Writing Books/Sci Fi pitfalls
I have a novel in mind that would be classed as sci fi. I have stop started it for years. The story has to be in a contemporary setting. All the best sci fi I have read explores the characters human journey through the story rather than concentrating on the fantastic science, however the characters are affected by a new technology they develop that profoundly affects their lives.
My problem is that the technology would have a massive affect on society as we know it. The medical, entertainment and military applications would be phenomenal.
I'm struggling to figure out how to concentrate on the characters journey without either short changing the reader by ignoring the tech's effect or overwhelming the reader with too much extra curricular information.
Okay, so let me see if I have this straight (feel free to follow up if I don't or if I don't answer all your questions). You want to write a sci-fi story, but you're not sure how to show how your characters interact or are affected by the technologies.
Character is a tricky concept that most writers--even very experienced ones--can have trouble grasping, mostly because character is so hard to define. Where do you put it? What do you do with it? Realize that characterization is the sum of a character's choices and interactions with his environment.
Knowing this, in science fiction, a character's interaction and exploration with technology is essential. The task that is laid before you, as a writer, is one where you have to cleverly disguise pages and pages of fantastic technology within the bounds of a story.
You accomplish that through character. Filter things through characters' eyes, make the plots that they create part of the sci-fi tech scene.
Also realize that there are two kinds of plots: one of character, one of action. If you're more concerned about your characters' journey and the things they go through and how they grow from it, then you may not have to worry about the advanced technology as much. You're focusing on the inner workings of your characters.
In an action plot, your concern lies with what happens in a plot and how characters' behaviors change the course of events throughout the book. In this case, you'll want to focus just slightly less on character and more on action.
Science fiction is an exploration of how society would react to a world much more advanced than the one we currently live in. The best sci fi stories you read combine the idea of a character in this advanced world, and the splendor of all that new technology that almost none of us will see in a lifetime, if said technology could even exist.
I think you're worrying about it a little too much. As you write your story, the elements of character and setting (which is another thing we've been implicitly talking about here,) will weave together. You don't sit back and say, "okay, today I'm going to write Character A's journey, then tomorrow I'll talk about all my advanced technology's effect on the world." They go together.
I really hope I helped. Good luck writing that novel. It's a difficult, but worthy, pursuit.