22 October 2019, Writing – part x934, Writing a Novel, Space Tactics
Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment. I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher. More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com. Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.
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 withhttp://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:
- Don’t confuse your readers.
- Entertain your readers.
- Ground your readers in the writing.
- Don’t show (or tell) everything.
4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.
- Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:
- Design the initial scene
- Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
- Research as required
- Develop the initial setting
- Develop the characters
- Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
- Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
- Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
- Write the climax scene
- Write the falling action scene(s)
- Write the dénouement scene
I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective. The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.
Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.
The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30thnovel, working title Red Sonja. I finished my 29th novel, working titleDetective. I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.
How to begin a novel. Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea. I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement. Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement. Here is an initial cut.
For novel 30: Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.
For novel 31: Deirdre and Sorcha are redirected to French finishing school where they discover difficult mysteries, people, and events.
Here is the scene development outline:
- Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
- Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
- Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
- Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
- Write the release
- Write the kicker
Today: Why don’t we go back to the basics and just writing a novel? I can tell you what I do, and show you how I go about putting a novel together. We can start with developing an idea then move into the details of the writing.
To start a novel, I picture an initial scene. I may start from a protagonist or just launch into mental development of an initial scene. I get the idea for an initial scene from all kinds of sources. To help get the creative juices flowing, let’s look at the initial scene.
- Meeting between the protagonist and the antagonist or the protagonist’s helper
- Action point in the plot
- Buildup to an exciting scene
- Indirect introduction of the protagonist
The protagonist is the novel and the initial scene. If you look at the four basic types of initial scenes, you see the reflection of the protagonist in each one. If you noticed my examples yesterday, I expressed the scene idea, but none were completely independent of the protagonist. Indeed, in most cases, I get an idea with a protagonist. The protagonist is incomplete, but a sketch to begin with. You can start with a protagonist, but in my opinion, as we see above, the protagonist is never completely independent from the initial scene. As the ideas above imply, we can start with the characters, specifically the protagonist, antagonist or protagonist’s helper, and develop an initial scene.
Let’s look at a subject that is really ignored in the modern era. I’m not certain how much this can help your current writing. I would argue that theoretically, this subject can really help those who write historical and futuristic fiction. It depends on how your write your historical and futuristic fiction. There are two ways to write historical fiction—let’s look at this.
The first and most common way to write historical fiction is to write a novel that projects modern ideas and history as historical ideas and history. In other words to present modern ideas and historical ideas as the same. I think this is perhaps the most egregious and perverse means of presenting a false view of history. The author is either completely ignorant of the past, is intentionally attempting to education people in a false view of history, or both. The real historical world is very different both culturally and socially from our current world. The true author attempts to convey this in historical writing.
The second and less common means of historical writing is to actually incorporate the past into a novel to convey the actual way people thought and acted in the past. This approach actually goes back into time to give a complete view of the way the people thought and acted. To this end, let’s look at how the world changed and how people thought in the past. This is more of a historical look at the world for the purpose of understanding how the world worked in the past and how people thought and acted. We’ll use historical information to see what concerned affected their lives. Here is a list of potential issues. We’ll look at them in detail:
- Social construction
- Common knowledge
- Common sense
- Reflected culture
- Reflected history
- Reflected society
- Weapons and warfare
Transportation means have changed significantly over time.
Obviously, or perhaps not so obviously, warfare is all about fire and maneuver. This was true from the very beginning of infantry with sticks to cavalry to tanks to whatever the future might bring. Fire and maneuver is all about speed, transportation, and fire power.
In space, the less the better. Space is dangerous and combat in space is dangerous. There is no place to hide, distances are huge, speeds and forces are horrendous, fuel is limited, supplies are limited, and a mistake of minutes of degrees can be uncorrectable. All of these play in tactics and strategy in space.
When I write, the less the better, I mean exposure. Therefore, drones or uninhabited vehicles might be the desired and best weapons. Humans in spacecraft are vulnerable for many reasons. It isn’t much difference from high altitude warfare, but at high altitude, the only place to go is down. In space, there is just more space, unless you get caught in a gravity well and burn up, or worse.
In space tactics, you can expect crews and ships to prepare by depressurizing, using satellites, and drones, and keeping their distance. I suspect the use of high forces except for acceleration and deceleration, will be unusual. What I mean is you will not see dog fights or fancy turns, banking, or movements like you see in Star Bores or other fake science movies. In space, you never need to bank like you do in the atmosphere. If someone is behind you, you simply rotate around and shoot them in the face. There is no place to hide. Without gravity compensation, a ship could never make a quick change of direction—they would remain in the attack area of the other ship.
In addition, movement at the speeds that can be generated in space, would make interception and tracking difficult. For example, a ship moving at a similar velocity would be able to launch an attack against another ship, but one ship is moving at velocities much greater than the other means the weapons could never catch the other ship. Speed will be king because a ship at a much higher velocity, could easily launch a weapon that as long as it can intercept the enemy, would result in devastating destruction. The problem is tracking and directing. For example, minutes of degrees and tiny variances in course might cause a weapon to miss the target by miles. Further, a very fast moving ship or weapon would have great difficulties changing its course especially in end game.
I expect that with technology and science, the future might solve some of these problems or reduce them, but they exist. All of this gives the perceptive and creative author the opportunity to develop technology and methods to build excitement and entertainment into a scene of space warfare. There is more to this.
In general, in my novels, I don’t ignore the issues I mentioned, I just use a broader view. As an author, you can focus on many different aspects. As I noted, you could focus on the speeds. You could assume, as I did that the problem of speeds was solved by gravity control and other methods. You must always include the difficulties and dangers of space. You must always figure out the means to counter and work with weightlessness, lack of atmosphere, vector maneuvering and movement, and weapons. As an author, these things are what you must determine and figure out.
What about space transportation?
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