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5 Crucial Tips for Writing Incredible Science Fiction
Writing science fiction can be a great experience with the world-building and creative freedom it affords. However, creating something unique yet relatable can be a challenging writing process. But here are some great tips that can help you craft that fascinating adventure in an advanced scientific universe.
1. Choose your subgenre: The first thing you may need to determine when you decide to write SF is the type of SF you are planning to write. Space operas and dystopian novels are all SF, but they belong to different sub-genres. Narrowing it down to a precise subgenre helps you understand who your readers are and what they want. Generally, SF can be hard or soft. Hard SF is heavily grounded on scientific principles and theories, and its readers often expect complete scientific accuracy. Soft Sf focuses more on the social and cultural aspects of the fictional universe, which has an enormous impact on the readers.
2. Make your world structure plausible: Whatever matters most to the SF you decide to write, it still has to be believable and based on some already known facts. This doesn't mean you should understand all the scientific aspects of your story's fictional world, but as much as it matters to your narrative, you need to get your facts straight. Also, the social structure needs to be plausible. You can achieve this by mimicking or building upon what is obtainable in the real world. Understanding social dynamics and power structures in society helps you create an engaging social system for your SF. Also, avoid making up facts just because they support a plot point, especially when it is clear that these facts are just out of place.
3. Spread out your world-building: In SF, you present your readers with a fictional world that has never existed. So, it is often tempting to give them an expository dump that explains everything about this great new world you have created. But this is very bad for any work of fiction, SF included. Some SF novels begin with a prologue that tries to explain the fictional world and its history. But this method of world-building is not ideal. World-building should be everywhere in your work; the dialogue, the action scenes, the essential plot point, and every other aspect of your narrative. Try to spread it out here and there and show how they affect the characters and their actions. Make it gradual and essential.
4. Remember the core of your story: The inspiration for SF is usually the idea of a certain kind of universe with a unique scientific possibility. However, at the core, SF is just like every other narrative genre: it tells a story. When you remove every technical detail around it, you have a character facing conflict and trying to overcome it. Don't lose sight of this. Identify the conflict of your narrative, the suspense and drama it can produce, and how you intend to narrate it all. The Journey from the beginning to the end of your work is crucial. And you need to pay close attention to the various techniques you intend to employ in crafting it.
5. Create incredible characters as well: The unique aspect of SF fiction is undoubtedly world-building, which is what most authors of the genre seem to prioritize. However, character development can't be sacrificed on the altar of incredible world-building. Your fascinating fictional world will mean nothing if the readers can't connect with your characters and their struggles. Your characters should have a personality that affects how they tackle problems, desires that don't change with time, and a past that explains their motivation. The beauty of SF is the blend of mind-blowing science with the plights of the human condition.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Frank Stephen