17 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 48 even more Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation
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 am writing about the extrapolation of science and technology to be able to write science fiction. I made the point that it is almost meaningless to try to fully extrapolate a universe (world) that is 10,000 years in the future (and maybe 1,000 years in the future) without applying some cultural and technological shaping.
By shaping the cultures of your science fiction universe, you can shape the science and technology that is extrapolated. Here is how I culturally shaped the universe of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox to make the 10,000 year extrapolation work.
When you start with a culture that is more simple, less complex, or more ancient than our modern culture, your readers will expect the universe you create to have anachronisms that don't necessarily need extrapolation--they may need interpolation. For example, if you have a tradition in your culture that requires the characters to carry a sword, you have developed an anachronism in the culture. If you further have a code duello in that culture, you have a greater anachronism. If you introduce plasma swords as a weapon that can be selected in the code duello, you have extrapolated a technology and limited within a culture.
There are many means to limit your culture and the extrapolation you require. Another example is communications. We know that there will be some type of communication device more advanced than we have today. In 10,000 years, the most likely device will be an implant in the brain. This might be too much for many readers to handle. You might use that extrapolation, but in the proper culture, they would still have hand held devices. In another more private culture, they might have no devices at all. This is the power of cultural shaping. More tomorrow.
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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: