27 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 208 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Ammo Handling Operations 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. A great plot device for tactical operations are those with live ordnance and malfunctions. You can have both regular aircraft (or vehicle) malfunctions or ordnance malfunctions. I've had both. Whenever you bring back live stuff that hasn't been expended, you have a problem. The Navy usually dumps unused live ordnance. This can be done safely because of the fusing on the weapons.
Weapons don't go boom unless they are armed. In an aircraft, the pilot controls the fusing of the weapon through preflight settings and through the employment software (or hardware). In the good old days, the pilot would simply select the fusing (nose, tail, or none). This allowed many tactical options including dropping the bomb in a state where it would not explode--or shouldn't.
I've have a few weapon malfunctions on regular aircraft and some on test aircraft. The most memorable in a fully tested aircraft was when the rockets came about halfway out on the ground prior to takeoff. They hadn't been locked properly in the launcher. From then on, I check the seating of the rockets. Sometimes it is hard to tell. Other than that, I've had a flight control malfunction on the ground prior to takeoff with rockets. I've also had a hydraulic leak--that was fun--with rockets on board. Lots can go wrong with weapons.
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: