15 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 196 Extrapolating Military Technology, Tactical 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)
When we discuss warfare and cost (economics), most people think about strategic costs--what it takes a nation to build to support an army. In reality, you might have the most technological superior weapons (the Germans in WWII did) and still lose. Tactical economics have a greater role to play in the costs of warfare. Generally, in warfare, a force requires fuel, ammunition, food, and replacements (human and equipment). If any of these are missing, the battle will not go well.
Most of these are pre-battle requirements. For example, before I begin to fight, I will need sufficient fuel, ammo, food, and replacements. Each of these will be provided by the logistics system prior to the battle in question. If I am missing or in sufficient lack of any of these, a good commander might postpone the battle. On the other hand, all of these might be in supply, but not able to get into the battlefield. A logistics system's purpose is to get these critical supplies to the proper place. The Germans in WWII had a fantastic logistic system. There problem was insufficient supplies (especially at the end). The Russians had very sufficient supplies (at the end of the war), but a poor logistics system. Their troops existed on German supplies, fuel, weapons, and ammo.
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: