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You can improve your speculative fiction writing skills by using this advice on writing scientific fiction that you can get in essays and interviews with sci-fi authors. Phantom Writing Company helps you to be perfet. 0 reviews
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Writing advice for science fiction from eight writers
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Writing advice for science fiction from eight writers

You can improve your speculative fiction writing skills by using this advice on writing scientific fiction that you can get in essays and interviews with sci-fi authors or book publishing company.

If you enjoy reading good science fiction, you are aware that the genre encompasses much more than just space travel and bizarre scientific accidents like the Frankenstein monster. Discover writing advice from eight science fiction writers.

  • Choose your genre of science fiction before you begin writing.
  • Imagine that things don't have to be the way they are.
  • Follow the latest science and technology news.
  • Consider the impacts and systems
  • Examine the inventive applications of AI.
  • Display the impact of the change.
  • Accept the complexity of science fiction stories.
  • Consider access, representation, and power.

Put on your lab coat, and let's start:

1. Decide on a science fiction genre.

Although the word "science fiction" may bring up thoughts of Spock and spaceships, it covers a considerably wider range of topics than interplanetary or deep space travel.

This is clear from Ursula K. Le Guinn’s response to a question about being linked to the term "science fiction" in The Paris Review (Fall 2013). Le Guinn argues:

GUIN, LE

Science fiction is the name we have for it, even though I don't believe it's a very good name. I guess it deserves its own name because it differs from other types of writing services. But if I'm only referred to as a sci-fi writer, I can become irritable and aggressive. I'm not. I write poetry and novels. Don't try to squeeze me into your blasted pigeonhole because I'm everywhere. My pigeonhole is bulging with my tentacles in every way.

INTERVIEWER

I guess you can tell who writes science fiction by the tentacles coming out of the pigeonhole.

GUIN, LE

That's accurate.

As with any other genre, if you want to write good science fiction stories, you need to have a wide range of experiences and ideas to draw from.

Read a lot in your genre to learn everything you can about the different ways to write science fiction.

What kind of science fiction are you interested in writing?

What genres of science fiction are some examples of? The following are examples of popular science fiction and sci-fi subgenres:

Hard Science Fiction: "Hard" science fiction usually goes into great depth to explain the scientific principles it employs to support the story's events with fact, concept, and argument. Hard Science Fiction example: Frank Herbert's Dune series.

Soft science fiction uses elements of science and/or technology growth to investigate the "why" (for instance, why a future society could stratify (or not stratify) power in a particular way). "Soft" science fiction tends to focus less on technological development or function. H.G. Wells' The Food of the Gods and How it Came to Earth is an example of soft science fiction.

Dystopian science fiction that envisions a dystopian future in which advancements in technology or science have brought about calamity, disaster, or authoritarian repression is known as dystopian science fiction. Science fiction dystopia example: George Orwell's 1984.

Space exploration: Books about space exploration and conjecture about what might be out there can be found in a separate category on Amazon. A science fiction example of space exploration is Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.

There are numerous further sci-fi subgenres. Currently, Amazon's sci-fi subcategories include:

Adventure

Invaded by aliens

A different history.

Short stories and anthologies

Classics

Colonization

crimson and mystery

Cyberpunk

first encounter

Empire of the Star Wars

Genetic Modification

plus a lot more. If you want to narrow your focus, look through the entire list to get a sense of what's popular right now in each sci-fi subgenre.

I see two streams that go through science fiction. Jules Verne is the source of the first. It's called "the concept as a hero." The concept—a submarine, a trip to the planet's centre, etc.—is the main focus of his stories. The second is a reference to H.G. Wells. His own concepts were amazing, but he didn't give a damn whether they were impossible—an invisible man, a time machine, or anything else. He focused on the personalities, their feelings, and their interactions. These two genres are now commonly referred to as "hard" and "soft" science fiction.

In September 1998, the magazine Writer ran an article by Poul Anderson called Ideas for Science Fiction. It was about the history of science fiction.

2. Assume that things don't have to be the way they are.

Writing in any genre of speculative fiction, whether science fiction or fantasy, can benefit from a number of ideas. You can find out more ideas from Book Publishing Company.

It doesn't have to be the way it is. is one of these wonderful concepts, once more thanks to Ursula K. Le Guin.

Le Guin's excellent 2017 collection of essays, discusses the naturally subversive nature of fantastical literature. Thinking "else" is revolutionary because:

"Why do things work the way they do? Do they have to stay this way? How might they differ from what they are now? By asking these questions, we admit that reality isn't set in stone, or at the very least, that our sense of reality might not be perfect and our understanding of it might be wrong or arbitrary.

It Doesn't Have to Be the Way It Is, by Ursula K. Le Guin, No Time to Spare (2019), p. 83.

Le Guin continues on the same page.

The current quo's upholders and defenders may disparage, demonise, or ignore imaginative literature since it is, more than any other genre of writing, by its very nature disruptive. Over many generations, it has been shown to be an effective tool for oppression resistance.

p. 83 in Le Guin.

How do the aforementioned concepts relate to producing quality science fiction?

Writing exercises for science fiction

Based on Ursula K. Le Guin's remarks about science fiction's subversive power, here is a list of questions to spark ideas for science fiction stories:

How might future technology alter the existing quo, power structures, and hierarchies?

What kinds of new social structures could there be in the future or in a place where humans have never been?

What new economic ideas or ways of trading things for work or services could be made in the future?

How might technology influence religious or cultural practises in the future?

It doesn't have to be how it is if you want to write good science fiction.

Focus on the words "could," "should, and "God forbid."

3. Keep up with the latest science and technology news.

To write good science fiction, you need to be interested in the subject or, at the very least, be passionate about it.

Set up a Google Alert for a science topic that interests you to find bits of breaking tech news about AI, robots, and other areas of scientific innovation.

This way, you'll be informed whenever something that might inspire a tale idea is published.

S.B. Divya, a finalist for the 2021 Nebula and Hugo Awards, posts science fiction-related news on her author website under the heading "science bytes."

Divya states this about her archive:

This is a selection of this month's most intriguing stories in science and technology. Some of these are here just for inspiration, but many of these relate to technology that is addressed in my novels and short tales.

S.B. Divya's author website

Writing in a journal about remarkable scientific discoveries like these is a terrific way to keep track of intriguing new concepts. This is a fantastic example of the kind of information you may publish on your author website for people who are interested in science.

Consider the systems and impacts.

A difficult component of writing speculative fiction is creating a compelling world (fantasy or sci-fi). It's challenging because you have to conceive really intricate systems.

Science fiction is full of insights because there are so many in-depth interviews with famous science fiction authors on YouTube.

Here is an interesting interview with one of the greatest science fiction writers, Arthur C. Clarke, in which he foresees many of the features of today's cell phones long before they became commonplace (in 1976).

The interview's emphasis on how closely connected technological and ecological development are is an intriguing part for writers of good science fiction.

The interviewer asks Clarke to explain his claim that communication technology was still using "semaphore and smoke" (communicating by holding two flags at varying angles to one another) in the 1970s. According to Clarke (1:25–1:46),

You can tell a computer in the future that you are interested in sports, politics, or other topics by saying, "I'm interested in such and such items," and the machine will search the main central library and provide all of this information to you based on your preferences. When you purchase the two or three pounds of wood pulp that make up the daily newspaper, you know you are getting just what you want and not all the garbage you have to get. And because the newspaper is going away, [I'm] suggesting that this will save entire forests for future generations.

An Interview with Arthur C. Clarke from the AT&T-MIT Meeting (1976).

Clarke's position appears utopian to modern readers, which is understandable. There are different scales and rates of technical development, and deforestation is still a worry because of wildfires and the growth of agriculture.

Ask yourself how the environment might change as a result of technological advancements, or how the demands of the environment might influence or drive technology.

Some of the best science fiction stories do a great job of imagining systemic causes and effects, or the moving parts of a whole, and showing them through action and description instead of just telling the reader about them.

5. Investigate novel AI applications

At one of our monthly writing services webinars, we talked with Now Novel member, author, and emerging technology speaker Kate Baucherel about her cybercrime thriller SimCavalier series. The first book is set in London in the near future, in the year 2040.

We talked about AI and the quick pace of technological advancement, in addition to asking her for advice on writing science fiction. Kate says:

The artificial intelligence element intrigues me the most since it is both incredibly strong and completely stupid at the same time. This year's South by Southwest® conference in Austin featured a fantastic panel that examined the question, "Could an artificial intelligence figure out what the ending of a children's story was [if it was just inferred]?"

Every person can figure out that the rabbit was eaten by the bear because it took its hat as early as age two. However, artificial intelligence would be unable to distinguish between a cartoon and an actual bear. [... It is only as intelligent as the information you feed it.

Interview with Kate Baucherel from the "Writing Sci-Fi with Kate Baucherel"

Now Novel webinar.

You can use the many creative AI resources you can find online to come up with ideas for science fiction stories or settings, or you can make your own visual prompts.

Try craiyon.com, a browser-based application that converts natural language into visuals using the OpenAI framework. Entering "this astonishing foreign land and its terrifying vegetation" was the cause of this.

Using AI techniques to identify science fiction inspiration, for instance.

An online platform called Copy.ai uses AI to assist writers (more precisely, marketers) in coming up with and developing ideas.

To see what analogies would come up, we supplied the tool with the terms "artificial intelligence," "virtual humans," and "machines that have feelings."

Its options for analogies started off fairly predictably:

My computer is like a virtual human in that it can trick me into thinking it has emotions.

Copy.ai output for comparison

When copy.ai delivered an anomaly, a more peculiar, unexpected response to the identical prompt words, that's when it started to get interesting from a storytelling standpoint:

A priest has to go since he is friends with a different group of individuals.

The initial inputs didn't say anything about the clergy, so the sample data must have had information about these phrases.

Using the central idea finder on Now Novel's dashboard for outlining stories, the following sentence could be turned into a "soft" science fiction story idea:

This is just one potential evolution of the AI-generated prompt; "goodbye" might also refer to a different form of departure, such as posthumanism.

Utilizing your imagination to conceive "else" is necessary for writing outstanding science fiction. You can achieve that with the aid of AI, virtual intelligence, and easy browser-based applications in occasionally surprising and amusing ways. Most people start writing careers from Article writing services.

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