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9

If space travel is as common and casual as current methods, then treat it the way you would treat current methods. That is: Take it for granted. Ignore the physics and ignore how it is operated. When you get in a car to drive, you barely even think about how you operate it, much less the physics of internal combustion engines, or the mechanics of universal ...


7

One of the big mistakes I've seen in some people's writing is that they focus on wanting to show the reader that "Hey, I've thought about these things and they are really important!" when they aren't. If you're story is going to be about physicists or chemists or other scientists dealing with the particular periodic table elements, then I can understand ...


7

There is one fault with the previous answers by Dale Emery and Henry Taylor, and that is that the basic principles of sailing and combustion engines are a part of every school kid's education. And if something new is invented, as for example solar cells, it is extensively described and explained in popular media from newspapers to television. Any educated ...


5

I agree totally with Dale Emery, but would perhaps use a long train/boat ride as the metaphor. Not only should the average passenger (a.k.a. the reader's point of view) be uninformed of how the vehicles operate, or the physical principles behind their locomotion, such passengers should not even recognize that their ignorance is unusual. Their attention ...


4

As we've seen on earth, communities count time in reference to key events -- the creation of the world, the birth of a new religious figure, the beginning of a king's reign (these ones have less staying power), and so on. When calendar systems encounter each other (I say the year is 5774; you say it's 2014; now what?), some sort of reconciliation happens. ...


4

This is one of those instances where understanding the history of things matters. If you're building a science-fantasy world with the equivalent of modern chemistry, have some fictional elements with distinct properties, and have any concern at all for the periodic table, you really only have four choices: Make the new element something strange and apart, ...


4

You don't actually have to care much about hard-core physics. If your sci-fi world is set in another universe entirely (Star Wars and the Force), you needn't even bother about following the periodic table or conventional physics. After all, the Force isn't even something the Jedi (in their Universe) can explain completely. It's okay to create imaginary ...


4

The one tool you need is expertise in the affected areas. How would you know what effects cheap robots replacing low-paid workers would have? By being an expert in psychology (how does it affect the persons owning, using or working with them?), economics (how does the changing money flow influence the economy?), job market (what would you do with the ...


3

In the Unites States it is implausible that a 14 year old legally lives on her own within society. Here are some expert opinions for Georgia, but it is unlikely that the situation will be different in other states: http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can-a-mature-14-year-old-live-alone-with-parental--1275608.html (I searched for "14 year old living alone" in ...


3

If you want to write a noble character, you have to first understand what nobility is about. Your comment – "To convey a more finer upper class breeding." – conveys to me that you don't actually think that nobels are any different from us common folk, but arrogantly believe so themselves. The fact is that individuals from noble families know their lineage a ...


3

In his guide to productive academic writing, How to Write a Lot, psychologist Paul J. Silvia recommends that you perceive and organize your writing as a job: set aside regular and fixed periods of time for your writing do not let anything come between you and writing: neither "not feeling like it" nor a bored spouse must keep you from getting to work on ...


2

This depends greatly on the writer. You might need to try a few different methods to find what works for you. For me: I dedicate four hours every morning. Measuring by word count doesn't work for me because I think different scenes require writing at different speeds, also: research. I need momentum to write, so I try to never leave more than two days ...


2

As another example, Asimov's Foundation series does a good job of this. You say, "I want to be able to write about spacecraft in space as authors in the golden age of sailing would write [about] sea ships on the sea." In that case, you cannot ignore the technology of spacefaring. Those ships in the golden age of sailing were the technological marvels of ...


2

If you're after a medieval/renaissance style, there is of course Shakespeare, Marlowe and Bacon to draw from, but bear in mind these guys were writing for stage & so in a heightened style, often employing poetic devices that a person speaking in real life wouldn't use. Project Gutenberg has a collection of the love letters of King Henry VIII, which gives ...


1

Not to counter what has already been said by others, but the is a great difference between the letter of the law and the reality of its practice. A 14-yo can live alone in the United States. All it takes is a negligent guardian who enjoys collecting benefit checks, but doesn't follow through with any of their custodial duties to the child. Furthermore, a ...


1

I would suggest reading stories by hard science fiction authors, especially ones where they discuss how space-travel (or teleportation) limitations determine what is possible in the world. For example: Larry Niven's Rammer series of short stories explores relativity. Larry Niven's "Theory and Practice of Teleportation". Jerry Pournelle's Mote In God's ...


1

First of all, if a fiction book's purpose is "to show what will happen to the world, if something changes," then that's going to be one booooring book. Take, for example, Gattica. You might say the book's purpose was to show the effect of widespread genetic engineering on society -- and you'd be wrong. The book's purpose was twofold: 1) to entertain, and ...


1

A hint where you could actually place the new elements: You could put them in the island of stability. If some people expect half-lifes of millions of years, it's not much of a stretch to also put some stable element there (although a very long half-life may be good enough; after all, uranium is instable, and yet we even have quite a bit of naturally ...



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