Tag Archives: Science

SciFi vs Science Fiction

Here is a video that perfectly describes the differences between science fiction and scifi, or at least how people in the fields view the other. It made me laugh. I found it here, at SF Signal. This the foundation for the ‘hard’ vs ‘soft’ argument that every science fiction writer stares at. Science fiction so real it is a physics dissertation or science fiction so fun it ignores all the laws of nature.

*Note: The video has gang signs and robot dancing… seriously.

 

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Cardboard Warfare and Post Editing

Here is a sweet video with cardboard guns, blood, and some cgi shenanigans.

 

So I finished my novella today. Debating if I should just send it in to the next quarter of Writers of the Future or send it to Asimov or Analog. Getting a paycheck for my story would be nice, it would also help with some rather vicious school loans, although if my last entry doesn’t win then maybe this story will? Yes, that is a bit of a stretch and a dream but a playa has a right to dream. Which happens that I do and it involves beaches and being paid full-time to write.

 

So for the next week I will be meticulously and methodically breaking down my story into its components, checking the flow, voice, science, depth, and description to ensure maximum efficiency. Editing is probably my least favorite part of the entire writing process, but it is as important as writing. Taking away excess fat from your story, or killing your darling, can turn a paragraph of mediocre dialog into a one sentence solid gold bomb. With the exorbitant amount of research material I have purchased over the weekend this should actually move quickly. The goal is to have the story completely polished by next weekend. From there I will decide where to send it and then I will ultimately return to my novel, which should have been refined and polished months and months ago. Where does all the time go? Probably where are all the lonely people do.

In editing I get to see all the grammatical errors and awkward sentences I produce like a drunk rabbit in a whore house. I am aware my grammar is horrid, I think and have been told that it is my biggest weakness in terms of writing. I like to think that isn’t terrible because there is always revision, but who knows, maybe I just don’t get it.

 

Anyway, my question to you is, what is your biggest weakness that needs lots of tidying during revision?

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A Contest!

Who wants to try something different? Lets have a contest. Located below are three pictures. Your job is to construct a paragraph that is the summary description of a novel around the three pictures below. I haven’t decided what the prize will be. I’ll work on that, till then get cracking! You have till next Sunday, 5/21/11.

HINT: It has to make me laugh.

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Plausible science in science fiction

Some of the questions I find myself asking as I revise my scifi book is how plausible does the science need to be? Is using the classic  ‘hand wave’ technique overplayed and outdated? Given the amount of information the internets contains it isn’t overly difficult for a reader to research the science in a science fiction book. Coupled with the fact that people are generally more knowledgeable about science then people were years ago, I am left wondering what direction I should go. If I make my science really hard then I fear the story will be a thesis dissertation carrying an empty bucket of a story. On the other hand I don’t want to consign myself to using unexplained ‘magical’ science. I want the science to be a net tightening and strengthening the universe and story I have created.

Maybe I am just too green and lack the experience to write and see the ‘suspension of disbelief’ needed to accomplish what I want or maybe this is something that a lot of scifi writers struggle with. I recently read an article talking about this subject. The authors on the panel seemed to have the same line of thought, it is relative to the reader, I particularly enjoyed Peter Watt’s opinion on the subject. This makes sense as everybody is different and everyone has different experiences in life. Knowing how impossible it is to create something that appeases everyone, the question falls back to me and what I would be happy with and hopefully my targeted audience.

For now I think I am going to dial down the science as I do feel it is taking away from the story. This might involve another pass of revision but I won’t be happy until I feel the science is where the story needs it to be. Hopefully soon I will be turning the story over to my beta readers and get some feedback on the matter.

 

You can read the article on How Important is Plausible Science in Science Fiction here.

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