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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 28 Driven Plot

28 August 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 28 Driven 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

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 and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

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.

The theme drives the setting which drives the culture and the characters.  The characters drive the plot which drives the theme.  This is intentionally recursive.  A science fiction theme drives a science fiction setting which drives a science fiction culture and makes the characters science fiction characters.  Those science fiction characters drive a science fiction plot which drives the science fiction theme. 

I already discussed what makes a theme and a setting a science fiction one.  Each and every part of a piece of science fiction drives the science fiction.  Now, this whole sequence should make you think: just as I can have a historical novel that is simply a modern novel in a historical setting, is it possible to have a science fiction novel that is just a modern novel in a science fiction setting.  The answer is a resounding--yes. 

Bad science fiction can get much worse than that.  For example, I started this whole discussion with some warnings about recreating bad science fiction.  I mentioned Star Trek and Star Wars.  These are pretty bad science fiction, but pretty good science fantasy.  They really do miss the point of science fiction--the science.  In a similar manner, there is a lot of soft science fiction out there.  Soft science fiction is a code word for science fiction without the science.  In other words, written by those who don't have a clue about science.

Also remember, I'm trying to show you and give you examples of how to write a science fiction theme statement and turn it into a plot.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:,,,,,

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