7 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, more Cultural Feel 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'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
The End of Honor and The Fox's Honor although they both have honor as a theme, they have significantly different themes. This is true about those two novels and also about A Season of Honor. You might ask how can you have three novels with the same theme, set in the same universe and culture with shared characters. Let me give a short description of the theme in A Season of Honor and we can compare the three.
A Season of Honor is about a man, Baron Shawn du Lock who has had his honor taken from him. He is still an honorable man who has not compromised his honor. Shawn is given an assignment to take a princess to her wedding, and he falls in love with her (and she with him). In A Season of Honor the characters must choose honor and their own future or dishonor and happiness. This is a relatively classical theme with the twist of honor laid on it.
So to synopsize, The End of Honor is about two honorable people whose lives begin to fall apart because of their dedication to honor. The Fox's Honor is about two people who compromise their honor for each other and their people. A Season of Honor is about two people who must choose between honor and their own future. You can see that the themes of these three novels may be similar in that they deal with honor, but they are significantly different. Beyond that, these themes are somewhat unique. I'm certain that almost every theme has been used in the history of art and literature, but I do try to use themes that are not common or overused. I suggest you should be knowledgeable enough on themes and literature that you can understand your themes and how common they are or are not.
The same is true about the development of culture and the development of the society and culture in a science fiction novel.
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/.