22 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 53 more Technology and Themes
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.
How do authors like Jack Vance and Andre Norton use cultural shaping to extrapolate technology? Let's look at some examples. In Andre Norton's time travel book, the characters go back in time and discover an alien ship. The ship is an interplanetary vehicle with some means of going at great speeds through space. The means is unknown and unexplained. The time travelers couldn't know--they didn't invent the technology. The routes for the ship are programmed into the autopilot. This was in the time of autopilots, but not modern computers. There is no discussion of the computers or any idea about computers, the system simply is advanced and gives the ship autopilot control to other worlds. There is an assumption of a space port on a planetary surface. This is a great assumption based on modern knowledge. Is it extrapolated science? No one knows what the future space port will be like. For example, it is easy to extrapolate the future of transportation--everyone will have a flying vehicle. That means no more airports and possibly few or no sea ports. If you have matter transmission (likely an impossibility, but an extrapolation, nonetheless) there is no need for airports, seaports, bus depots, train depots, etc. The idea of a space port is an example of cultural shaping. It makes sense--right. I'll discuss 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: