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Friday, March 1, 2013

Lagniappe for the Reader

The French "lagniappe" is the idea of giving something extra. While this can entail many things for a writer, in this case, I'm talking about ideas for physical objects.

Most sci-fi readers know Robert A Heinlein invented the waterbed, and Arthur C. Clarke invented the geosynchronous communication satellite. It's often quicker and easier to get an idea for an invention into fiction than it is to develop it in the real world.

In Pageburner, the main idea was a virus to destroy the authoritarian/fascist element of society. But that is a bit esoteric and difficult to develop. But there's also a Walkman-type vaporizer for smoking pot in public without getting caught.

Perfect Me allowed me to showcase my videogame designs, including about seven or so fully-realized games.

In Radar Love, I proposed a new strain of Marijuana, Willie Wonka, grafted with spearmint.

The idea is to add value to the story, but also give people ideas. I list Perfect Me in the game design section of Amazon in the hopes of inspiring game writers to develop some of my own designs.

Good writing should be about ideas. Don't be afraid to include things that others have dismissed as far-fetched. I've found that time has a way of proving forward-thinking people correct in the long term.