24 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 205 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Ammo 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 might imagine the safety process that the production of ammo must go through. That in itself is worth contemplating. The real point where the military and most units get involved is transportation and packaging. The packaging must be exact or the weaponeers and logisticians will reject it. An improperly packaged weapon is more than dangerous--it is deadly. An improperly made round is likewise dangerous.
The rounds are packaged and marked very specifically. The rounds (and bombs) themselves are marked. In the US military, if a round has a green stripe, it is a live operational round (or bomb). A practice or non-live round has a blue stripe around it. This is true of all operational rounds, bombs, missiles, and rockets. The reason for a blue stripe is to tell fire fighters and rescuers whether to fight the fire or rescue the crew. If there is a blue stripe, rescue forces know the round is safe and will rescue the crew and fight the fire. If the round is green, they evacuate and wait for the rounds to cook off--or on ship board, they push the aircraft into the drink.
The markings and packaging of the rounds is critical to the way they are treated and the safety of the crew.
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: