other solar systems want representation in the terrestrial government? What could the colonies offer that the terrestrial government would tax? As far as I know, there are few things to be found outside the solar system that cannot be found in abundance inside the solar system. This led me to think about dispensing with FTL entirely (hooray for harder SF!) and confining the story to colonies within the solar system, where trade to and from Earth would be a much bigger deal.
Once you’re within a single solar system, though, issues like stealth/surprise attacks/etc. become impossible (there ain’t no stealth in space). It also brings up the question of why a colony would be able to muster a force sizable enough to contend with that of the governing body. Colonists taking up arms with soldiers who are more or less on equal footing is one thing. Colonists fielding spaceships hundreds of meters long with nuclear arsenals is another matter.
The net result of all of this is that I either feel like I’m writing bullshit, or I paralyze myself with so much doubt that I don’t write anything. I ended up writing bullshit last night.