Writing Science Fiction

Speculative Fiction has very strong roots in Science, but is also extremely connected to the Imagination, making ‘Science Fabrication’ and one of the most popular genres in literature. This genre is a simulation of possible realities and does not predict the future, it simply contemplates the future. Strangely enough those implausible ideas often, amazingly, come true. Science fiction spans the spectrum from the plausible to the fanciful, making its relationship with science both nurturing and contentious.

No one owns the future – go exploring by writing science fiction, enter the sphere where the boundaries of imagination are infinite. The writer is then on their own to utilize the elements that challenge the facts of science.

Most stories are dystopian not because authors want to spread doom and gloom. It is simply a warning of what ‘might’ be. Whereas utopian stories are filled with hope and optimism, a world that’s better than the one we’re currently living in. Therefore, when considering dystopian and utopian, the result is simply whether the author has hope for a better future – or not!

LET’S GET STARTED:

STEP 1: READ AND WATCH A LOT OF SCIENCE FICTION

This genre is huge, with speculative fiction, steampunk, new weird fiction, hard science fiction, space opera, scientific romance, cyberpunk, diesel-punk, etc. 

STEP 2: CREATE AN IDEA

Start with Imagination. Think, “What If?”, “What if this happened?” or “What if this was possible?” Great sci-fi begins with an idea. Ideas are totally divisible and there is none that you can’t make new by filtering it through your brain. A good idea makes you feel like writing about it. Many people have great-sounding ideas for books but never write them – because the idea is weak. If an idea can’t clear the first hurdle then it’s a bad idea.

STEP 3: DEVELOP A SITUATION

In science fiction, the writer can fit an ill-fitting idea into a story, but it takes effort and the result can be clumsy. When an idea feels enticing but won’t come out, it’s because you have a concept but not a situation. You need to develop the situation from your idea, then build, populate, and dramatize a credible, inviting world.

STEP 4: GET YOUR READER INTO THE STORY

All great stories allow the readers to see themselves in the story almost as if they ARE the character and are actively going through the events that your character is going through.

STEP 5: CHARACTER IS EVERYTHING

Characters need to be unique individuals, not merely representative stereotypes of their respective culture/ethnicity/species, so unique that they come from the world you’ve created. Your main character might be a lone human among aliens. Or a lone alien among humans!

STEP 6: ARE WE THERE YET?

Are you aiming at an open or closed series? Epic or episodic? Are you trying to change the world and the characters irrevocably by the end of your series? Regardless, each story needs to be able to stand on its own.

What are you waiting for – get writing.

“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”