1 August 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 1 Introduction
Announcement: My novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness are about to be published. I write this blog about 2 months prior to its publication. I just heard that the proofs will be here soon--likely before the end of the week. My publisher also wants to put the entire set of novels based on Aegypt on contract--that's 5 more novels for 8 total. They also want to put my other novels on contract. The release schedule should be one novel every 2 months. I'll keep you updated.
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.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when 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.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
If you haven't been paying
attention, I've spent almost a month developing these rules for you. Since I am
a scientist and an engineer by trade, I have built up my understanding of
writing like the engineering community solves problems. First you bound the
problem, then you solve it. As long as you can properly bound the problem, you
can usually solve it. The same is true of writing and this is especially true
in writing science fiction. Perhaps the first bounding question should be just
what is science fiction? Let me give my own answer. Science fiction is
writing that presumes and interacts with a future. Writing, broadly
focuses on three general periods of interest: writing that interacts with the
past (historical fiction), writing that interacts with the present (fiction),
writing that interacts with the future (science fiction). There you have past,
present, and future. Really simple, right? The complexity becomes developing
the worlds that you will immerse your readers within. In every case of each
period of interest, the overall point must be to immerse the reader into the
world of your writing--rule number five. I wrote at length about developing
this world in historical fiction. In engineering terms what we were talking
about there is interpolation. We were taking data from the past and
interpolating, that is building the world from the data we had. Interpolation
is relatively easy and it is really very accurate. The world a writer of
historical fiction can build is easy to get right as long as the writer's data
is good and plentiful. In looking at the future, you can't interpolate, you
must extrapolate. Extrapolation means to take your data points outside the
maximum bounds of your equations or data. It means to move beyond current
knowledge. Notice, I didn't say you toss out current knowledge--that's fantasy,
and I'm not writing about fantasy here. In science fiction, we move beyond the
knowledge we have now. We extrapolate beyond our solution sets and equations,
but we can never lose our grounding within those bounds. If we do, we aren't
writing science fiction, but rather fantasy. There is more to come. Tomorrow,
I'll expand on this idea of extrapolation and begin to explain how you do it.
For more information, you can visit my author site www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com, www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.