1 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 210 Extrapolating Military Technology, Emergency 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. What do you do when you have a weapons malfunction? First, you have a checklist. In all complex systems, you have checklists for every known malfunction, and you have training and generic operations for malfunctions that are not known. Personally, I have seen few malfunctions that were not covered by a checklist of some kind. Even in flight test, I've known what to do when I had a problem.
A simple reading of weapons emergency checklists will show you that they cover most every problem. So, there is little scope for emergencies that are not known or predicted. Most problems are not unknown, but rather set in situations that are difficult if not impossible to solve.
In one of my unpublished novels, I have a situation of an engine failure under dire circumstances that killed crew members of a ship. The engine failure wasn't the unpredicted problem--it was the environment (a box canyon etc.) that was the problem.
In weapons malfunctions, the problem is usually the circumstances and not the malfunction itself. For example, a problem with fusing isn't a problem unless the weapon hangs or the weapon is dropped too low etc.
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: