Author Steven Lake

Authenticity in Writing: Practicality and Connections with Real Life
Saturday, January 25th, 2020 5:04pm
Keywords: Story, Ideas, Concepts, Real Life, Fiction, Advice, Suggestions

When creating a novel or book, it's always best, to minimize the impact of the suspension of belief, one has to ensure that their fictional story or writing is as believable as possible, even when things that the story uses are completely fictitious.  This includes the science behind it.  The principle of "Go big or go home" is okay to use, as long as it remains believable.  For example, in the idea of "go big", things like Dyson Spheres are entirely believable in the aspect that science believes that such is physically possible, although currently unattainable, within our current laws of physics.

This also goes for things like Warp Drive, transporters, etc.  But one thing that a lot of people overlook is the politics of practicality.  What do I mean by that?  Well, let me use an example from my own Earthfleet universe as a guide.  In that universe, the Brayburn Society ventures out into space using Jules Vern-esque technology, with a big of a modern, scifi twist (gravity drive vs rocket engines) and, after a series of misadventures, comes home with a vastly upgraded starship that contains a sample of the technology available within the Gayik'Von Republic.

That, in itself, is entirely believable.  That idea is even used in shows like Stargate SG1 and such.  Earthfleet then takes that technology and, with the help of the Gayik'Von, expands and improves upon it, learning about much of this advanced (from Earth's perspective anyways) technology in turn.  Eventually they go from working with existing Gayik'Von technology, either bought/borrowed from someone else, to building their own technology, and even their own ships.  Even then, they still mimic Gayik'Von designs due to their relatively close proximity to it.

Eventually though, Earthfleet reaches a point where they discover newer, better technologies than are currently available to them, one of these being Coaxial Drive, Fluidic Armor and more.  On top of these new discoveries, the Sergenious class is born.  This turns out to be an incredible and surprising success.  As such, the Society tries to improve on this by building the Samurai class, which is basically a bigger, more powerful version of the Sergenious.  However, due to its increased size, it loses some of what made the Sergenious class great.

Even so, the Samurai class fills a niche and, in turn, is incorporated full time into the fleet, both working separately, and sometimes in concert with the Sergenious class, as the two very nearly balance each other out, although the Samurai's slower speed and decreased maneuverability does cause some friction between the two classes when working together in combat.  So, to rectify this, the Society decides to build the Pegasus class.  However, it's so oversized, and underpowered for the mission it's designed for, it gets no further than its original 20 ship run, after which the class is abandoned.

The same is true with the Skipjack class.  They tried to create a skirmish ship, but once again failed, as the entire ship was centered around their primary armament, the Isolinear Torpedo, which was quickly rendered useless, which also rendered the Skipjack generally useless as well afterwards.  They also ended in failure shortly after the discovery of a very fatal flaw in Coaxial technology.  As they were not viable candidates for upgrade to Linear Hyperdrive, they too were abandoned, just like the Pegasus class.

During this time the Sergenious and Samurai classes continued to serve the fleet with distinction.  These, however, were eventually replaced with the Raven and Wolfpack shipkillers.  What's unique about these is they were developed in tandem, and take the unintentional pairing of the Sergenious and the Samurai classes, and use that union as a template for their design.  This allows the weaknesses of each ship to be offset by the strengths of the other, making them a powerful, formidable pair when operated in tandem.

The fleet also eventually fields their first battleship in decades, ever since the end of the Warp Era, with the launch of the Mythos class; the single best battleship Earthfleet has ever fielded in its history.  Combined with the Raven and Wolfpack shipkillers, they're a force to be reckoned with.  Upon their deployment, and full proving under operational conditions, the Sergenious and Samurai class are eventually phased out and the Raven and Wolfpack become the mainline shipkillers defending Sol space.

Now, as you can see in this example, the idea of injecting reality into your fiction writing to improve the quality of the story is not only important, but also easy to do.  After all, didn't I just demonstrate how a real life scenario, something we've seen all too often in the past in other areas, come to life in a fictional story?  So, in the end, something as simple and seemingly trivial as this can make all the difference in your story quality, believability, the suspension of belief, and more.  And, in the end, that makes it FAR more enjoyable for your readers too.

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