24 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 233 Extrapolating Cultures
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.
Through looking at extrapolating military morale, we can see that future military events and capabilities relate directly to a nation's culture and society. You might venture that military power and technology relate directly to a nation's culture and society. A culture that has no interest in protecting itself or is a client state (for one reason or another) will not have a very powerful or capable military. Their technology will lag other, more powerful nations. Their military's morale will make success difficult. Examples of such nations today can be found in Europe. The EU spends almost nothing on their militaries. Their forces are less than hollow. They have few troops and less technology. They are practically client states of the more powerful nations that are their allies. Most specifically the USA and Israel.
Did you ever wonder why no one ever writes about the Danish Space Ship Enterprise or the German Space Ship Enterprise. The assumption in Star Trek is that the Enterprise is a space ship of the line from the good old USA. The Danes and the Germans barely have a military. They have almost no space program. They are barely a blip on the future of the planet or future of the universe track. Their cultures and societies have become so introverted and progressive politically that they can't defend themselves from attack, and they have little wealth or technology development. The wealth and technology they have is protected by other nations. This is true, not just about the Danes and the Germans, but about almost every nation in the EU. Is this bad? Well, it is if you expect to extrapolate a future for humanity and technology from it. Take your choice, today the US, China, and Russia are about your only choices for technology development and some future in space. And there are problems with each of these three.
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: