Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fiction and Science Fiction Writing Styles

While in fiction story telling you don't need to prove the technical possibility of the devices that are part of your story, like ships, cars, liquids, weapons, etc, in science fiction writing you not only have to develop emotional, moral, human impact but also have to use technically accurate and technically possible solutions for those devices and machines. Unfortunately, the strong presence of technical detail, to prove the scientific background of futuristic devices and machines featuring in a science fiction story, takes away dramatic, human part of the story. It is, apparently, hard to achieve, at the same time, high dramatization in a SF work, while maintaining technical accuracy of inventions, technical devices, and machines in the story.

Here we see why the scientific papers are, essentially, very boring (scientist do not describe their possible excitement while making that particular scientific or engineering discovery, that's for later movie screenplay and fiction writers). The engineers and scientists insist on technical and scientific accuracy (which is, actually, the only way to communicate the findings), while fiction writers signify the importance to explore human experience, emotional, and moral value of the story events and social impact of technical discoveries, devices. Hence, you will never find a paper title classified as electrical engineering story, but only electrical engineering paper. However, once the technical paper fulfils its role to accurately describe the invention, discovery, construction, scientific finding, it can be judged or analyzed from the humanistic, moral, and emotional point of view. That's the exact point where the pure fiction or science fiction writing creativity takes place.

Here is my breakdown of the genres and its major requirements:

1. Technical, scientific paper – describes, from purely technical, scientific point of view a machine, invention, discovery, without going into any analysis what kind of impact it can have on a society from a moral, emotional, psychological, economic, political, legal or any other point of view.
2. Fiction – arbitrarily employs in the creative process any kind of machines, devices, fantastic inventions, discoveries (huge ships, light speed travel, extra strong weapons, supernatural powers) without taking care are they possible or not. The importance is put on humanistic, moral, emotional, social effects and consequences from dealing and using these machines.
3. Science Fiction – carefully employs and describes machines, inventions, discoveries that feature in the story, making attempts to logically predict the futuristic technical solutions, while at the same time, using fictional characters and dramatizing events, try to analyze the humanistic, moral, emotional, social effects and consequences of dealing with and using those machines.

Fiction writers are not, usually, technically inclined, but they give the powerful human message in their work, and are possibly way better selling authors on the market. Science fiction writers, in most cases, lack the deep human message in their writings, but are good in presenting where the technology might go in the future.

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