The Right Mixture

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Modern Day Myth, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Modern Day Myth

    Modern Day Myth Registered User

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    I had an interesting discussion with an engineer about science fiction and real world science and technology.

    In fiction, reality is gutted out and rearranged to fit the needs of the story of fiction.

    That is also true in other genres of fiction.

    The story rules above all else.

    The purpose, in most cases, is to develop the characters with storytelling devices.
     
  2. kmtolan

    kmtolan KMTolan

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    You lost it at the second sentence (grin) for me. Some of the best fiction is when you have to deal with the hard realities. "Hard" SF lives by this axiom. I would also point out that a good story for me doesn't rule "above" but in coexistence with everything else. Smart readers won't have much patience for the kind of deus ex machina you tend to end up with, otherwise.

    Kerry
     
  3. Modern Day Myth

    Modern Day Myth Registered User

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    So, you need examples Kerry?

    No problem.

    In Battlestar Galactica, cylons mate with humans. Why? To show how eventually humans and machines will merge into one. In reality, humans are born and machines are built. The mating is more of a metaphor than hard reality.

    As I am developing my own series, I have cyborgs recharging with something very similar to USB cables where they exchange data as they recharge with other machines. As a mechanical engineer pointed out, in reality an on board nuclear reactor is the proper power source for human size robots over rechargeable power cells. So, why go with rechargable powers cells with data exchange? For the story to open up where cyborgs with clones can share life experiences and connect in a way similar to telepathic human twins. So, with his advice, the cyborgs will have on board nuclear reactors with some on board battery components that can be recharged to allow for the data exchanges.

    Metaphors are story elements of fiction that are not real in the real world. Also, timing of events in stories are convenient to the story and don't work out the same way in real life all too often.

    Why is a child named "grandfather time" and looks beyond his years in a classical work of fiction? The child is a metaphor to the story.

    Mike
     
  4. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    Huh? I think there's a typo in there, but I'm not sure if it was in the first sentence or the second.

    It might, if that's the author's goal. But if I am writing a contemporary drama, say, then gravity rules and people have to eat and poop. If I don't want such reality, I have to create a version of reality where these things are not real. But then it becomes a science fiction or a fantasy story rather than a contemporary drama. If a contemporary drama is what I want, then reality is a component that shapes story. Even in a SF story, reality is usually a component in shaping story. Coincidences and fortuitously timed events do occur in reality. Not all the time, but having a story with them in it isn't getting rid of reality. It's selecting things in reality to use in the story. The story's goals shape the story which in turn draws from various bits of reality.

    Again, not entirely sure what you mean here. Develop and storytelling devices could mean a number of different things.
     
  5. Taramoc

    Taramoc Author and Game Designer

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    It all comes down to consistency. Whenever you write fiction, you create rules on how the setting (and possibly the characters) of your story works. Rules can be anything and everything, there are no limitations, especially in speculative fiction. They can be very similar to our "hard" reality, or completely out of whack, or somewhere in between.

    If you stick to the rules you created, it's all good, but if you start breaking them (and deus-ex-machina can be a way to do that), the reader will get annoyed and disinterested very soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  6. Taramoc

    Taramoc Author and Game Designer

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    Deleting duplicate post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  7. andrewscott

    andrewscott Registered User

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    USB? Go bluetooth!