4 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 185 Extrapolating Military Technology, Environments
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)
Environments means where you can expect to fight drives the equipment you will need. Let's look first at individuals in an environment and move to vehicles in an environment.
We begin with uniforms. Uniforms were specific clothing for the purpose of identifying fighting forces. Uniforms began as purely utilitarian--think knights and moved to identification. They have come back to utilitarian. So, the army field uniform became camouflaged and other pieces were added. The basic uniform was for camouflage, but also the US Army field uniforms had some ability in the fabric to mask IR. Let's start with that. The ability to mask visual and to some small degree IR. Air Force uniforms were mainly protective coverall for fire and ejection (flight suits). They also had some small visual camo capability.
Obviously, in both uniforms and in most uniforms, we see the concept of environments play out. In other words, a uniform for cold weather and for hot weather. A uniform for a desert environment and one for a wooded environment. Each environment requires the proper uniform. The Germans in WWII discovered that problems with not providing a proper uniform for the environment. The result was their defeat and death of thousands of their troops. As I mentioned, the uniform is the basic part of the wear, the other pieces are important as well.
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: