24 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 55 yet even 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.
There are not many hard science fiction authors who do technological extrapolation well. Part of the problem has to do with imagination and reality. What you can imagine, you can design--that's the ultimate problem with trying to extrapolate technology. Certain technologies are obvious: fusion, space travel, hypersonic travel, military weapons, medical advances, etc. On the other hand, what you can't imagine, you can't write about. Who could imagine the iPhone or the iPad. Both have revolutionized communication and media. I imagined and proposed the first electronic book in 1984. It wasn't a reality until much later. It is becoming the standard.
In 1984, no one could imagine the possibility of a magazine sized device that displayed magazines, books, and newspapers. The possibility didn't exist. With this technology comes other technologies. In my Ghost Ship Chronicles, I proposed screensheets. Screensheets are paper thin devices that allow students to write, draw, and present their own artwork. These play the role of paper and computers in a school today. I think we will have screensheets in less than 10 years. Who knows. I also have another type of more permanent display that is similar. I know, that in less than 20 years we will have "screensheets" that are calling cards. You won't use paper, you will write on something similar electronically. You will draw pictures on this type of device. The world is changing--can you predict it. 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: