Today we’re very lucky to have WA author, Lara Morgan visiting Tuesday Writing Tips as part of her blog tour to celebrate the release of Genesis, the first book in The Rosie Black Chronicles.
The Rosie Black Chronicles is a futuristic fantasy series set in Perth 500 years into the future after the world has been severely affected by climate change.
Rosie is a great character with a compelling story. Today Lara is here to talk about how she created her futuristic world.
HOW TO CREATE A FUTURISTIC WORLD
By Lara Morgan
Dystopia: an imaginary place that is depressingly wretched. (Penguin English Dictionary)
This is the word that defines a high percentage of the worlds we read and write about in science fiction today. And it’s certainly not a new idea.
Aldous Huxley’s classic 1930s novel, Brave New World, could arguably have been said to have started it all and many others have been creating different versions of horrifying futures for Earth ever since. We actually seem to revel in it – and I have to say I am hardly different. I love a good dystopian world. In fact, being a teenager in the 80s when the Cold War was scarier than the idea of Armageddon has well and truly immersed me in it.
So when it came to creating the world of The Rosie Black Chronicles it was a given that it was not going to be filled with flying cars and Jetson style homes. I wanted a world that reflected the mistakes we can all see our species making right now: global warming, rising sea levels, refugees and a dwindling water and food supply.
I wanted grit, hardship and a powerful global government that was more Big Brother than friendly caretaker. But since I also saw programs like Lost in Space when I was a pre-teen and really enjoy a good space opera, I also wanted space ships and a colony on Mars.
I wanted all of it, which of course meant I got to do that one thing writers that all love. I had to read. A lot.
I read climate change books, space exploration books, articles on futuristic cities, predictions by scientists, books on quantum physics and black holes, a lot of books on Mars and terraforming, even books on societal collapse, basically anything that related even slightly to my idea of this futuristic world.
I also spent hours online searching sites, such as NASA and Gliese 581d – a ‘super-Earth’ that’s 20.3 light years away. And, yes, I do now know what the speed of light is, but I’m not going to boast by telling you (299,792.458 km per second). Ok I couldn’t help it, but the point is to create a futuristic world naturally you do have to do a lot of research and then you end up using very little of it because shoving in expository lumps about how the fusion drive in the spaceship works would bore your readers to death.
You just need to know how it works so it feels real when you mention it once. Yes I said once. You read three books, invented a spaceship drive that sounded vaguely plausible and didn’t disregard the laws of physics and it comes up in one paragraph in your book. Welcome to creating a futuristic world.
With that said here are my tips for future world creation:
- Research – of course this is obvious, but make sure you don’t just look for the big obvious items, which for me were spaceships, mars colonies and global rising sea levels, also pay attention to the small things. I researched housing design and transport systems, future farming practices and asked questions like: would cotton still be around in my world? The devil is in the detail is an apt cliché when writing.
- Take a scientist’s idea of a futuristic element and customise it to suit your world – there are so many incredible ideas being published by experts in their fields, from transportation and building to space travel and more, that it makes a lot of sense to have a look at what is being said and see if it would fit into your world. I was particularly excited to read about clothes being implanted with biological elements that would make fabrics respond to the environment, so I took it a step further and thought about how biological elements could be added to machinery.
- Respect the laws of physics, – for my world creation I tried to be as careful as my knowledge would allow in terms of having my imagined technology obey the laws of physics. Sci fi readers are mostly pretty cluey and have some idea about these things so unless you show from the outset that this is a world where anything goes, it pays to be mindful of things like gravitational force etc.
- Make it logical to your world – when you create your world think about all the elements you’re putting in there and if it seems cohesive and believable. For example, it would be very odd for a people to have faster than light travel in their space ships, but still be using fossil fuels to get around on the ground, unless you can provide a very good reason why.
I hope you have found Lara’s tips helpful. You can visit Rosie at www.rosieblack.com
Find out more about Rosie Black and win a copy of Genesis at Lara’s blog: http://laramorgan.wordpress.com
Lara’s blog tour is stopping at all these great blogs.
Oct 11 Who is Rosie Black?
http://content.bommerangbooks.com.au/kids-book-capers-blog (that’s my other blog)
Oct 12 Writing tips on creating a futuristic world.
Tuesday Writing Tips https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com (that’s here)
Oct 13 The Publishing Process
Oct 14 Writing YA.
Writing a Fantasy Series
Oct 15 Interview
Oct 16 Interview
Oct 17 Writing sci fi
Oct 18 Heroines in YA
Oct 19 The Boy in this story; creating male characters in heroine driven YA.
Rosie Black’s past & future
Oct 20 Interview