Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Logical Do You Have To Make Your Writing?

This weekend I visited one of my best friends. We've been besties since our sophomore year at Ferris State University. We met in the Honors Program, helping students carry their carpets into Puterbaugh Hall. We started talking while moving the hefty flooring and found that we had similar interests including anime, manga, movies, romance novels, and science. She was, and still is, studying to be a pharmacist.

When we were catching up with each other, I filled her in on the story I was planning for January. I asked her about my concept and the use of viruses and DNA in my upcoming novel. It sounded okay to her. However, she told me how viruses attack not only DNA but also RNA and other bits of genetic information.  I knew viruses acted differently but was unaware that they could target different things.

I'm beginning to wonder how much research I'm going to need for this book. I'm currently uncertain how much scientific knowledge I'm going to need before I go forward with my novel. My story The God Syndrome is a piece of speculative fiction that fuses sci fi and fantasy together. Fantasy is easy you can make up the rules as you go. Science fiction requires science behind the story that is thoroughly grounded in some fact. My goal is for scientists to read the book without twitching from incorrect terminology or impossible happenings.

The last week and a half I've spent writing notes on how the virus works.The kind of bodily changes it creates, when it was discovered ,and how much scientists know about the syndrome. I have more than ten pages and I've barely touched the tip of the iceberg. I may only use two pages of this information when I write the novel in January, but I want this disease to make sense even if it is fake.

My question is how many facts do you need in a sci fi story for someone to believe it? Especially when you're adding fantasy elements to it. How much do you get to cover up with fantastical elements before a sci fi story becomes completely ridiculous. My book is a sci fi novel first and fantasy second, finding that balance  of the believable and the fantastic may take some time.

When I start revisions, I'll send a copy to my dear friend so I can make sure that I'm not hurting her scientific brain with bad information. This time without any fear of being inadequate.

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