6 August 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 6 Don't
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.
One of the biggest problems for writers today is the glorification of the end of the world theme. I don't think you can go to the movie theater today and not see more than half of the movies are about the end of the world in some way. They are either about the end of the world or the end of the world as we know it. Really, there is only so much you can do with this theme. It isn't endless. It is really stupid. And, I don't think it is really very timeless. I mean, you can only take so many "On the Beach"s or "Level 7"s and you don't want to read another one. If you don't recognize the titles, look them up. They were well don't, in their time, and great science fiction. They make most, end of the world novels and themes today pale by comparison. I still don't like it as a theme.
People want themes about people. Things and events are lifeless themes. I recommend you build your themes around people not events or things. Human problems and solutions are the power of literature--not the end of the world.
The opposite theme does have some legs. We see the resurrect the world theme in "The Hunger Games" and in Ben Bova's classic "THX 1138" or whatever the number was. You can build something with a theme where the "new" world is ripe for the picking or where the characters are trying to change the world. Still, "world" themes are trite and dumb. I go for human themes. I've said that before. You can be grandiose and operatically science fiction without "world" themes.
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.