30 October 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 91 Probability Entertainment
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.
It isn't that the world is based in probability that makes gaming so interesting, but rather that because the world is based in probability that game that are also based in probability are more entertaining. Chess vs. football for example. People don't understand the probabilistic nature of the world very well at all. There really isn't any such thing as luck--there is greater or lessor probability. For example, if you study like crazy, there is no guarantee that you will get a top grade. You might study the wrong material or not the right things. You might forget key information or misread the questions. Studying doesn't mean you will get a high grade, but the more you study and the better you study, the higher the probability that you will get a good grade. In role playing games, this is simulated by the dreaded die-roll. The game master might give you 10% per hour you study. If you study for 10 hours, he would still not let you get 100% without some risk. A proper die roll would be two fifty sided die added together with a modifier or some variant of that kind of roll. The reason for two dice rolled together and added together is to produce a bell curve. Everything in real life is based on a bell curve--everything. In many role playing games three six sided dice are used--these give a great bell curve. In the real world, your grade is based on a bell curve--you are a single point on the curve, but the more you study, the smarter you are, the better prepared you are, the better the chance you are at the good end of the curve. Just like a well prepared test will give results on a bell curve, your result will be somewhere on that curve. This is true about everything in the world. Everything is on a bell curve.
The real world is based in probability--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: