Sunday, January 22, 2012

I need to re-work some anchors of the book.

In romance, the story must end in happily ever after, or it gets categorized as some other genre, so I've been told. Science fiction, however, leaves no such constraints on the storyline, only requirements of futuristic possibilities driven by a scientific premise. It's the difference between telling the pet store you want a pet that licks your face at the end, and saying you want a pet that has dog hair. Each type of story is open ended in its own way, and each is confining.

The three plot threads that drive my MC revolve around politics, sci-fi, and romance. When one ebbs, one of the others wanes. Since the manuscript will ultimately be classified as science fiction, I'm feeling a little inadequate in that thread. I'm confident in the other two aspects, but this is a rope that must hold tight, and if one of the threads is weak, then the whole thing snaps.

My background in science is weak. I did okay in high school, and I passed my college chem and physics courses, but I didn't ace them because of the math. I do well with simple math. In fact, that's the primary requirement of my job, but that's a far cry from differential equations, which gave me fits in school. I do, however, love theoretical science, and that's really what I need to shine in my story. The problem is that, while I love it, I've been so focused on learning how to write and a new found love of politics, that I've neglected to keep up with the latest scientific advances. Oh, I buy the occasional Scientific American, watch Nova, or Discover, but my knowledge of the the field I need for this book is antiquated, dates back to the early 90's.

It started gnawing at me the other day, so I bought a couple recent books that were released on the subject, and I find that a premise or two on the sci-fi aspect of my book is out of whack with currently accepted knowledge. Fuck. Not a big problem, but I'll have to fix about three or four paragraphs throughout the book that took me a long time to construct. These explain the science part in layman terms, so without them, the thread breaks down. Getting caught up is something I should have done before starting the book, though it's hard to get caught up on your subject matter when you don't know what that subject matter will be yet. I wish I was lazy enough to leave it. It's plausible enough in its current state, but it would drive me crazy. I'm not going to do it now. I just finished one of the chapters that I didn't have clearly defined in my head. I have one more of those right after that one, and another a few chapters later, but all the other chapters from where I am to the "The End" are crystal clear. They'll go quickly. I'll cruise down the other side of the mountain, and then go back and fix the hiccups. Besides, by the time I'm done, there may be a hundred more scientific discoveries and theories that emerge, and I'd hate to have to do it again.


  1. This is why I don't write anything that's complicated! At least sex never changes - er, that didn't sound good but you know what I mean. Don't make it too complicated for an idiot like me to understand. I still have problems with 2+2

  2. This is why I don't write straight romance. I can't do outright HEA. ;)

    I think you're on the right track there. Write the story and flag the bits that you know you'll have to do a little research on after the fact to bring it up to date. As long as you know what generally drives the science part of what you're going for concentrate on the story for now.