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Writing Science Fiction How To

Why Sci-fi Rocks and You Should Write Some!

Writing science fiction is very enjoyable and fulfilling. It not only gives you the opportunity to write fiction, which is enjoyable in itself no matter what the genre. But it also gives you an opportunity to explore time, space, society, the future, the past, and so many other things that we don't get the opportunity to consider during the usual progression of our lives.

Science fiction is a bit of a misnomer. It conjures images of space rockets flying past the moon, and vivid images of little green men sneaking into bedrooms and abducting people. Those things have always been part of it, but science fiction is about speculation more than anything else. Many who write science fiction prefer to call it speculative fiction for that reason.
Speculative fiction abandons the sci part of it, because good science fiction isn't about the tech, it's about the people, its about the setting, its about the struggles we all face and the problems that may or may not arise in other times and other places.
Science fiction isn't about the tech, but about the people and their struggle. Bad science fiction forgets that.
Science fiction isn't about the tech, but about the people and their struggle. Bad science fiction forgets that.

Scienc Fiction & Tech

The technology is an important aspect of science fiction, but remember that science fiction is not about the technology, it is about the people, and their personal struggles. Technology is just part of the fabric of a science fiction story, like the scene is in any other story, but it doesn't define the story. You can get away with a good science fiction story with very minimum science fiction elements. In fact, it can sometimes be hard to tell where normal fiction starts and science fiction begins.

Quick tips for writing science fiction

  • Start with the scene, once you have the scene, the characters will look after themselves. Make sure you have a good solid world for your characters. You'll soon find as your world pushes and pulls at them that they take on a life of their own. It sounds cliche, but it is true.
  • There are two types of science fiction, both are equally valid. One strives for scientific accuracy, pushing the boundaries of what is possible within the limits of what we can realistically foresee. The other mixes science fiction with fantasy and explores without limits. Pick the one you are most comfortable with. But be aware, you will run into trouble if you try for real science and get it wrong.
  • All good stories require conflict. Find conflict, use it to drive the plot forward. As your characters react to the pushing and pulling of the conflict they will find new ways of dealing with the struggle that will send your plot crashing down a completely new course, all on their own. Writing isn't hard, your characters do all the work for you.
  • Pick a word count. If could be five hundred words, it could be 3 paragraphs. Set that target and make sure you stick to it every day.
  • Writer's block is a good excuse never to write a word. Waiting for inspiration will kill your story writing. Never wait for inspiration. If you are afraid you are writing rubbish, then write down the rubbish. If you keep consistently writing you'll soon get any rubbish out of your system, and you'll soon be writing great stuff. If you don't write anything you'll have nothing at all, ever.

Should I buy a book?

There's a lot been written on the topic of writing science fiction. Are any of these books any good? If you want to write science fiction then they might seem a good investment, but unfortunately they are not quite as good as you might think. The best advice you could receive is to steer clear of any books claiming to teach you to write science fiction. Buy a book that's about writing fiction or about how to write a book, and you will get much better value for money. In order to write a book about writing science fiction, the writer has to assume that you've just stepped out of an alien space ship having came all the way from a planet far far away, and that you've never read a single science fiction work in your life. They will proceed to go over the basics for so much of the book, that little opportunity is left to actually cover the important parts, like how to write. Most people who want to write science fiction do so because they love science fiction, because they are already fans of the genre, and it is there understanding of science fiction that inspires them to craft their own science fiction stories.
Yes, buy a book, but not a book about writing science fiction. Buy a book about perfecting your general writing instead. It will be much better value for money.

Posted by Omkarr singh on Thursday, December 27, 2012. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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