13 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 194 Extrapolating Military Technology, Costs
Announcement: There is action on my new novels. The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name. I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions. They are also working on a single theme for the covers. 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.
The major areas in warfare technology are:
8. Environments (personal equipment)
Cost drives everything. What astounds me is how little many people understand this. There is a cost for every piece of technology, and a cost for every invention. There are human costs in warfare, and human costs in no warfare. There are costs for peace and costs for no peace. There are costs for equipment and costs for weapons and costs for ammunition. Armies, nations, individuals are driven by these costs.
Any decision has a cost. In a suspense novel, there is always a cost to murder. There is the loss of a human life, but there is also the force driving the murderer. Murderers are almost always driven by a great force, because they usually kill the ones they know. You don't kill your friends or your relations without a huge human cost. Those who kill strangers for no reason are not really human. They are simply animals that look human. Humans realize the cost of life. That is why they sacrifice (literally) to eat meat in the ancient world. It is why humans respect their prey. It is why almost every human code of law restricts murder in every way.
Costs from a military perspective are usually less emotion driven than those from a personal basis.
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: