28 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 209 Extrapolating Military Technology, yet 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. Problems with ordnance are many. It's just like a round in a gun. A rocket can be a squib. A bullet can fail to fire properly. A mechanism can fail. Fuses can fail. Launchers and drop systems can fail. I haven't experienced them all. I'm trained for them and so must your forces. In warfare, you see malfunctions. They don't happen very often, but they happen. They can be a plot point or a turning point, but don't have more than one--unless the plot is about failed munitions. Or a plot point could be a failed munitions, fuses, rocket motors. Don't have more than one--unless the plot point is about sabotage.
In other words, weapons can fail, but they don't often fail--unless they are sabotaged or they have some kind of defect. These are great plot points or themes for writing in science fiction or military fiction. We'll look next at what you do when you have a weapons malfunction.
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: