19 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 228 Extrapolating Military Technology, Controlled 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 problem of Soviet morale became apparent very quickly when Soviet troops were engaged outside their country. In fact, Soviet troops had problems with morale when they were used anywhere in the USSR when they were outside their homelands. The reasons where wholly cultural and social. There wasn't a problem with the Russian (or pick whatever nationality in the Soviet army). The problem was that the Soviet system undercut all the major cultural values of the Soviet citizen and didn't replace it with anything substantial. For example, most Soviet citizens were Orthodox Christians. The Soviet did not encourage or teach a belief in any god. The Soviet attacked religion as irrational and unSoviet. This is just one example of many. You can't undercut cultural ideals through your education system and expect your military forces to not be negatively affected. The Soviets did more to undercut their own forces capabilities through their ideology than through any other means.
That gets to the government run education system of the USA. The same type of transformation is occurring in the government controlled US education system. The same anti-God, progressive, anti-ethics, anti-morality, humanistic ideas are being beaten into children. These ideas are directly opposed to those of their parents or are directly opposed to those of the culture and society. There is some hope by educators that the values taught in the government educational system will become the culture--and as the Soviet model shows, to a degree they can and will--the problem is that those values cannot sustain a fighting force or a nation. The Soviet state had a great fall. It collapsed economically, socially, culturally, and politically. It has not fully recovered, but we don't get as much information about its cultural influences as we used to. It could be growing back to a nation with viability. Now, to the extrapolation of morale.
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: