Writing—So You Want to be a Writer, Science Fiction

17 August 2018, this blog is about writing in scenes.  I’m focusing on the tools to build scenes.  I’ll leave up the parts of a novel because I think this is an important picture for any novelist.  I’m writing about how to begin and write a novel.

  1. The initial scene
  2. The rising action scenes
  3. The climax scene
  4. The falling action scene(s)
  5. The dénouement scene(s)

 

Announcement:   I need a new publisher.  Ancient Light has been delayed due to the economy, and it may not be published.  Ancient Light includes Aegypt, Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  If you are interested in historical/suspense literature, please give my novels a try.  You can read about them at http://www.ancientlight.com.  I’ll keep you updated.

Today’s Blog: The skill of using language comes from the ability to put together figures of speech that act as symbols in writing.

Short digression:  back in the USA.

Here are my rules of writing:

  1. Entertain your readers.
  2. Don’t confuse your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.

4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

 

Creativity is the extrapolation of older ideas to form new ones or to present old ideas in a new form.  It is a reflection of something new created with ties to the history, science, and logic (the intellect).  Creativity requires consuming, thinking, and producing.

Scene development:

Here is the beginning of the scene development method from the outline:

 

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. Write the kicker

 

First step of writing—enjoy writing.  Writing is a chore—especially if you don’t know what you are doing, and you don’t know where you are going.  Let me help you with that.

 

How do we gain the skills to write well?  Let’s begin with reading.  Reading allows us to understand the following:

 

  1. What a novel is.
  2. How a novel is constructed.
  3. How a novel is entertaining.
  4. How a novel is written.
  5. How novels have evolved.
  6. Different genre in novels.

 

Here is a list of genres that are reflective of the current market for modern novels:

 

  1. Romance
  2. Action Adventure
  3. Science Fiction
  4. Fantasy
  5. Speculative Fiction
  6. Suspense/Thriller
  7. Young Adult
  8. New Adult
  9. Horror/Paranormal/Ghost
  10. Mystery/Crime
  11. Police Procedurals
  12. Historical
  13. Westerns
  14. Family Saga
  15. Women’s Fiction
  16. Magic Realism
  17. Literary Fiction

 

Perhaps the best way to approach this is to define each of these and discuss them.  I found the definitions and the list at https://writerswrite.co.za/the-17-most-popular-genres-in-fiction-and-why-they-matter/.

 

Here is a definition for the Science Fiction genre:

 

Science Fiction. This genre incorporates any story set in the future, the past, or other dimensions. The story features scientific ideas and advanced technological concepts. Writers must be prepared to spend time building new worlds. The setting should define the plot. There are many science fiction sub-genres.

 

I like this definition because it incorporates the major points of science fiction: science, setting, and the world (or universe).  The science fiction author must usually design the science, the setting and the universe of the novel.  This is what makes science fiction science fiction.  This is also why any science fiction author must be conversant in science and an expert in logic.

 

Logic is how you project science, but you certainly can’t do that unless you know science.  Likewise, to develop a universe for your science fiction, you must be able to design a logical setting steeped in science.  Perhaps the best example of this is Jack Vance.  I recommend reading his novels for a strong understanding of building a logical setting and universe.  Vance handles the science using a good system of logical projection, but carefully ignore the finer points of it.  This is what we call soft science fiction.  In hard science fiction, the author provides some logical science based reasoning for the science of the novel.  I do this with my novels.

 

Either method is an acceptable way to handle science fiction.  In any case, many of the hard science fiction authors of the golden age were completely off on their science facts and predictions.  Only John Brunner really came close to predicting the future of science.  You can look back in these blogs and in my other long form blogs for more on predicting science for your science fiction novels.  As I noted, since I am a scientist, I like to explain the science in my fiction, but this can be handled more ambiguously.  I mentioned Jack Vance, but also Andrea Norton and many other authors use this technique.    

 

I’ll write more tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com

www.aegyptnovel.com

http://www.sisteroflight.com

http://www.sisterofdarkness.com

www.centurionnovel.com

www.thesecondmission.com

www.theendofhonor.com

www.thefoxshonor.com

www.aseasonofhonor.com

fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic

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About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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