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Friday, October 18, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 79 and yet more FTL (Faster than Light)

18 October 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 79 and yet more FTL (Faster than Light)

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.

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.

Remember, there is a limit (as far as we know) at the speed of light. If you don't understand this and e=mc^2, you definitely need to do some studying.  Don't even begin to write science fiction about FTL if you don't understand why we need to talk about FTL at all. 

In The Ghost Ship Chronicles I go into detail about the FTL drives and the operations of the systems.  In The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, it is extremely dangerous to move a ship in Null space near a gravity well--based on the theory of the FTL systems I develop.  The characters of Dragon and Fox use this risk to bring their ships more quickly into battle and turn the tide against the Imperial forces.  In Ghost Ship the method of FTL is shutter drives that bring the ship in and out of null space every minute or so.  In Ghost Ship, the limit is that the astrogator has to set up the initial entry into null and the exit from null space.  This works great for technological and cultural shaping.  In other words, I technologically shaped the FTL systems to match the theme and plot of the novels.  Culturally, the operations for space have created a process or education for astrogation.  In Ghost Ship, I show you that whole education system.  The Ghost Ship novels are really fun to read--I like discovery novels where people discover their full capabilities in the novel.

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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