2 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, even more Methods of Language and Cultural Feel
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'm writing about sources of historical research and how to make historical research. These apply to any novel or any subject you might wish to study. Here is a list:
1. Primary source documents or artifacts
2. Secondary source documents or artifacts
3. Tertiary source documents or artifacts
If you do get the history right--that is the details as well as the basics--there is another piece of history that needs to fill out your works. This additional part is cultural awareness. Here is the list of how to develop your target period for writing a historical novel.
1. Primary sources (secondary second)
2. Clean slate
3. Add in only what you find from primary sources (secondary next)
4. Cultural awareness
5. Historical feel
Cultural feel is similar to historical feel. Here is a freebie--okay, they are all freebies. Historical and cultural understanding will make you able to write stronger modern and science fiction. My Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox science fiction are perfect examples of this.
When you develop a science fiction novel, you are developing a world that is not like the world of our experience--there are always overlaps and similarities, but building science fiction is like experiencing a different culture. That is the absolute point and the method you should use to approach science fiction. Jack Vance is an absolute genius at cultural development. Many of his works revolve around cultures that are nothing like those we find in our common existence on this earth. He is an expert at understanding and articulating cultures and especially cultural differences. He develops his own words and languages, but he doesn't usually use language as a key to culture. Language for him is an artifact--it is a powerful artifact. That is, he usually does not use a language other than English, the words and concepts he develops stand for the language. In the Languages of Pao, Vance postulates cultures driven by language. If you have been paying attention, cultures are driven by language.
To build the universe of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, I made use of a culture I was very familiar with.
I'll write more about this 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/.