Science fiction – getting your world in order
How often do you put a book down simply because the writer has failed to coerce you into suspending belief and accepting his alternate reality?
Creating a sci-fi world, be it a full blown otherworld with all the bells and whistles, designed to suspend reader in a depth of all-encompassing fiction, or a mild shot of dystopia delivered with minimalist subtleness intent on merely supporting the story, or somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, one thing is certain: there are a few key ingredients to use when cooking your creation. Okay, thinking about it, there’s more than a few - choices are infinite. Cooking up real deal fictional physics intent on creating a believable world boils down to three main ingredients.
Passion + Belief + Integrity
Take one hefty dose of Passion, mix with very Strong Belief, add unbridled integrity, and stir until the cows come home.
If writing flying cars into your world, then you will do a better job if you’re keen on cars. If your passion is driving, pimping your ride, then the fictional flying cars you create will no doubt be something special.
If your dystopia has elements of warfare, and it just so happens that you are gun nut, or a marine/policeman/soldier then the soldiers/policemen/weapons you create will surely be something special.
That old writers’ adage: `write what you know` is an adage for a reason.
I’d like to add another: `write what is you`
In my case, for the creation of Kimi’s Secret it was: Aliens, ghosts and magic.
These are the things that tortured my youth with bafflement, worked their way into my bones and have held me ever since.
Spielberg wowed me with Close Encounters of the Third Kind around the same time as my mother had us spellbound with tales of spirit forms, and around the same time the news was buzzing with young girls being flung around by poltergeists, Uri Geller bending spoons, and thousands of people throwing themselves into frenzies at PK (psychokinetic) parties.
Never a believer, always the sceptic, hoping to witness the evidence that would prove little grey men were real, that ghosts were indeed some manifestation of human energy, and that we humans could really defy the laws of physics and move objects just by thinking about it.
This fascination for everything Fortean was ingrained at that impressionable age, so when I had an idea for a novel; a time-travelling conundrum, fuelled by aliens – or greylians as I fondly christened them – I pondered the notion of uncovering a world where these things could brought into being, not just alien greys but my mother’s ghosts, the magic of psychokinetics, and anything else mythical or unexplained that I could make fit.
I had the first key ingredient: Passion. I would not only write what I knew, I would write what was me.
In creating such a world where Kimi Nichols could play in Kimi’s Secret, I had the Passion, the Me, now it was time to Believe.
If you have the passion then belief will come hand in hand, right? But belief in what? Belief in your ability to do well by your passion. Belief that you will not let your passion down. Belief that you can dig deep, put in the hours, days and months; research, confirm, approve, build until this fictional science becomes one; its own world. And it’s important to have that Belief and to make it strong because the final ingredient depends on it.
How far do you go with your research? How far with the planning, the checking, the marrying of fictional facts? To the centre of the earth, of course. Be amazed how one simple idea - the size of a world’s gravity well, the complexities of dimensional time travel, talking monkeys, Tulpas, Adepts, alien abduction, dodo regeneration, Elementals - be amazed that any one thing is connected to another in some way, and that if your Passion and Belief are to materialize into something solid then you need the integrity to follow it through, to make it happen.
The story world in its foetal stage in my embryonic mind seemed plausible. I had to start writing. Not the novel, but the history books, the geology, physiology, the laws of time and space of this place that would govern every little thing. I made lists, sketches, and jotted down story, scene, character and plot ideas as they came to me and ended up with reams of creation on my hard drive and a spare room full of storyboards and clippings.
A year had passed. The baby in mind was almost fully grown.
It was time to put my manufactured science to the test.
Time to give birth to the story.
Passion – love of subject.
Belief – you can do this.
Integrity – push your boundaries, cross the t’s dot the I’s and make your fiction fact.
Get your world in order and reader will Believe – The Truth Is Out There!
With a deformed hand, an affection for animal skulls, and a soft spot for Marmite, Kimi always knew she was different - but never how much until she’s thrown into the supernatural dimension of Heart, given powers beyond comprehension, a mission to alter the past, and a secret which must never be revealed.
Look out for the sequel: Kimi’s Fear – materialising soon!
And read John Hudspith's interview from April 2012 here
something to whet your appetite
The grey aliens - or greylians - hidden away in the paranormal dimension of Heart, have worked with man for centuries, abducting, probing, advancing science to aid mankind; but Kimi’s jump through time and dimension in Kimi’s Secret brought about the death of a revered greylian General. Now the authorities want to pin the blame on Kimi.
Kimi learns that fears are real in the blip - the band of no-time which sits between dimensions - and that fears always contain the truth. She must jump once more, pausing within the blip and taming her greatest childhood fear - the under-the-bed monster - and return with evidence to prove her innocence or she’ll be thrown in a greylian oven and served up as breakfast.
But Kimi’s secret is out – her brain is the key to successful time travel - and a ruthless greylian bounty hunter will break every bone in her body to get it. As if that isn’t bad enough, the best looking boy in the world turns into a cannibal intent on devouring every last bit of her. Sometimes life really does suck.
Can she thwart the bounty hunter, kill the boy of her dreams to save her own life, tame her greatest fear and keep herself from becoming greylian toast? Not without help.
Tulpa Bentley returns with old favourites the famoose, Big Sue the giant with OCD, madcap mentor Stella, and chief of fuzz the monkey Rehd along with a whole host of new crazies in an adventure bigger and bolder than before.
“Kimi’s Fear is magical but dark, sad but romantic, and meaningful but bonkers all rolled into one.”
“Deep, profound, scary as hell, and all the makings of a classic.”