writing

Worldbuilding and Logic Rant

This is a ramble that I had late one night on social media. I thought it was interesting and that I should put it here.

Rant

I write my books in two main genres, which are Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The reason I do this is that they both scratch a different itch.

I enjoy science fiction cause I am a futurist. I enjoy telling stories about what I think the future could look like. I’m the type of person who wishes we had flying cars by now.

Science fiction is the question of what can happen. When it comes to creating my science fiction stories, I never choose the best choice for what could happen. This means that it is not the most probable or most straightforward. I choose what will happen based on what will cause the most conflict in the story. Conflict equals stories, and if there is no conflict, then there is no story.

I still try to figure out how to create the world, so it makes plausible sense. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to have some type of internal logic. Without any logic to the world, then the actions of the characters don’t make sense.

The starships should act in a certain way. Gravity still exists, and no matter where the characters are in the galaxy, they are in orbit around something. Either a moon, a planet, a star, or the center of the galaxy. The ships will act in a certain way.

I imagine it like being on the ocean. The wind and the currents dictate what a ship will do. A sailing ship has to move a specific way, or else it won’t move very fast. With diesel engines and the like, it allows ships to ignore some aspects of sailing on the open seas. Now, they don’t care what the wind does. But they listen to the currents. It is why there are shipping lanes. Having a ship go with the current saves on fuel.

In space, the same thing exists. Right now, we are in the equivalent to the sailing ship. We don’t have the energy to go against gravity and planetary movements. We have to ship things on long trips using gravity slings to get things where they need to go. If we figure out more efficient energy sources, then we may be able to take quicker routes. But like sailing on the ocean, taking routes where the aid of the gravitational force in travel will be a thing.

With fantasy, it is the question of what could have been. History is rich with stories and conflict and having some type of fantastical story set in a world that never was interesting to me. Back in my twenties, I did the Tolkein, and I had created a fantastical world complete with a map and different cultures. This was cause I was told that was the best way to do it. Create a map and peoples to inhabit said map.

I’ve refrained from doing that craziness to my later worldbuilding ideas. But there is still logic to it.

No matter what Hollywood tells us, swords won’t cut through metal armor. Battles in the middle ages resulted in very few casualties from combat. Most soldiers died of disease on a campaign than a sword blow. In battle, it was considered a massacre if ten percent of the soldiers died. Battles were about breaking the morale of the enemy, rather than slaughtering the entire enemy.  These aspects are just some of the logic used with creating a fantasy story.

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