Newsletter The Science of Fiction

How do you create?

As I am writing, The Game: When playing is real, I ask myself, “Can I write in depth about something that feels personal and scary? Will I be able to dive in deep enough to make it interesting?” I will find out on my rewrites.

Writing a draft of my story, A Band of Light, on Substack is giving me momentum to think more about my POV,  who my audience might be, and which characters to focus on. I can see scenes that need more detail, but I start with an idea, then fill in the blanks. 

Are you a writer who begins by:

·      Seeing a story laid out 

·      Having a cast of characters in your head 

·      Heading out on an adventure 

·      Seeing a problem that needs to be solved 

·      Having an idea for a story

There are many motivations for writing and just as many ways to begin writing. After my mother wrote her story in her book, My Journey to Sight: As I see it, she said I should write my story. I told her that if I wrote my story, it would be science fiction. Writing science fiction gives me the freedom to tell my story as a different person, in a completely different setting, with people I will get to know as I write about them. How is that my story? It is the story of many of my feelings and fears that no one except me would understand. I can create settings and situations in, A Band of Light, that will hopefully make more sense to you, my readers, than if I shared examples from my personal life and frustrations.

Once I started writing my story on Substack, I had to ask myself if this story is science fiction or a futuristic novel. I looked up quotes about science fiction from authors, musicians, screenwriters, and actors. It was interesting to see all the perspectives from space and time travel, to aliens, to dystopic futures, and what could be possible. Science fiction covers a broad range of topics. I read Merrriam-Websters definition of science fiction:

“fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component” Merriam Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science%20fiction

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I realized my fascination and fears about the future of science was part of the driving force for writing the story, so I am adding information about the science on each page. Some of the science in the story like Exosuits, brain chips, nanotechnology, and human enhancements are much more advanced than I imagined while writing the scenes. But the potential for improved eyesight, hearing, strength, and memory are further along in research and production than I ever imagined. At the same time, the opportunities for the rich to get enhancements and perform even better while the average person falls behind, the possibilities for weaponry, and psychology harm are all cause for concern in the race toward enhancing abilities. It could be a way to further distance ourselves from caring about people from diverse backgrounds and physical prowess.

“The long-term goal of nanotechnology is to be able to fully manipulate molecular and atomic structures. Since humans are made of the same basic building blocks as the natural world, nanotechnology will probably enable the ability to change human tissues and cells at the molecular level. This will open doors in medicine thought impossible, and it will enable us to extend the length and quality of human life. It will also open the door to "enhancements" of the body — better IQ, appearance, and capabilities. These enhancements will undoubtedly benefit many, but they also bring up important moral, ethical, and legal questions that human society has not yet had to face.” https://foresight.org/policy/brief2.html

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I hope you will be as fascinated by the science as I have been on the journey of creating a story that will take us from darkness to light. 

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