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Stop me if you've heard this one before: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a band of rebels thought they'd vanquished the evil Empire once and for all, so the universe celebrated. Except for Princess Leia, who knew the Empire wasn't gone, merely biding their time and regrouping for a final strike...

I wrote Star Wars Episode VII: The Re-Birth some twenty-three years before The Force Awakens bowed. Abrams and company knew that both the characters and story needed to evolve, a lesson that 16yr old Howie hadn't learned yet, so my pages are filled with familiar banter, familiar characters, familiar tropes, familiar everything.

And yet I can see in these pages craft moves that I still use: opening in media res, multiple POVs and multiple section breaks.

I can also see craft moves I still struggle with: when to focus on descriptive details, how much banter is too much banter. Oh, and proofreading. Definitely proofreading.

Some projects deserve to stay in the vault, never to see the light of day. Re-Birth is definitely one of those, but I'm taking pity today on 16yr-old-Howie and giving Listener a taste of his prose. Enjoy!

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