7 November 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 99 more Markets and Technology
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.
Technology is shaped by more than science. I hope this is very clear. Most likely humanity will get to the place of higher technology, but it won't happen unless there is wealth and a market to drive it. Also, without entertainment to drive the technological market, you can expect very little technological change and almost zero for individuals. There are also other powerful technological drivers--perhaps the most powerful next to entertainment is exploration. I'll explore this more, but I'd like to look at societies that made great strides in science, but almost zero in technology.
Ancient China was likely the greatest inventor of new science, almost none of which became technology--none of it was assimilated into the populace and it was not used. Why would this be? Ancient China, like China today is a country characterized by poverty. Poverty does not drive markets in technology or entertainment. So, the invention of moving type does nothing in a culture where people can't read and will not read for over 4000 more years. Gun powder, more than any other scientific breakthrough should have fueled a revolution in Chinese technology, but alas, when there are plenty of peasants for cannon, that is spear-fodder, there is no need to refine gunpowder as a weapon. The entrenched upper-class of Chinese and the poverty of ancient China prevented any market from developing--thus all the science in the world would not have produced a drop of technology. This problem still exists in many of these Asian countries today. It is becoming a problem in Europe too--there are markets, but socialism is destroying the wealthy which prevents the absorption of new technology--why worry, the Americans will develop it anyway. Such is the death knell of cultures that have nothing more to add to the world. Oh, remember that entertainment stuff the French just hate to have overwhelm their culture? Wonder why nothing new has come out of France in a long time.
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: