29 January 2012, Publication - more Problems Writing Science Fiction
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, go to my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
Here is the list of ideas for advertising--there are more and I'll add to the list as we go along. I'm certainly not an expert in all these, but I've dabbled in all of them. I'll try to relate my experience and the degree of that experience to you.
1. Have a website for your novel.
2. Write a blog.
4. Literary awards.
5. Book cards.
8. Blog tours.
9. Press releases.
10. Speaking and teaching.
13. Book signings.
14. Book trailers
It really helps to study science to write science fiction. What passes for science fiction today is generally a pale copy of the hard science fiction of the 1950s. The problem today is that many people are not educated very well in science. For example, if you don't know what was wrong with Han Solo's comment about making the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, you likely shouldn't be writing science fiction. Likewise, if you don't realize why the space fighters banking in outer space is completely illogical and stupid--you shouldn't be writing science fiction. How about this one, if you don't realize that chaos theory in mathematics is about order, then you shouldn't be writing science fiction. By the way, if you realize where the last science mistake came from, you might have read enough science fiction to think about writing it. On the other hand, if you realise that red blood cells don't have enough nucleic material to build a DNA chain, you are definitely ready to write.
So, really, how do you know you are ready to write science fiction? If you understand orbital mechanics and have at least managed the basic math in college physics, you might be ready. If you know enough about aerodynamics to work around the lift and drag equations, you likely know enough to write about vehicles landing in an atmosphere. If you understand biological science well enough so you know what the APT cycle is, you might be ready to tackle writing about an alien creature.
But you might say--science is what you can imagine. No way, science has nothing to do with what you can imagine, but rather what you can imagine and extrapolate. Do you realize that among the great science fiction writers, few of them predicted any real technology or inventions. John Brunner is likely the only writer of note who predicted the future. Heilein, Clark, and Asimov had their characters using slipsticks in outer space when computers were available and even on their ships. Many of the greats missed science right on their doorsteps, or ignored known science in their writing. So, I'll repeat, don't write science fiction unless you understand science. You can write all the science fantasy you want--just don't pretend it's science fiction.
I'll write about emailing tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.