Stories about space, technology, the future, and other things that could be real but aren't.

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8answers
2k views

Is it appropriate to use real-life quotes in fantasy/sci-fi novels set in alternate worlds?

Situation: You have an imaginary world, fantasy, sci-fi, whatever, and you are at a point where, as an author, you know a suitable quote for the situation a character is dealing with. Is inappropriate ...
1
vote
3answers
68 views

Building new species. How deep and how complex?

In my latest project i developed new species not far different from humanoids. I am making whole history, gender interaction, abilities, their psychology and trying to discribe their life and ...
2
votes
4answers
123 views

Is a fictional story set in another world harder to get into?

I am writing a fictional story (could be considered science-fiction) about slightly primitive people. It is set in cold environment where a day cycle takes a whole year. Inspired by Antarctica, with ...
3
votes
2answers
319 views

Basics in the world building of a novel

About a year ago I started developing something like an alternative world. About two months a go I finally found some time for more work on this theme and now I am collecting information from few ...
7
votes
4answers
559 views

Skipping details in a scene

I often struggle with details in a scene, and thought maybe I could just skip some of them while trying to keep the scene seamless, but I'm not sure how. This is an example from the scene I'm writing ...
5
votes
6answers
232 views

Superpowers in Writing - Cool for the sake of cool

I originally started planning/writing a short story that was more or less based on a few popular trends in YA/Sci-Fi writing (interstellar travel, superpowers, etc) just as an exercise to force myself ...
6
votes
5answers
158 views

How do sci-fi stories hold up if their premise or details become discredited?

I've been playing with the idea of trying to write a sci-fi story that would resemble those written roughly 50-100 years back: things we normally would laugh out of court today, like Jules Verne's ...
4
votes
5answers
294 views

Is it possible to practice the craft of creative writing in isolation?

Is it possible to practice the craft of creative writing in isolation? I am not directly affiliated with a writing community, at least a community willing to read small practice creative pieces. I do ...
4
votes
5answers
134 views

Dealing with Extreme Distances - Space Travel

I know, you can go the Star Wars/Star Trek "hand wave" route and make it seem like everything is a few minutes or hours away, but... How do I implement a scenario where space travel is as common and ...
7
votes
5answers
269 views

Why do heroes need to have a physical mark?

It seems that a lot of authors want their heroes to be marked in a special way. It is not enough that these protagonists are going to be heroes, no; they seem to require having a mark that makes them ...
3
votes
7answers
347 views

How do you effectively develop a plot when you have a proper back story?

I'm writing a sci-fi/fantasy story, which is arguably not yet a novel, and has general similarities with most fantasy stories. I have a back story set and a fairly good idea on how the story is ...
2
votes
3answers
194 views

Does this urge you to read further or stop?

I was wondering if this opening of my book enticed readers to read further. The book is a dystopian novel. This is NOT a complete chapter, it is only a part of it. Please leave comments on how I can ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Where and how to publish new work

I have made several stories, not short, but not long. They might make a small book. But im new and dont know anything, Where should i publish it, i mean, safely , as they could rip off the idea or ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Alien checking, by making questions [closed]

I'm writing a story with a character from another planet, but also human. At the beginning, people will not believe he comes from another planet, so they will check it out, by asking questions or ...
2
votes
3answers
218 views

Is there such a thing as a “setting sketch” for a science fiction writing?

I took a look tonight at the post titled What are the pros and cons of building the setting before the characters and story? It answered questions that I had concerning setting being more important ...
13
votes
6answers
295 views

How to deal with common Earth references in a non-Earth setting?

Until now, I have mostly written in settings similar enough to Earth, mostly with human beings. For the first time, I am writing a short story set on a different planet, where the protagonists are not ...
9
votes
1answer
454 views

How to show that something is different than in real life?

I'm writing fiction set in the near future (~15-20 years). The world is still mostly the same and thus familiar to the reader, but an important part of the story is that a few things are radically ...
6
votes
6answers
625 views

How to introduce a world that's alien to the reader

I'm writing sort of a space-opera and I was wondering what would the best way to explain everthing about the world to my readers. The story is kind of a political intrigue, and it would be very easy ...
5
votes
6answers
368 views

How to “defy” physics on a sci-fi?

I am an amateur at worldbuilding and I am already building a sci-fi themed world with fantasy elements. In my world there will be different kinds of new elements to the periodic table and some ...
-1
votes
1answer
201 views

Hypothetical interview with Jesus Christ. Has to be deep? [closed]

I'm thinking on writing a short story of a non-religious person asking questions to an alternate version of Jesus. Do His answers must be of a deep meaning or could I just write anything as his word ...
3
votes
7answers
358 views

my first comedy plot draft is very bland. how far can I go on calling this out?

I'm currently working on my first book, a sci-fi comedy set on an alternate history Earth which has progressed at twice the rate of our own planet (they were at our current tech when William the ...
2
votes
4answers
78 views

Does this opening relate to the message?

This is now my third attempt of writing the opening of my book. I took What's advice and tried to send a message to the readers. the message was: What makes us strong is our courage. In the story, ...
5
votes
3answers
173 views

Does this opening somewhat grip the reader?

I took the advice of very helpful people on my last question. I considered many possibilities to start my book, but I chose this one. This is only a snippet of my opening. I am going for a strong ...
5
votes
5answers
213 views

Does this entice the reader to continue?

This is the beginning of my science fiction book that I am currently writing. I tried to be more specific, but without giving away the full idea. I might have failed at that. I wanted to know if this ...
12
votes
3answers
340 views

When do I explain my created world scenario in a prologue vs. letting it unfold in the story?

Let's say I'm creating a unique world for my book. New planet, maybe new species, complex society with complex rules, history, government, and so on. Some of these details are absolutely necessary to ...
6
votes
5answers
442 views

Can we enable readers to connect to far future humanity, without pretending they wouldn’t be different?

Everything about our culture has changed so dramatically over the course of the last hundred years that it’s very hard to believe that we’d be the same as we are now in five hundred years. This is an ...
11
votes
4answers
262 views

How do I avoid tech/social errors in near-future fiction?

Not long ago I read a novel set in the near future (mid-21st century). My suspension of disbelief was totally fine with time travel, an implanted "universal translator" of sorts, major medical ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

What are the 3 all-time best-sellers in each genre?

NOT your personal favorites (subjective)! The best-sellers (objective). Group book series together. Anyone know? Educated guesses are OK, but documented answers are preferred. For example, I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
204 views

Best way to convey an immediate change of scenery

Okay, bear with me. Think of it like this: My character is stuck in an situation whereby every time he sleeps, he wakes up at a different time (as in the past/future, not 8:00am), in a different ...
5
votes
5answers
452 views

What are the pros and cons of building the setting before the characters and story

I have a science-fiction setting I have been kicking around for sometime, but I am not sure how to go about fleshing out events or characters that would make for stories within this setting. What are ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

For Sci-Fi books, what is the purchasing split between regular and ebooks?

I can get the data for ALL books. But can anyone direct me to regular/ebook purchasing data broken down by genre (specifically sci-fi)?
6
votes
1answer
253 views

Research about science fiction readers?

Has research been done (at any level) that gives demographic and other statistical information about the readers of science fiction? I'm curious about age, gender, educational level, reading ...
11
votes
5answers
584 views

Can Readers Relate to a Book without Humans?

I've been working on a story idea for a few years now, during which I designed a world (fantasy-based) in which it would take place. The thing is that because this is a different planet, I thought it ...
6
votes
6answers
178 views

How can I dig conflict out of an optimistic SF-nal premise?

I frequently have ideas for what could be called "optimistic" science-fiction premises - imaginary technological or social changes which I think would create an unusual and interesting setting, and ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

How much can I talk about other people's works?

Let's say I'm writing a novel set in the future, clearly on Earth, with all the history that has happened through today. Obviously in the real world, there are numerous works of fiction that are ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

Avoid blending Fantasy and Sci Fi

In the world I'm writing, there's a decent amount of magic - mages, spells, healing, etc. There's also a few aspects - hoverboards, strength/speed enhancing experiments - that don't quite fit into the ...
8
votes
5answers
343 views

How should I introduce new and complex technologies or tools?

I'm writing a Science Fiction book. While this book doesn't push reality very far, there are some new technologies and tools that I have added. One tool is used more frequently than all the others, ...
6
votes
6answers
278 views

How can I convey dates (with ordering) for events happening under different dating systems, e.g. a Sci-Fi story spread over the galaxy?

So I want to write a Sci-Fi where humans have spread across the solar system and into the galaxy. There are multiple stories going across at several different times. E.g.: Aliens attack Pluto 3 ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

Inventing names for Sci-Fi characters

How can I invent names for fictional characters in a future-setting Sci-Fi story so they won't be connected to any existing culture? I considered the following options: Invent some random names. ...
7
votes
6answers
216 views

A cross-[What] kind of romance?

In the scientific taxonomy of Living Things, you have: Life Domain Kingdom Phylum Class etc. down to Species, and maybe thence to Breed. If I were talking about my neighbor's dog who is half ...
8
votes
3answers
476 views

Spiritual elements in a science-fiction novel

Does using unexplained spiritual elements (soul, "spiritual"/non-physical beings, afterlife, God, etc.) in a story with a futuristic setting make it science fantasy rather than science fiction?
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vote
3answers
694 views

Cutting down on paragraph size

As a novice writer of fourteen, I've tried a few attempts at science fiction (military science fiction, to be specific), and of course my writing's got HUGE mistakes and shortcomings. But the most ...
5
votes
4answers
259 views

Should my story's main obstacle be secret or common knowledge to the society?

I'm writing a teen dystopian adventure/thriller/romance novel. I've been thinking about the plot for awhile. I've got an idea I want to develop: a dystopian world where the government has gotten rid ...
4
votes
8answers
497 views

How to distinguish if a novel is science fiction or fantasy?

Through the process of writing my novel, I've found that I really don't know where it fits in the written realm. I believe I should have a clear understanding to identify what genre my book belongs ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

How well would this beginning sell the book to readers? Not necessarily for money

Disclaimer: English isn't my native language. A while back, I posted this and this. I got... well, reviews. While not outright helpful (ie. indirect, which is the whole point of critiques, I guess) ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

My story portrays a process, not a conflict - how do I make the process my focus?

My current WiP is a science-fiction piece which is less about characters coping with a particular problem, and more about the process they go through in reaction to the SF-nal catalyst. My story is ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

Is calling this process a “convergence” accurate and clear?

I planning to write about the convergence of our real world and the computer reality world. My plan to develop on this idea is to describe this convergence as a "merger" between our real world and the ...
8
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4answers
312 views

Will science fiction as a genre ever go the way of the western?

It is a fairly undisputed fact that the genre of western fiction has had a declining audience for decades. The Western Writers Association still exists, but if I had never worked in a Border ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Can anyone direct me to writers' resources on AI or robotic ethics? [closed]

I am in the process of writing a science fiction novel that will involve a large quantity and variety of synthetic life forms. I have been highly influenced by the works of Asimov, and while I may ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

How do you connect a non sequitur hook to a novel?

A pineapple is walking down a street, but here’s the kicker: he’s completely naked. That was a non sequitur hook I thought of. I figured that it would raise a bunch of really interesting ...