20 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 201 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Replacement 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)
Tactical costs are food, fuel, ammo, and replacements. Most novels focus on the battlefield and offensive or defensive operations. That is usually less than 50% of a fighting force. Although all the troops are trained to fight, there is always a large logistics component whose job is to deliver food, fuel, ammo, and replacements. Many times they are the human replacements--most of the time, in the modern military, their jobs and training make them more important than the fighters.
That's the way with many military jobs. The recovery forces are always better trained than the fighters in an armored unit. Recovery forces have specialty tanks that allow them to tow and move other tanks. Usually, a recovery company or platoon has special tanks that can tow other tanks as well as tanks that can protect themselves and their replacement resources.
A recovery group usually has spare parts and tools that allow them to work on tanks and other armored vehicles. There commander is almost always trained in the tanks and vehicle repair and overhaul. Recovery forces are a critical part of battlefield operations. The reason for this is that most tank "kills" are mobility kills and the tank can be brought back into the field with minimal effort. These groups might be a good topic for a novel.
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: