Thursday, July 05, 2007

Litcraft: Even the story about a story gets a Prologue

Given a ratio of one for to none against my idea of talking about writing a fictional skeptical story (or as I like to call it, an infinite approval ratio), I've decided to go ahead and try it out. If it doesn't go so well, I can always delete every post talking about it and pretend it never happened, just like I did with... er... Oh, nothing.

So let me first summarize what I'm going to be doing here. The goal of my writing is to create an engaging fictional story which postively represents Scientific Skepticism. Some other goals to go along with this:

  • The main character, who learns the benefits of skepticism throughout the book, will not be made to appear foolish or tragic for his/her beliefs at the beginning.
  • The story will attempt not to be overly preachy, and should not turn away fence-sitters or mostly-reasonable people (there's just no helping a few lunatics).
  • The story will apply the mantra of "Show, don't tell," to its goal. It will show the benefits of a skeptical approach rather than just claim them.
  • The universe must be one with preset rules. As this is a fundamental assumption about our universe when working with the scientific method, throwing it away will make this venture utterly pointless.
  • The story will not be solely focused on the goal of promoting skepticism. It will contain many other elements in an attempt to make it a good book in addition to any message it brings across.
  • One sub-theme will be promoting having a sense of wonder and asking questions.
  • I will try to avoid many big narrative pitfalls that can ruin a story, such as a deus ex machina to solve a big problem.

At this point, I'm going to give you guys a chance to chime in. Is there anything I missed here that you think I should add as a goal? Or, is there any goal here you think I shouldn't have? Or would you prefer I delete this post and never mention the subject again?


Nochte Elphi said...

Will there be a struggle? You mentioned that it will not be a tragedy. The struggle does not have to come from looking foolish or societal pressures. It could be an internal struggle. The reader will not be as willing to empathize without the character having to go through some hardships.

Theo said...

Cool project!

I think you should also show some negatives (or perceived negatives) related to Skepticism and the Scientific Method (Gödel-like incompleteness, perhaps?).

The applicability of Skepticism to metaphysics is also an interesting point to touch on or develop.