Friday, January 8, 2016

Three Tips for Writing Sci-Fi this New Year

Posted by: Jenn Burke
Is writing a scifi novel on your list of New Year’s resolutions? If so, I’ve got three tips for you to consider.

1. Tropes are your friend.

I’m a firm believer that all stories have been told, but that’s okay. People are drawn to familiar elements—like the story of an alien or robot learning how to be more human (think Spock and Data in the Star Trek universe), or a human stranded on an alien planet (Planet of the Apes), or an alien stranded on Earth (Starman). Just because these elements have been in stories before doesn’t mean you can’t employ them in your writing. For example, in our Chaos Station series, Kelly Jensen and I chose to include Qek as our curious-about-humans alien.

2. Worldbuilding is important…

You need to know your world inside and out, especially the rules about how things work in your world. This is essential for consistency. For example, if your heroine’s ship doesn’t have artificial gravity, you need to remember that this will affect scenes throughout the book. It also helps to have limits in your world—it gives some realism. In the Chaos Station universe, for example, bionic tech exists but is incompatible with faster-than-light travel. The delicate circuits get fried.

If you’re got aliens in your world, what are they like? How are they the same or different than humans? If there’s space travel, is there a faster-than-light way to get around? Has humanity colonized planets or do people live mostly in ships?

There are a hundred (a thousand) questions you can ask yourself to flesh out the world of your story.

3. …but don’t get so caught up in worldbuilding you never get to the writing!

As a writer, it’s really easy to get lost in research and the planning part of writing. There’s always one more Google link to check! But don’t succumb to the folly of trying to anticipate and plan out everything in your world before you open up a document and type “Chapter One” or else you’ll never get to that point. Allow yourself to realize that you might come across a question as you write that you don’t yet have an answer for. Instead of stopping the flow of writing for more research, mark it with a comment and come back to it later.

Have fun exploring your universe and good luck with your writing!

Zander and Felix's relationship has been to the brink and back: the Human-Stin War, imprisonment and an actual death/resurrection. Zander's death, to be specific, and the experience has left him…changed. The mysterious race known as the Guardians chose to revive him and appointed him as their emissary. A high honor, but he could do without the group of would-be cultists following him around the galaxy.

When a recently discovered species destroys a stin probe, Zander's new role soon commands all of his time and focus. The human ambassador—Felix's ex-lover, much to Zander's annoyance—pulls them into strategy talks aimed at preserving galactic peace. Soon everyone is relying on Zander's Guardian tech to telepathically communicate with the strange aliens.

Only Felix seems concerned with the strain piling up on Zander, but he has his own resolve tested when the very stin that imprisoned him show up to a summit. Zander and Felix will both have to find a way to face their doubts and preserve their love—while preventing another galaxy-wide war.

Book four of Chaos Station

70,000 words



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...