Writers' Advice Blog 1 Feb 23 by Lorenzo Samuel, author of speculative fiction and science fiction writings: In this edition of the Writers' Advice Blog, I will discuss advice given in "Story" by Robert McKee.
This month I, Lorenzo Samuel, and you will continue our writing journey of speculative fiction.
In a previous issue in the blog, I discussed some aspects of a story I'm developing called "Mother Eve." I will continue on with what I've learned and will give you a taste of how measure and madness fit together in this story. Measure and madness are terms introduced in the previous blog.
The old psych conjecture that genius is borderline insanity has been thoroughly discredited, although the idea lives on. One definition of genius (Websters) states, "great mental capacity and inventive ability, especially, great and original creativity in some art, science, etc." Inseparable from creativity we find imagination.
In his book, "Techniques of Fiction Writing: Measure and Madness," the author Leon Surmelion infers that imagination (where ideas are generated) is madness. What he means by madness is not psychosis; it is creativity without formulation (logical presentation to others). In other words, if one has a creative idea, it begins life unstructured and illogical. Through measure (writing technique) it is logically communicated to others so they can absorb it.
Out of my madness came the idea for "Dreams of the Ancestors." However, I had to first feed my imagination with some hard knowledge. I have been following Quanta's online reporting of theory and proof of the composition of the universe as we view it. Currently physicists and astronomers grapple with the composition that drives its observed expansion. Matter, energy, space and time do not in themselves support an expanding universe. Scientists were amazed by this as they had thought the universe, per their then accepted theory, was nearly in a stable state.
Instead, the universe apparently has been expanding at an ever-increasing rate. Supporting this observation are measurements of galaxies' speeds as they shoot away from us.
Supposedly, the Big Bang yielded radiation and matter in plasma form. This plasma coalesced into the most fundamental moving particles. A small portion (approx 5%) developed into our material universe (baryonic) of matter, energy, space and time. It is this universe that's expanding.
There may be another universe!
The remaining 95% has been given the name dark matter (25%) and dark energy (70%). Positing this dark matter and energy and their anti-gravity effects gives the rationale for the expansion of the material universe. Scientists are busy trying to devise detection and proof of dark matter and dark energy.
The writer's "what if" question has sparked my imagination with a further idea rergarding the universe's make-up. What if "nothing" was a creation? Specifically, what if along with the elementary particles and primeval radiation created by, or in, the Big Bang that yielded the baryonic and dark universes, packets of "nothing" were created as well. My idea is that these "nothing" packets are part of the dark universe.
Where does this idea take me? Right into space travel. This idea of packets of nothing allows me to develop travel through the universe of dark matter and dark energy. My protagonist in the story and her navigator will make the trip through what I have named the dark field on the way to carry out a life-saving mission for their race.
My madness doesn't stop there though. No indeed. Feeding in is another idea, another "what if." In the next blog to be issued later, I will reveal that idea. The only hint I'll leave with you is that it has something to do with the Dreamtime of Australian aborigines.
Note: The next blog issue will post on or about 1 Mar 2013.
Note: The book of short speculative fiction "Eve of Valor: 25 Tales" is available on Amazon at click here.