21 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 230 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Extrapolated 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 ultimate question of extrapolated morale is what is a person willing to die for. What will a soldier risk his life for. It is much too flip to state God and country. It entirely depends on the God and the country. This has been a problem for cultures and societies for a long time. The Soviet Union had problems getting their forces to fight anywhere outside their borders. I am convinced that this simple truth prevented them from overrunning Europe during the cold war. They knew their forces would not fight. They had realized in World War II that taking God out of their schools and people had invited almost complete moral and ethical dysfunction. The people of the USSR would fight for their own lands (not any other's lands) and they would fight for their God, but the Soviet was not their god or their country.
Any culture that self-reliant without being inner-reliant has much to fear from its lack of ability to fight. The nationalistic exceptionalism of the USA only works if the military believes in it's nation as an exceptional power. That exceptionalism in the USA comes directly from the concepts of divine providence, work superiority, moral superiority, fairness, equality of purpose, equality of position, equality under the law, equality of opportunity. The elimination of these factors in a society will ruin the ability of the society to fight and defend itself. Either the society must find a replacement for these concepts, or it must recognize it is destined to fall. In your science fiction writing, a society without the concept of national exceptionalism will not be the one that is winning. For example, the Star Ship Enterprise could never muster the moral energy or morale to defeat anyone. It breaks all the basic rules of national exceptionalism.
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: