Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction

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We love a good epic trilogy or decalogy as much as the next fantasy addict. But sometimes a nice done-in-one story is also exceedingly welcome. And this is one area where science fiction seems to have a slight advantage over fantasy — both genres have tons of sprawling series, but science fiction at least sometimes spawns one-off novels. A character who gets a full arc in one book can be a richer character. Now, everybody wants stories where the main character is already steeped in the magical or science-fictional world as the story begins.

There are so many ways to tell that story, and so many metaphors buried in the notion of someone being thrust into a weird new world.

Science Fiction Genre Characteristics

I think to some extent, this is something that die-hard genre fans have seen too much of, but these sorts of stories could still have a lot of appeal to mainstream and newbie readers. Yes, our current understanding of physics tends to frown upon faster-than-light space travel — no matter what a few weird neutrinos may or may not have done.

And maybe a little bit less realism is needed sometimes, to amp up the excitement of space travel.


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Plus, FTL makes all sorts of other stuff possible, including space warfare and lots more first contact. And women often seem to be shunted more into soft science fiction or fantasy. But especially once you broaden your sciences to include biology or computer science, you start finding lots and lots of hard SF written by woman authors.

How to Write a Science Fiction Novel Series: 6 Tips | Writer's Digest

But present tense can also really work to make the story feel more immediate. And it can feel more arty, since a lot of vaguely literary writing is in the present tense. Image by The Green Giant. But at the same time, feeling constrained to make your protagonist — or all your major characters — as sympathetic as possible can put a straitjacket on your writing.

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  1. The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction: Volume 1?
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See our disclaimer. From the pitfalls and cliches common in a first story-and how to avoid them-to selling and promoting a novel, and living the writing life.

Rule #1 – Know your thesis

Every writer will find some value in the wisdom within these pages. Covering both the basics of writing genre fiction, and techinical aspects of the science behind a good sf story, this guide includes seldom covered topics: Alien Creation and Sub-genres, and topics no other book on the subject has written about: Fan Fiction and Graphic Novels. This is a reference guide that no aspiring science fiction writer should be without. All aspiring and newly established science fiction writers should read The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction before sending out their manuscripts.

Get Started in Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

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