Tag Archives: Geek Games

Does the Stork bring me plots?

Aleyne Desert

 

This month’s topic: Topic: In designing your plots what do you rely on most: personal
experience, imagination, or research?

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought in the weeks since we decided on this topic, trying to tease out just where my plot ideas came from. In order to keep this investigation to a reasonable size < grin> I decided to concentrate on the four science fiction novels in my Novels of Aleyne series.

As in all science fiction, the world in which the novels take place came from my imagination, but it came from both the Plot Fairy and my own personal experience. The novels take place on a military base. The main characters in two of the novels, Brad from Broken Bonds and Rob from Rob’s Rebellion are army officers. The main characters of the other two, Keth from Relocated and Martin from Geek Games, are adolescent boys. The setting I used is an army base  a desert environment. In Broken Bonds, the legal system takes on a major role, as does computer hacking in Geek Games. Many of the important secondary characters in the series are either army officers, writers, artists, or musicians.  These are all elements with which I am personally familiar or which I was able to research in order to get enough information to fill out the plot.

First, the desert and the army. My father, an attorney, served in World War II and entertained my sister and me with many stories when we were growing up. My father was a Judge Advocate General — basically, the army equivalent of a district attorney.  He told a story about a Black sergeant who was prosecuted for going AWOL to a bar that was 100 yards off the base. None of the White officers who were with him were brought up on charges. This story haunted me, and a secondary character, Johnny Dragon, is a Black sergeant who is imprisoned by the military for the same charge and who befriends Brad, my main character.

My middle son also spent eight years in the army where he served as a captain in military intelligence. He spent two tours of duty in Iraq. I shamelessly picked his brains when I was writing Rob’s Rebellion because military procedure plays an important role.

Among the other subjects I researched in the course of writing the series were Native American mythology (Brad’s ancestry is Native American), yoga and meditation, the procedures used when someone is charged with a crime,  the International Court, glass blowing and ceramics.

I can’t help feeling that in spite of the major roll imagination plays in my plot building, it is shored up by my research and my personal experience.

Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1dm
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com

For Oct 22: A Book by Any Other Title

RoundRobinBlogTour

One of the first things any reader knows about a book is the title — and the author and the cover image, but for now let’s stick to the title. We all want a catchy title for our books, one that will stop a potential reader in their tracks and make them open it up (or click on it) to discover what it’s really about. And we all want a title that’s going to pop up when readers are searching on Amazon for books in our genre.

So, when I go to my local library or bookstore and search for something to read, I start by browsing through the shelf of new books, checking out the titles and, if it looks interesting, plucking it off the shelf, opening it up, and reading the blurb. Then maybe I’ll check out the first couple of pages.

I’m staring at my latest collection of library books, one of which is “Little Beach Street Bakery,” a book I chose in just such a manner. It sounds satisfying — not disturbing, not likely to give me nightmares, which is what I was in the mood for at the time.

So, hmm — what attracts me to a title depends on my mood, and therefore what I want in a book at the time: romance, mystery, adventure, horror, or whatever.

I wish I could say that I have a wonderful method for choosing titles for my books, but I don’t. Sometimes they just come to me, and sometimes I have to work at it.

The title of  Relocated,   just came to me. It’s about a teenage boy who ends up on an alien planet when his father is sent there to help root out some terrorists.  The title of Geek Games   and Broken Bonds took more work, as did my latest novel, Rob’s Rebellion. Its working title was “Rob’s Book,” after the main character, Colonel Robert Walker, a colonel in the Terran Federation Guard who is posted to the alien planet Aleyne with orders to arrest the current, very popular, commander of the military base there on charges of treason. I eventually ended up soliciting suggestions from my reading group.

What attracts you to a particular title? Leave a comment and let us know, and do check out the thoughts of my fellow posters:

“Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
Heather Haven http://heatherhavenstories.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich  http://wp.me/p3Xihq-MI
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Margaret Fieland https://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

September Round Robin: Current Events

AleyneDesert1This month’s topic is what current issues are important to you. How often do modern social/global issues take place in your stories no matter what era or generation you write?

I write poetry, science  fiction, and fantasy. Nevertheless, politics, political maneuvering, the law and how it plays out in real life,  discrimination in any form are all issues that are important to me and that appear in my books. My imagined future society is still plagued by the same kind of political chicanery we see today, and they appear frequently in my stories. So does discrimination and clash of values, in my case a clash between my alien society of Aleyne and the Aleynis on one hand and the Terrans and othe Terran Federation on the other.

When I wrote my first science fiction novel which I stared in November of 2009, t my middle son was in the army, stationed  in Afghanistan. Not too surprisingly, my alien planet had a desert climate, and the main character’s father was posted to the Terran Federation Guard base there at the startr of the story. Terrorism and a terrorist plot play a big part in the story, but in this case the aliens are the good guys and the Federation, in general, is cast in the role of antagonist.

When I wrote Broken Bonds I ended up making the main character’s trial for treason a centerpiece of the story, and thus legal maneuvering came theo the fore. My father was an attorney, my mother served on the Grand Jury, and I had served as a juror myself, so I was relatively familiar with trials, but I still sended up doing a lot of research into exactly how a criminal trial proceeds and various other aspects of the courts that I wanted to carry forward into my novel in a believable manner. I ended up creating an Interstellar Court, loosely modeled after the International court, as well as the court system of the Federation where the trial of my main character ends up taking place.r

Economics and exploitation of workers is another area that interests me. In Geek Games the main character, a teen age boy, ends up on a tri-p to the asteroids where he observes first-hand the plight of miners who are virtually enslaved by the Federation, which controls all economic activity, including what the miners are able to buy in the way of goods and technology.  Writing all this as sci fi allows me to play out these themes with a freedom that I wouldn’t have if I were writing a contemporary or historical novel.

Check out the posts of my fellow bloggers:

 

Skye Taylor  http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Beverley Bateman  http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Margaret Fieland  http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Marci Baun  http://marcibaun.com/blog/
Victoria Chatham  http://victoriachatham.webs.com/
Connie Vines  http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Bob Rich  http://wp.me/p3Xihq-vQ
Rachael Kosinski  http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Helena Fairfax  http://helenafairfax.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Rhobin Courtright  http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/

Morning Mediation

I am reading Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing down the Bones,” and this morning I wrote by hand. I am again reminded by this that the act of taking pen to paper, as opposed to hand to keyboard, is special, not to be replaced, on for the other. There are at times no 208fea0c5eec247989b810beae2abb43substitutes, no replacements, or if one must be used instead of the other, allowance must Skybe made for the difference. A spinet is not a piano. They do not sound the same, nor do they feel the same under one’s fingers. One may play Mozart on either, but the sound in one’s ear is unique.

A flash piece of mine recently published:

http://postcardpoemsandprose.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/back-of-the-stacks-by-margaret-fieland/

A recent interview: http://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/interview-with-intriguing-sci-fi-author-and-editor-margaret-fieland/

Recent review of “Geek Games” http://www.longandshortreviews.com/book-reviews/geek-games-by-margaret-fieland/

A few references I’m adding to my website thanks to Carole Malone:

 http://starlakaye.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/emotionsandbodylanguage.pdf

 

Another site that is similar is: http://referenceforwriters.tumblr.com/post/63548542732/41-emotions-as-expressed-through-body-language

 

Book  “Writing for Emotinal Impact” by Karl Iglesias, http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Emotional-Impact-Techniques-Fascinate/dp/1595940286/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391373926&sr=1-1&keywords=writing+for+emotional+impact