18 June 2012, Development - and even more on Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, 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 beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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.
I wrote in detail about how to study history and culture to write historical fiction. That moved to how to write about culture in science fiction, and now, I am exploring how to study to write science fiction.
Science fantasy, as opposed to science fiction, means your worlds and culture are not based in known scientific principles. For example, if your space ships bank in space, you don't take gravity (or lack thereof) into account, you think humans can reproduce with aliens, you have worlds with all the same climate, you have discontinuities in your science, you have transporters (aka Star Trek), your technology depends on dylithium crystals, strange rays, or gases--if any of these are true, you are not writing science fiction. I'll give a slight pass to ERB on the rays because of the era of his science fiction--they believed in the aether and eternal universe then too.
The point is that if your worlds are not based in science, but rather based in some concept(s) other than a scientific understanding of the universe, you aren't writing science fiction. If you can't tell the difference, you need to learn about science. The where to go or what to do to learn basic science--I already recommended schooling. Other than that, you need to begin a serious course of study. The university is the best place for that--popular science is right out. If you don't know and understand science in your gut, you really can't explain it to others--therefore, you won't be able to write it down.
I'll write more about science in science fiction 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/.