27 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 236 yet more Extrapolating Nations
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.
If you want exploration and technology, you must first have a wealthy class who can absorb the technology. We saw this in the 1960s to 1980s where there was much money available and lots of research. Without money for research and a wealthy class to absorb the technology, you can't get it into the society. Now about research. When I mention research most people think of government research. This isn't the kind of research that builds new technology--not without a couple of transfers happening. The majority of research in most industrial countries comes out of industry and not the universities or government. I'd peg the ratio at 70 to 30, but it is likely closer to 80 to 20, for business research to government/university research. You also need to realize that a large proportion of university research is funded by industry. Industry and not government is the fundamental power behind technology and science development.
The point here should be obvious--if you want more technology in your science fiction universe, you need more industry and wealth (they go hand in hand). You can extrapolate the future of a nation by the industry and the wealth. There is another block in this power I put in the first paragraph--exploration.
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: