2 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 183 Extrapolating Military Technology, even more on the Simulation
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)
As you extrapolate military technology, you need to keep in mind the way military simulation is going. I know that most writers want to launch directly into combat, but over 90% of military operations is in training. This is true during war time. Anyone who has been in the military knows this, but most people today and many writers haven't taken the time to experience the military, so they have no clue how it works.
Yes, I am saying that if you haven't been in the military, you really shouldn't attempt to write about military subjects--that is, unless you've really studied the military and interviewed people from the military. You might get some scope about how the military works through dedicated study, but if you think you are going to learn about the military by watching Star Trek or Star Wars--it ain't happening.
If you read my Honor novels (The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox), you can get some perspective about how the military operates. I didn't include much of the training in those novels either--I skipped directly into the battles. In your writing there are good reasons for this. If you look at a great novel about military training Starship Troopers you will see how military training is accomplished. Unfortunately, Heinlein didn't extrapolate to simulation. What we will expect to see in most military training is moving into simulation mod during each training mission where real weapons will not be fired. We are talking about combat operations, but rather training operations. I suspect all branches of the service will be using these simulation training modes in all of their equipment. The reason is that modern equipment has become so integrated and complex that these simulation and training modes are necessary.
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: