12 August 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 12 more Theme and Plot
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.
I'm looking at science fiction and the science fiction based theme. If you are going to write science fiction, you need a science fiction based theme. I didn't repeat the definition, because I think I've made my point. I am going to expand my explanations and examples to my (as of yet) unpublished science fiction novels. This series is called The Ghost Ship Chronicles. This is a peek at the future of the universe of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox almost 2000 years later. The Empire is gone, and in its place is the Confederation of Human Space.
I'm going to look at the theme statement for the first novel in the series. These novels are a pentology (five novels) (I hate this type of series). The reason it is five novels is I started writing the first and realized halfway through that it was too long for a single novel. I broke it up into five parts. Each novel can be read separately, and I have a synopsis and introduction (my publisher might have me dump it).
Each of the novels is titled after a space ship. The first novel is Athelstan Cying. The theme statement for Athelstan Cying is this: A Family Trader ship intercepts a derelict space ship on which the spirit of an ancient leader resides; the Captian's son, a failure, is injured and the spirit tries to save him, but is trapped in the body of the Captain's son. This is a ressurection concept theme. That's for those who like single word themes. I know this is a complex sounding theme, but you can see it is very strongly science fiction based. This is also a discovery theme.
Once we have a theme statement, we can build the characters and set the novel. The setting must be the future when there are space ships. Through the theme statement we have the Captain's son and the spirit of the ancient leader (the protagonist) (this is a character related to the times of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox). We need to develop a protagonist's helper and an antagonist. I mentioned that this is a discovery novel--the spirit who is now within the Captain's son must discover the new world around him. The world of the Captain's son is already fully populated. The reader discovers it with the spirit. The main character is Den Protania. His nemisis, Natana Kern becomes the protagonist's helper. We don't discover the antagonist (the Athenian Charter) until the second novel, Twilight Lamb.
These are really fun novels. I know the theme sounds kind of complex and possibly clunky, but the execution of the plot and storyline is a very smooth and exciting adventure novel. The reader discovers the world of the Family Traders and the Confederation of Human space along with the main character. Additionally, the novel has a strong romance theme. Need I write that the plot derives directly out of the theme, and the plot drives the storyline. You can't read this novel, yet, but you can read more about it at www.AthelstanCying.com.
Remember, I;m trying to show you and give you examples of how to write a sceince fiction theme statement and turn it into a plot.
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.