6 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 215 Extrapolating Military Technology, Food Tactical Costs
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)
Tactical costs are food, fuel, ammo, and replacements. Food is a critical commodity on the battlefield. In the ancient world, armies would ravage the nations they invaded and take everything they could eat or drink. In the Roman era, leaders realized that wasn't a great idea--it really irritated the people of the country you wished to conquer. The Romans usually paid for food materials when they could--the idea of logistics was too hard and not efficient or effective enough at the time. Until the modern era, this idea of living off the land (or people of the land) was used by most armies. The problem (or perhaps the positive) was that it resulted in a limited ability to prosecute war. The Germans learned the reality of the difficulty of prosecuting a protracted war without sufficient logistics support when they invaded the USSR during WWII. Without a sufficient logistics tail and support, it is impossible to fight a modern war against any nation. We have already looked at fuel, ammo, and replacements, but food is the most basic commodity for running an army.
An army without food may be more dangerous to the leaders and nation than to the enemy. Not only that, but people won't have the energy or ability to fight without sufficient calories. This is why most combat meals weigh in at 2000 calories. Warfare is greater physical labor than almost any other activity.
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: