How Science Helped Write The Father


Here the author describes how science helped in story description.

“I worked in highly creative scientific and engineering environments that required a good deal of writing (~200 proprietary papers). The problem was always how to explain complex matters in an assessable form, often to those with no scientific training. This concern for clear precision and detail helped minimize verbiage in The Father. The rigorous nature of science and engineering forced me to challenge every line in the book. Not only was that rigor applied to plot coherence, character development and drama, but for those three philosophical chapters in the book demanding fair treatments of opposing views. (To see how theatrical training helped character development, click this. To see the usefulness of visual arts in writing, go here).

“My time at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) was the first occasion (for me) that science, writing, and art found a common cause. HARC also supported the arts in the Houston area at that time and I was the beneficiary of some of that support when two of my paintings were selected for the annual Holiday card in 1992 and 1994. This practice of combining art and science was later refined for reasons of complex topic communications at the Advanced Systems Design Syndicate (ASDS) – an applied research center within Lockheed Martin.

“A career in the sciences also allowed occasional combinations of scientific lingo at appropriate moments within The Father. The effect could be humorous when placed in conjunction with emotional scenes, such as the first time Morgan sees Ne Shoul, the soon-to-be love of his life, like: ‘In a biological riot, chemical transmitters in Morgan’s brain battled to bridge nonconductive gaps not roused by electricity in decades.’ Or it could add drama to tense episodes, such as during The Great Upheaval of 2057: ‘Factions crystallized among people as though elevated temperatures sorted common atoms into amalgams of grievance.’

“What this use of science showed me (as well as artistic and acting endeavors) is that all of us have the capacity to draw from life’s many experiences to enrich our writing. Each comes to it by their own route not quite the same as anybody else, making each story unique.”