21 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 202 Extrapolating Military Technology, yet 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. You can imagine the extrapolation of replacements and parts the future. Every vehicle and weapon system will require so type of recovery capability and repair. There will need to be a way to bring new vehicles, parts, repair capability, and new troops to the front.
Imagine your battlefield. You will need to get the replacements to the area and then tactically deploy them. In the case of space or a planet, you will need a spaceship to take the replacements to a space port and then some way to get them from orbit to a planetary space port. From the port, you will need to move them to the back lines and finally to the front. Each of these require a transition, a method, and a movement. I mention this because I like to use these transitions to forward ideas in the novel.
Moving your troops to the front line doesn't have to be a single paragraph and shouldn't be a single sentence. This is a writing technique, but a very worthwhile one. The major events in the life of a soldier are usually not training, battles, and glory. The major events in the life of a soldier is the travel to the battlefield, the movement in the battlefield, and the movement in response to the battle. Yeah, the battle is pretty important, but if you read most autobiographies of soldiers, you will find they focus on the movement part and not just the battle. The battles are usually a small part of the whole. Getting there is half the journey and an important part of an author's tools.
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: