17 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 226 Extrapolating Military Technology, still more Morale
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)
10. Morale (discipline)
The Roman Legions absorbed the new religion (Christianity) and they lost heart for defending their culture and society. Held to the standard of Christianity, their culture and society were not moral or ethical and their people were not independent or self-reliant. The cultural collapse caused by the changes in the culture when mixed with the ethics of Christianity destroyed the morale of the Roman soldier. This was both individual and corporate.
The Greeks had a similar problem. The military forces of the three Greek empires (Mycian, Selucid, and Egyptian) where fueled with the power (morale) of Hellanization. The world was Hellanized because the Greek gods and cultures had prevailed over the world. The Greeks, however, were more interested in self protection and philosophy--those are difficult cultural and social concepts to defend well. They had not worked well for morale building in the past and they weren't very good even in a Hellanized world. The ascendant Romans tore into the contemplative Greeks and handed them their heads. The Mycians fell, followed shortly by the Egyptians, and most of the Selucid Empire was carved out, but not totally defeated by the Romans. In any case, the Greek forces couldn't maintain their morale in the face of the Romans.
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: