Moving. Robinson conveys both the triumphs and the horrors of interstellar colonization, covering hundreds of years in a single book. Almost cried at the end of the penultimate chapter.
Three things I learned about writing:
- The experience of agoraphobia (possibly all phobias) is something the written word is much more suited to portray than film, allowing us to think what the sufferer thinks, feel what they feel, better than other media.
- In a longer work, you can structure chapters as stories of their own, with a cold open, development, slow crisis, resolution, and a reveal
- When narrating long periods of time, zoom out to establish rhythms or patterns, zoom in on unusual or unique happenings (or things that have an impact on the larger patterns)