Where Reality Meets Fantasy

When it comes to research, experience is the key. But, how do you experience life on a starship? The simple answer is “you can’t.” So, this is where imagination and experience combine to create something wonderful. Let’s look at a starship about like a destroyer. In general, a destroyer is a hunter. She may have one or two cutters (rather like a “RIB” in today’s navy) but nothing like the kinds of craft available to a carrier. I think modeling her after an old Diesel submarine with a few modifications like some mass-driver turrets (kind of like an eight-inch gun), laser mounts, and missile tubes to replace the torpedo tubes. And, just for giggles, let’s say that it’s four reactor power plants (I use fusion plants, where the reactor creates a stabile micro-star in my stories) where there’s three required for power and one for failsafe. And it’s cramped. So cramped that you pretty much have breathing room only, with one shift racked, one shift either coming off or getting ready to go on, and one change at stations at all times, with almost zero privacy anywhere in the ship. Continue reading “Where Reality Meets Fantasy”

Time! Where’s the time!

Well, since it has been a while, let’s talk about the single worst enemy that faces a Writer with a Day Job. (That’s a good book but basically says what I’m going to say here.) So, here’s the deal, you work full time, come home to the kids and just don’t have time for anything. And, in my case, you’re a part-time student working on a bachelor’s of arts degree, too. When do you have time to work on your story? Well, the short answer is, you make it! Continue reading “Time! Where’s the time!”

The Past for the Future…

…Or, researching your story for greater impact. (Okay, that sounded better in my head.) One of the more interesting keys for writing is the ability to utilize research in new worlds. (And, any time you write fiction, you are creating a new world, even if you’re basing the story on what is or has been. This is because you’re introducing one or more things that aren’t a part of the world, be it people, places, things, or events. Otherwise, it would be fact, not fiction, you are writing.) Continue reading “The Past for the Future…”

What a world we weave…

There is a great article on IO9 (part of Gizmodo) on making worlds that are believable. It’s an excellent read and something I think everyone in speculative fiction should read. But how do you build the worlds to start with? As with anything, you start with concept. In this case, what role is the world going to play in your story? Continue reading “What a world we weave…”

Experience as Research

Previously, I talked about researching and creating a play book (or, perhaps, a set of universal laws for the universe you create).  Today, I’m going to mention a different form of research.  Not everything you can do can come from a book.  This is just the way it is.  For example, let’s take the killer in my current work.  She is so terribly afraid of getting caught that she can barely function.  But, how do I show this to the reader?  I mean, if I simply tell the reader she is, they won’t believe me.  I don’t believe it when I’m told it in the books I read.  I want to see it!  So, here is where I go: Experience! Continue reading “Experience as Research”

Thoughts on Fiction Writing

This blog is a collection of things that work for me for my writing.  No more, no less.  While I’m publishing them in the hopes that they may help other authors, I make absolutely no promises, as the first thing I learned was that there is no magic formula for writing.  The best you get are guidelines and even those are fuzzy.  So, here’s a series of things I do to write. Continue reading “Thoughts on Fiction Writing”