22 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 231 Extrapolating Military Technology, example 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. Generally, national exceptionalism 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. 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.
Here is why. First, Star Trek does not have a chaplain. There are no religious people on the Enterprise. This should seem odd to even science fiction fans since 80%+ of the population of the USA and the USSR believe in God. Almost 99% believe in some higher power. Star Trek humans have expanded beyond God. So what motivates them to ethical or moral behavior--nothing it seems. There is no equality of opportunity in Star Trek. We thought there was--that Captain Kirk earned his position like most of us do. We discovered in the last two movies, that he was predestined to be captain. IN the Star Trek world, you are either predestined or you are cannon fodder. Equality of position doesn't mean everyone has the same position but that people are seen as equal to one another. If the ensigns aboard the Enterprise can't aspire to the position of captain, there is no equality. I'm surprised the Klingons don't beat the Enterprise every time they meet because Klingons seem to have more purpose and national exceptionalism than the humans on the Enterprise.
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: