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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Cultural Literacy

30 June 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Cultural Literacy

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Here are my rules of writing:

1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.

The most important type of cultural understanding is your own culture. This is why "Cultural Literacy" is so important. Cultural literacy means understanding the symbols and language of your culture. If you don't have cultural literacy, you have no hope of writing well.

Hirsch, Kett, and Trefil defined cultural literacy as: the Bible, Mythology and Folklore, Proverbs, Idioms, World Literature, Philosophy, and Religion, Literature in English, Fine Arts, World History, American History, World Politics, American Politics, World Geography, American Geography, Anthropology, Psychology, and sociology, Business and Economics, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Medicine and Health, and Technology. They even produced a dictionary and curriculum for cultural literacy. These are the basics you must know to understand the Amerenglish Culture.

Hirsch, et al, make the argument that if you don't have a basic understanding of these topics, you are culturally illiterate. I'll go further, if you don't understand the basics of these subjects, your can't understand literature and you shouldn't be writing literature. If you try to write, you will just confuse yourself and your readers.

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that 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/.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing, Confusing

29 June 2012, Development - Rules of Writing, Confusing

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Here are my rules of writing:

1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.

"Don't confuse your readers," envelopes the main rules of communication in writing.  This rule applies first to language, grammar, and punctuation--you have to have these rules down pat if you wish to write.  These are the basics of writing, and if you don't have them down, you can't be successful as a writer. 

There is more to communication in writing than the basics.  Communication in writing means understanding and using symbols and metaphors from the culture you are writing in.  Sometimes when you read material that seems to be weak and unexciting, many times the writing lacks cultural perception and understanding.  This is especially true for writers who are foreign to the language they are writing in.  A lack of cultural understanding will confuse you readers and points to this very important rule about the use of symbols and metaphors. 

I wrote about this before in terms of history and cultural understanding.  I'll write more about cultural understanding and the rules of writing. 

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers. I'll write about that 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/.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Development - Rules of Writing

28 June 2012, Development -  Rules of Writing

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

Some writers claim there are no rules in writing--or to write well you should break the rules there are.  There definitely are rules in writing.  For example, grammar is one of the hard rules of writing.  Punctuation is another rule of writing.  Language is another rule of writing.  If you aren't writing using language properly, grammar properly, and punctuation properly, no one will be able to understand you.  My four rules for writing follow:

1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.

The first rule applies to language, grammar, and punctuation (as well as other more complex topics).  If you confuse your readers (because they can't understand your writing), you have failed as a writer.  It is impossible for writing not to have a strong foundation of basic rules.  Likewise, it is impossible to write well unless you are well grounded in these basics. 

There is much more to writing without confusing your readers.  I'll write about that 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/.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Development - Science in Science Fiction

27 June 2012, Development - 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

If you want to write science fiction, you need to understand science.  I've tried to give you some rules of thumb to determine the reliability of scientific papers and information.  Just understanding this information will help you understand the basics of science.  Using this information will help you determine the validity of the science you study.  The important point is that you have to work to study, and if you want to have enough science knowledge to write science fiction, you have to study science.
I'll write about the rules of writing 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/.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, yet still more Accuracy

26 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, yet still more Accuracy

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I wrote a little about human studies before.  In general, medical studies are problematic.  To solve this problem, all legitimate medical device and medicine studies are made "double-blind."  A double-blind test always has a control and a placebo.  The control is to measure the differences between the active and placebo groups and helps make up for the general low confidence of the studies.  The placebo group rules out the placebo effect--which is a real and powerful effect. 

How good are double-blinds?  Like all studies and research, they have their problems, but if a medicine or other supplement has not gone through a double-blind test, I would never put it in my body.  I tell my science classes all the time, if you find a non-double-blind tested medicine that appears to do something--stop it immediately.  It is okay to put stuff in your body that is relatively benign, if it isn't benign, you are just asking to injure yourself.  This is also why many oriental medicines can be problematic and dangerous.  Chinese societies don't believe it is ethical to conduct double-blind tests on humans, therefore their medicines are always suspect.  If a double-blind test hasn't been accomplished on a medicine or human procedure, you are just asking to die (or at least to hurt yourself).

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/.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, still more Accuracy

25 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, still more Accuracy

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Conclusions based on a paucity of data are almost guaranteed to be wrong.  We already looked at statistical issues.  If the sample size of the data set is small and the confidence is not large, there is a real issue with the data.  If the levels measured are too low to cause effects, there is a problem with the results.  If the paper is written without research or using anecdotal evidence, there is a problem. 

In addition to these problems, there can be false conclusions.  If the researcher can't show a direct causal link between the results and the conclusions, the conclusions are not necessarily true.  In fact, lack of a direct causal link indicates the lack of a cause and effect relationship.  This is why there is so much debate on the issue of global warming.  No scientist will argue that carbon dioxide doesn't have some affect on global warming, but water vapor is responsible for about 95% of all global warming.  The question is the direct causal relationship between increasing carbon dioxide levels and warming of the earth.

So when you are looking at a scientific study, be cautious of conclusions that can't be directly related back to the experiment.  Be especially cautious of conclusions based on incomplete or inexact relationships between data or poor data samples.

In medicine, double blind tests are the means of conducting studies.
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/.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, and even more Accuracy

24 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, and even more Accuracy

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Because most journalists are absolutely ignorant of scientific basics, it should not be a surprise that many groups inject false papers into the news media for the purpose of putting across their scientifically incorrect views. One of the most pervasive methods is to take an actual study where the results are statistically significant, but meaningless. An example of this is the levels of arsenic allowed in drinking water and another is PCBs in farm raised vs. wild salmon. In the case of arsenic in most well water and PCBs in farm raised salmon, the levels of contamination are too low to cause any human effects or disease. So although a study states that the level of PCBs are double (100%) greater in farm raised Salmon, the amount is so low, it is meaningless. Kind of like a drop of milk in a swimming pool. The same is true concerning arsenic levels currently permitted in drinking water.

If you get hold of a paper like this, the first question you must ask is: what is the toxicity and what is the dosage? The toxicity of a compound might be high, but the dosage is critical. In the modern era, we can measure dosage levels much lower than ever before. PBC dosages are meaningless in the xx parts per billion levels. They become meaningful in the xxx parts per million levels. Likewise, arsenic in the xxx parts per million dosage can cause harm--at the XX parts per billion levels they are harmless and may even be necessary for health.

The reason journalists get sucked into false papers or papers that others have determined false conclusions from, is that they lack the scientific knowledge to make an informed decision. If you are like this, please don't try to write science fiction. The next logical fallacy found in many modern papers is false conclusions.

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/.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, yet more Accuracy

23 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, yet more Accuracy

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Fourth, who accomplished the research and wrote the study.  I've read a lot of modern studies written by lawyers without a shred of research.  These aren't peer reviewed papers, and they couldn't be peer reviewed.  These papers are written for a specific purpose, to win lawsuits and to affect public opinion.  These studies usually don't have any research behind them.  An example are the autism to thermisol (vaccination preservative) link papers.  All real papers (peer reviewed, based on research, good sample size) on this subject show no link between thermisol and autism--in fact, the largest sample size studies showed children who didn't get vaccinations had higher rates of autism.  The point is that law firms wrote the papers that showed a link to get them into the system, and they are not scientifically acceptable.  Anyone with any degree of scientific training can see that these are false papers, but many newspaper writers, news people, and the unscientifically trained don't have a clue.

Other examples of these kinds of papers are generated by groups with a specific bias.  For example, Greenpeace as well as other radical environmental groups routinely use false papers to try to interject incorrect and inaccurate science.  I'll write about that tomorrow.

The next thing to look at is the results within a proper context.

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/.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, even more Accuracy

22 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, even more Accuracy

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Third, look at the sample size.  This is related to the statistical evaluation of the data.  For example, a sample size of 10 is worthless for most scientific studies--that is, unless the confidence is high.  If I have a statistical confidence that lies within a 95% confidence interval with 10 samples that means the data are very good and the system proves the study conclusions.  For many large scale tests of end systems, this kind of confidence and sampling is reliable.  For instance in the flight test of an aircraft. 

On the other hand, if I am talking about a clinical study for medicine, typically a 51% confidence interval is used with a sample size of XXX.  You hope the sample size is at least in the 1,000s or 10,000s.  Sadly, with many medical studies, you are lucky to see sample sizes in the 100s.  Statistically, a 51% confidence interval doesn't even tell you if you asked the right question in your study--especially without a very large sample size.  That doesn't mean that many or all medical studies are flawed--it just means you have to look closely at them.  The same goes for cumulative studies--that is studies of studies.  If the results of the studies are bogus, a study of study that includes them will be doubly bogus.

The next thing to look at is who wrote the study and accomplished the research.

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/.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, more Accuracy

21 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, more Accuracy

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I could spend days and days worth of writing to teach you about scientific sources. I'll spend some time, but for the details, you need a class in science research. I look for some very specific details when I evaluate research and papers. The first is the type of paper. Most scientific papers from reputable sources are research papers where the writer accomplished the research. Scientific papers do not ask opinions or take opinions. Scientific papers are not about populations (meaning statistical populations) who hold some opinion. Scientific papers are about using the scientific method to measure a repeatable event and then using statistics to determine the statistical accuracy of the date taken from some repeatable event.

If something isn't repeatable, you can't use the scientific method to test or evaluate it. Any scientific paper must begin with the scientific method and address a concept that is repeatable. A non-repeatable event can't be measured by the scientific method. Math papers are something entirely different. Although you can't use the scientific method for a mathematics paper, you can use math proofs which rely on logic (mathematical logic and not rhetorical logic).

So first, look for a repeatable system and the use of the scientific method. Second, look for statistical evaluation of the sets in the repeatable events. Third, we'll get to that tomorrow.

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/.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, Accuracy

20 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, Accuracy

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

What about the accuracy of your knowledge.  Read books (not science fiction).  The state of science fiction today, it is highly unlikely you will learn science from modern science fiction.  If you read my novels, I can assure you of accurate science.  The reason is that I either research or have studied the subjects I write about.  You can do the same.  I don't allow my students to use Wiki as a source, but Wiki is a great place to start.  You can get an idea about the subject and many times find good sources to study--but not Internet sources. 

You need to be cautious of sources.  The only reasonable sources for scientific information are peer reviewed papers or textbooks that are by known experts or peer reviewed.  For basic knowledge an accredited encyclopedia is a better source than Wiki or the general Internet.  A known Internet source (for example, NASA for space flight or aeronautical knowledge) is better than a general source or an encyclopedia.  A peer reviewed paper, text book, or book is the best source, but you need to be careful about those too.  A peer reviewed paper by the flat earth society has little credibility on any subject compared to the Lancet that is an outstanding source for medical knowledge. 

You need to also be careful of the papers themselves.  I'll get to that tomorrow. 

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/.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, How Do You Know

19 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, How Do You Know

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

So, one of the ways you can tell that you don't have sufficient knowledge to write science fiction is if you can't accurately write down an explanation of the science you are writing about.  This is the test.  The colliery is if you can accurately write down the science you intend to write about, then you can write science fiction about that science.

There you go.  That is your goal and your test.  This is pretty easy.  If you want to check your capability to write science fiction, you can try putting on paper what you know about the science you wish to write.  The real problem is that you might not have enough scientific knowledge to recognize what you don't know.  This means you have to have some degree of knowledge before you begin, but that's what I've been saying. 

If you feel comfortable writing down what you know, and you know it is correct, then you can write science fiction.  There is still a question of the accuracy of your knowledge.

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/.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Development - and even more on Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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/.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Development - even more on Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction

17 June 2012, Development - 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

The bottom line is this: if you don't understand science, don't write science fiction. I wrote generally about how to study science. If you want to write science fiction and you are still in school, there is some hope for you. Study science. If you are out of school and you have a degree in science, you are about ready to prepare to write science fiction. If you don't have a dregree in a science field, and you want to write science fiction, you better get started studying. It isn't impossible to write good science fiction if you don't have a degree or extensive study in a science realted field, but you'll just look like a fool. Kind of like George Lucas.

If you want to write historical or cultural fiction, you must invest hours and hours in study--the same is true for science fiction. The problem with science fiction is that you must work much harder to study science. This is one of the reasons there is so little real or hard science fiction anymore. The authors are science illiterates. If you don't know sceince, you write sceince fantasy instead of science fiction. How do you know you are writing sceince fantasy--we'll look at that.

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/.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Development - more on Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction

16 June 2012, Development - 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

It should be obvious that to extrapolate technology, you must understand science.  My specialties are aerodynamics, chemistry, civil flight, flight test, military flight, and military technology.  I feel very confident writing about space and atmospheric science.  I feel even more confident writing about extrapolated technology. 

I typically take military and civil procedures and extrapolate them to the future.  If you wish to do this, you have to understand military and civil procedures.  Since I spent 24 years in the military working with the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, and foreign militaries, I know how militaries operate.  Since I have been a pilot for over 32 years and have flown in over 50 countries across the world, I understand civilian aviation.  In every case of military and civilian aviation and military procedures, I am experienced and capable of writing about those procedures.  Because of this, I am capable of extrapolating these procedures and operations and writing about them.

The point here is that if I had no experience, I would be foolish to try to write about current military operations, and I would not be able to extrapolate future operations.  Without a basic knowledge of current operations, I couldn't begin to write about future operations.  Are you getting the point here?  If you don't have experience of military of operations, you shouldn't write about them and you certainly can't extrapolate future operations.  The same is true about science.  If you don't know science, you shouldn't write about it, and you can't extrapolate the future of science.   

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/.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction

15 June 2012, Development - 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

The science in science fiction is always extrapolated from known science today.  Even better said: the technology in science fiction is extrapolated from the known science today.  Technology is applied science, and it takes a while for science to become technology.  I taught a class in predicting technology.  Part of a science fiction author's job is to first know science.  If you don't have a clue about real science, you can't extrapolate anything.  If you imagine that vehicles in space fly using the same means as vehicles in the atmosphere, you are simply an idiot--you can't and shouldn't write science fiction.  In fact, whatever you write should be required to have a warning sticker on it so the young and ignorant won't think your works are about science.

The main point is you must know science to be able to extrapolate technology.  If you really can't imagine how to do this, I suggest you look through my classes at www.ldalford.com or www.lionelalford.com and check out the slides in the technology class.  You can see there the basics of science extrapolated to future technology.  The predictions were based in 10, 100, 1000, and 10,000 years from today.  If you intend to write science fiction, this is the basic process you must go through to understand what you are writing.  The questions still at hand is how do we learn about science and what is science fact.
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/.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Development - Science Fact vs. Whatever in Science Fiction

14 June 2012, Development - Science Fact vs. Whatever 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

So, what is science fact?  You don't have to go too far to read or see (movies) those who are capturing marginal science for the purpose of making money.  The idea of global warming (or cooling) is passe.  It's been written about in numerous science fiction books and shorts as far back as the 1930s.  It is an extrapolation of the ice ages and the earth's warming periods.  I read a more astute work from the 1980s (I believe by John Brunner) that described a planet with a warming problem due to industrialization.  So science fiction authors have already pursued (too much in my opinion) the idea of global climate change.  By the way, scientists don't usually refer to climate change (the definition of climate already includes change). 

You can write all the books you want and congratulate yourself on being timely and you will be writing trite science fiction.  The purpose of science fiction (in my opinion, but we'll get to that) is not to tell the world a message of doom, gloom, and future catastrophe.  The purpose of science fiction is the same as all fiction--it is to entertain.  Science fiction does its entertaining via a little different means than normal or historical fiction. 

In normal or historical fiction, you are stuck with the world as it is (unless you are making up crap--like too many authors).  In science fiction, you are working in the future as if it is today.  This is what gives science fiction its power and its unique ability to entertain.

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/.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Development - Science Fact, Soft and Hard Science Fiction

13 June 2012, Development - Science Fact, Soft and Hard 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I wrote yesterday about the difference between soft and hard science fiction.  This is what I wrote: within all "real" science fiction, the author begins with the basis of scientific truth and extrapolates future science from there. This is where we begin to break science fiction into the "soft" and "hard" varieties. The soft variety does not break the known rules of science truth (fact), but it doesn't usually attempt to explain or detail the extrapolated future science. Hard science fiction, on the other hand, dives into the details of the extrapolated future science and provides some degree of explanation.

Simply hard science fiction explains and soft science fiction doesn't.  Both begin with scientific truth.  So, in scientific truth, space ships always use vector and orbital mechanics to move in space--they don't bank.  An aircraft banks because of aerodynamic forces in an atmosphere.  There is no sound in a vacuum--no sound in space.  Objects have inertia and mass but not weight in space.  A parsec is a measure of distance and not speed or time.  Everything has to follow the rules of Newton, Heisenberg, and Einstein.  Quite simply, if you want to write science fiction, you must know science, and it doesn't matter whether you are writing soft or hard science fiction.

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/.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Development - Science Study, Soft and Hard Science Fiction

12 June 2012, Development - Science Study, Soft and Hard 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

When we write general fiction, the point is to have a theme and characters developed within the framework of a plot. For historical or cultural fiction, we add historical truth and cultural awareness to the basic theme, characters, and plot. In writing science fiction, we add the basis of science to the previously mentioned requirements. Therefore, a science fiction work must have a theme and characters developed within the framework of a plot where scientific truth and cultural awareness prevail. I've written before about the development of a culture within a science fiction novel, but I haven't written about scientific truth.

Scientific truth is like historical truth--it is the reflection of what can be proven through science. Within all "real" science fiction, the author begins with the basis of scientific truth and extrapolates future science from there. This is where we begin to break science fiction into the "soft" and "hard" varieties. The soft variety does not break the known rules of science truth (fact), but it doesn't usually attempt to explain or detail the extrapolated future science. Hard science fiction, on the other hand, dives into the details of the extrapolated future science and provides some degree of explanation.

Soft science fiction, never means the writer or writing ignores scientific truth.

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/.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Development - Science Study, Science in Science Fiction

11 June 2012, Development - Science Study, 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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. 

I think properly studying to write historical fiction and culturally based fiction (almost the same thing) is the work of a lifetime.  The study of science is the same, if not more :-D.  You can accomplish the study of history and culture through assimilation and learning--you must study science through experiments and mathematics.  The study of science is not a passive activity--it requires interaction and output.  I read with trepidation a piece of writing titled: All I needed to write science fiction I learned from watching Star Trek.  The article was written well and had some good ideas, but I assure you, you have no hope of learning to write science fiction by watching Star Trek. In the business we call it Star Trek dreck.  Star Trek is about as far from science as Star Wars.  Star Trek was not science fiction--it was futuristic fantasy.  It was not based at all in science of any kind.  In addition, the stories were cheesy knockoffs of classic themes that had been around for years.  Many were copied in whole from other sources.  To be clear, Star Trek is not science fiction.

Now, that is not to say, I didn't enjoy Star Trek as an attempt to introduce people to science fiction.  I like Star Wars for the same reason.  They just aren't science fiction.

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/.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Development - Science Study, even more Science in Science Fiction

10 June 2012, Development - Science Study, even more 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The question on the table is, "How do we study science so we don't end up science stupid like George Lucas?"  The simple answer is--study science.  This is simpler and yet more difficult than it sounds.  Most people don't like science for some reason.  As a young person, I adored science.  I couldn't get enough of it.  I had pretty good science teachers.  Until college, I had terrible math teachers.  Math and science go together, so you need the math too.

Many people have terrible science and math teachers and it scars them for life.  Unfortunately most of the teachers in schools are not trained in science or math (even those that teach science and math).  This is a bad thing because if we want good science fiction (writers and readers) we need people who understand and like science (and math).  The question is still, "How do we study?"

If you are still in school--focus on math and science.  If you want to write, you need to gain those skills too.  As I teach young scientists, if you discover the greatest things in history, but you can't communicate them, you are a failure.

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/.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Development - Historical Study, a more Little Science in Science Fiction

9 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, a more Little 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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
4. Quatriary

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

I write historical fiction, and I like a little history with my historical fiction (actually I want a lot).  I write science fiction, and I like a little science with my science fiction (actually I want a lot).  If it doesn't include "real" history (and cultural awareness), it isn't historical fiction.  If it doesn't include science, it can't be science fiction.  Simple as that. 

Just like you must study history (and cultures) to be able to write historical fiction, you must study science to gain science knowledge sufficient to write science fiction.  If you haven't studied science, you don't have the ability to write science fiction--and I don't care how many science fiction novels or movies you've seen.  I'll tell you a truth--George Lucas wouldn't know science if it bit him on the rear end.  He made an incredible fool of himself with the Star Wars movies.  They are so close, but so far from reality it almost hurts.  George Lucas in some ways ruined science fiction by peddling science fantasy in its place.  The world is a little stupider because of Star Wars.

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/.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Development - Historical Study, a Little Science in Science Fiction

8 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, a Little 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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
4. Quatriary

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

Science fiction is often ruined by a poor cultural awareness.  The problem is that many who attempt to write science fiction have no realization of the importance of cultural awareness.  It should not be surprising that many science fiction authors are very experienced with travel and cultures.  You might wonder why some of them are not historical fiction authors. 

Of course the real differentiator in science fiction is the science--isn't it?  I will posit that although we would like to imagine that science fiction is all about the science--it really isn't at all.  Most science fiction today is completely separated from science.  The number of "hard" science fiction authors (like me) is dwindling.  Most science fiction is written without a single thought to science at all--it's all fiction and fantasy.

So what makes the science in science fiction?  I offer that true (hard) science fiction is an extrapolation of known science and technology.  The problem with many science fiction authors is they have no idea about known science.  You really can't write science fiction of any calibre without a strong understanding of science.  The how of getting a strong understanding of science is obviously through study--and I don't mean popular literature and the news.  I mean through papers, industry, and the university.  Those who understand science are those who work with science--just like those who understand culture are those who have experienced different cultures.
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/.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Development - Historical Study, more Cultural Feel in Science Fiction

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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
4. Quatriary

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/.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Development - Historical Study, Language and Cultural Feel in Science Fiction

6 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, Language and 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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
4. Quatriary

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

I'm writing about the themes I've used in my science fiction novels, and primarily, I'm writing about how they support and interact with history, language, and culture.  Ha...I bet you thought culture, history, and language had nothing to do with science fiction.  Although many writers don't get it, the cultural aspects of science fiction make it more difficult to write well than historical novels.  The reason is that an author who writes science fiction must endeavor to create a universe that doesn't exist.  That universe must feel real.  The only way to achieve this is by using real human culture and either stitching different ones together or designing one of your own.  Jack Vance is a pro at this--perhaps the best.  That's why he is also a wonderful fantasy writer as well.

I'll mention the second novel in The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, The Fox's Honor.  The theme is about honor and the universe is based in Anglo-Saxon culture.  In The Fox's Honor, the main character, Devon Rathenberg is set on achieving three goals: he wants to win the heart of Tamar Falkeep, he wants to begin an early insurrection to protect the house Imperial, and he intends to die in the process (of forcing an early insurrection, not in wooing Tamar).  The theme is honor.  The problem is that Tamar can't be won ethically in their culture, but she is willing to give up her honor to love Devon.  Devon doesn't expect Tamar to be willing to lose her own honor and to risk her life to save his.  The end of this situation is an extremely complicated problem and a promise of marriage.  The promise is one that shouldn't be kept and the problem involves the nobility.  In any case, the novel's theme is one of honor broken and honor regained.  It is much different than The End of Honor even though is it about honor and in the same universe.  How can that be?
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/.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Development - Historical Study, more Themes in Language and Cultural Feel

5 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, more Themes in 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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
4. Quatriary

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

Here I am, back to theme.  Theme is the most important consideration in any novel.  The selection of the culture, history, and language use must fit the theme.  Many times, at least in my experience, the theme is intimately matched to the history, culture, and language because it comes directly out of them.  For example, my yet unpublished novel, Dana-ana, is about an Anglo-Saxon maiden in the modern world.  That is part of the theme and the theme, culture, language, and history mutually support each other. 

You might ask, why do I write about Anglo-Saxon culture so much?  That's like asking Tolkien why he wrote about Anglo-Saxon culture so much--it was a culture he understood well. Because I understand the culture, the language, and the history, I can write about Anglo-Saxon culture.

Back to the idea of theme.  In the first novel of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, The End of Honor, honor is the theme, the Anglo-Saxon culture is the background for the the universe, the characters while acting honorably and within the context of their culture are suddenly forced to act in ways they never expected to.  Their world falls apart when patricide and dishonor suddenly attacks the Imperial family.  The end is two people living and dying for honor but having difficulty discovering if their own actions are honorable.  Thus the theme drives and is driven by the culture within the novel.  This is science fiction and there is a lot to write about science fiction. 

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/.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Development - Historical Study, Themes in Language and Cultural Feel

4 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, Themes in 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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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
4. Quatriary

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 theme is the most important consideration in a novel.  I've written before that my first consideration is to entertain and this is true, but the centerpiece of every novel is the theme.  Let's just say, you don't have a novel without a theme.  Everything within the novel must support the theme, and everything comes out of the theme.  For example, in The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, the theme is honor.  Each novel looks at a different kind of honor and delves deeply into what honor means.  Because honor is the theme, I chose an honor based culture as the basis for the universe of the novel.  I could have chosen Japanese Samurai culture or an Aryan culture, or I could have made up a culture without any basis.  I chose Anglo-Saxon because I knew the most about it, and it is not well known by most people.  Knowing about it allows you to write intelligently about it.  Not well known gives you the ability to show and makes the novel more unique.  I suspect the number of novels written with Anglo-Saxon culture as their basis is numbered in the 10s.  I don't know of many, especially in the modern era. 

The theme drove the culture and the theme drove the plot.  Everything came out of the characters, but that is the act of creating the novel.  If you remember back to how I described the creative process for Aksinya.  I made the point that the initial picture was the creative foundation for the entire novel.  I went into great detail about how the development of the characters drove practically everything.  What I didn't tell you is that the initial idea for the theme drove the creation of the characters.  The initial picture was a stop action of the theme, and every item in the picture supported the theme. 

As I said about Aksinya, the theme was temptation.  The picture at the beginning of the novel was a temptor and the tempted.  The theme of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox is honor.  The picture at the beginning of the first novel, The End of Honor, is two people of impeccable honor who are about to have their lives shaken completely apart. 

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/.