1. SquidyTheGray
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    SquidyTheGray New Member

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    Too Much Technical Details

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by SquidyTheGray, Dec 5, 2012.

    I've been working on a sci-fi world for the past few weeks, and (being a man of science) got carried away and wrote up tech specs on all of the tech I plan on introducing over the course of the story arcs. (I limited myself to two) How much of this detail is usable and when would be a good time to explain how these devices function? (mostly slug-throwers, but some lasers and gizmos here and there)

    For reference the part pf the story I've chosen to focus on first takes place in the mid 2070's, China controls most of the US and the rest has been admitted into Canada as provinces, when war breaks out between the South Asian Socialist Union and Canada/NATO. Laser weapons see their first combat use early in the war. Our story follows members of a regiment of infantry created to manage intelligence and research.
     
  2. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    Sounds a bit like military sci-fi. Most readers of that will want to know exactly what types of guns are being used, and they'll probably want a high level of accuracy. Write it how you want to write it though and see what comes out. If you get to the end and think you put too much technical detail in, just change it. Conversely, if you didn't put enough in, add it.

    If you're writing with an audience in mind though, know the audience. That will help you decide what to put in.
     
  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I bet my bottom dollar that Canada wins your war and China is evil scum, am I correct? ;)

    Or so most Hollywood movies would've had it, of course.
     
  4. SquidyTheGray
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    SquidyTheGray New Member

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    Just because you said that, I'm going to point out it's a draw. A few battles are fought with the Nat. Guard and China but other than that no shots are fired. And in this story China taking control of the former Union is just back story, an event that happened around 20 years ago.

    Oh and thanks for the info :)
     
  5. RaeRae
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    RaeRae Member

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    I write a lot of Sci Fi but not too knowledgeable in the science department. I know enough to get some specifics if necessary because I am a research nut. I tend to go layman's terms for the sake of my readers who love the story but would get lost in the science jargon. But as Jetshroom says, your audience would be the scifi military reader so you should be fine.
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Military sci-fi tends to be very thick with technological explanations so you should be fine. Ian Douglas has a lot of tech information in his novels, and then there's the one's who don't carry as much. Just depends on what you want to do.
     
  7. liquidenvy
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    liquidenvy New Member

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    Sounds like you're writing hard sci-fi. In general, I think it's important not to give the reader more than they really need at first. However, there's a certain type of sci-fi reader that just loves those technical details. Others, not so much. So think about what audience you're going for, and my suggestion would be to hook them on the story first, then lay out the specs.
     
  8. SquidyTheGray
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    SquidyTheGray New Member

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    Thanks, just if anyone could clarify what I NEED and what I don't early on. Just for the sake of example, this is the entry I wrote on the battle rifle:
    " APR-7.62x51mm – Selective fire (burst/semi-auto/safe) battle rifle used by the Canadian Marine Corps as a standard issue rifle. Also sees use by NATO armies as a specialist sniper. Most commonly operated in semi-automatic mode, the burst capability was added upon request of the Canadian Marine Corps."
     
  9. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't need anything that's not relevant to the story. I doubt you need any of the paragraph you've put above. You want characters to fire it in bursts, just say they're doing it. Most readers will be happy to believe you.

    You put these details in to give a certain atmosphere and the feeling of a solid world. As people have said above, some readers will love it, others won't. If you're writing for the hard sci-fi crowd, don't worry about the people who get bored by this stuff - they're not your market. Put in what sounds good to you and then give it to a few people to review. This is all about style, so we can't give you a list of 'have this' and 'don't have that'.
     

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