Thoughts of a Sci-Fi Writer (in-Training)

One of my goals in revamping my blog is to get everything out on the table. Mentally, physically, everything.

Physically: I want to re-do the website, now that I’ve brushed up (“brushed-up” here meaning: had no clue what I was doing and started from scratch), on my HTML and web design skills, I plan to fully customize the blog within the next 6 months. I might even change the font! We’ll see.

Mentally: I want to update the readers on what I’m doing with my brain. You may be surprised to hear that over the last year, I haven’t been watching as many Ben Stiller movies as I used to (but the number is still up there). I’ve been really thinking about what I want to do with my life and career. After much thought and reflection and movies, I have decided that whining a lot is probably not my ultimate career goal. Don’t worry, whining will still be a part of my life; but I really want to pursue other things right now. This is why I’m taking Web Design courses over the next year and a half.

Everything: Even though I’m focusing on learning about the “Internet”, I don’t want to abandon my writing [blogging or sci-fi] for a year and a half. The characters in my book keep reminding me that they have well-rounded personalities that are waiting to flourish in an ever-developing plot. I don’t know how they’re telling me this? I assume they are doing this Neverending Story style, but then that would mean that I would eventually go into the story and stab my favorite character. Which I don’t want to do because I was really mad at Bastian for a LONG time after that.

So for this blog entry, I just want to get out in the open a few feelings, negative and positive, about this novel.

I grew up watching sci-fi. I love sci-fi. I don’t understand why more stories do not take place in space. (Or another dimension and/or technologically advanced society with hints of the past and/or post-apocalyptic big brother situation). The thing is, you can still have love stories, drama, adventure, betrayal and comic relief in space! Even Angry Birds realized that they needed to be exactly the same game…but in space.

...or in San Francisco circa 1984

…or in San Fransisco circa 1984

So that’s all fine, but the problem is, as I wrote the first half of my novel during last year’s NaNoWriMo, I had to deal with some knowledge barriers that I had not previously been aware of. For instance, how does a space ship work? Is there going to be a space war in my space novel? (Yes, there is.) Then what kind of lasers should my space ships use? Are we just going to call them quantum torpedoes and hope no one remembers Star Trek: First Contact?

I realized I had to create my own semi-plausible scientifically sound-ish universe. I had to create my own weapons, ships, politics, and cultures.

To my sadness, I’m not writing a Zephram Cochrane fan-fiction. Yet.

I'm getting my own spin-off!

I’m getting my own spin-off!

It didn’t help that as a child, whenever Geordi La Forge spouted information about shunts and auxiliary power, I was thinking about Data’s cat. Come on, I like Sci-Fi, but I didn’t invent the thing!

So back to getting everything out on the table. My weakness in this area is something I need to admit before continuing. I need to also remember that if the book is 100% scientifically accurate, it may end up being more of a textbook for 20 nerds, than an adventure for everyone. There needs to be some give. It helps to remember that everything that happened in the last 20 minutes of Star Trek (2009) made no sense and that’s ok because it was cool.

That being said, I don’t want the story to be completely ridiculous either. I’m looking for a happy medium that will require some research and effort on my part, but not so much effort that I’ll give up, feeling guilty for being a science “phony.”

I will make sure to always draw comfort from my hero, Douglas Adams, who had no problem whatsover saying, “this is impossible” after explaining the science behind dining at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Actually, forget all that. I’m just going to say it’s a Fantasy novel and call it a day.

Stay tuned for more updates on my novel: “Fantasy…in Space!”


About pertobello

I live in Toronto but I'm from the east coast originally. I like photography, psychology, writing, pictures, the brain, literature and the creation of, taking snapshots, therapy (of myself and others), manuscripts, digital renderings of events and places, exploring the capablities and workings of the human mind, transcribing my thoughts and stories into a readable format. Wow I have an impressive list of interests!!
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2 Responses to Thoughts of a Sci-Fi Writer (in-Training)

  1. Tim-a-rrific says:

    AWSOME post, I’m really looking forward to your book. (I actually red your post a while ago and I’m finally getting around to commenting on it, I’m so ashamed ): )

    What I love about sci-fi is that you can imagine anything and not actually need to engineer it, like technology that grows or a goop that you put your hands and feet in just to fly it.

    I’m really looking forward to it, no pressure though 🙂

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