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11

It's actually totally easy. Just let your characters interact with their environment in a natrual way. Here's a real world example, showing different systems of paying the fare for a public bus: Out of breath from running to the bus stop, John was still struggling with the ticket machine when the bus approached around the corner. (Konstanz, Germany) ...


9

If space travel is as common and casual as current methods, then treat it the way you would treat current methods. That is: Take it for granted. Ignore the physics and ignore how it is operated. When you get in a car to drive, you barely even think about how you operate it, much less the physics of internal combustion engines, or the mechanics of universal ...


7

One of the big mistakes I've seen in some people's writing is that they focus on wanting to show the reader that "Hey, I've thought about these things and they are really important!" when they aren't. If you're story is going to be about physicists or chemists or other scientists dealing with the particular periodic table elements, then I can understand ...


7

This beginning does not grip me. Indeed it puts me off. For three reasons: I've had quite enough of books beginning with some dystopian teenage initiation rite. The claim that "this is the day" is completely vague and unexciting. And after the third unfamiliar concept (Booster, Emergence, Divide, Purgatory) I'm completely bored and ready to close the book. ...


7

Introducing some kind of mystery is a common technique for hooking a reader's interest, but by itself it feels like teasing: the writer knows something but won't share it with the reader yet. So no, this does not entice me; it annoys me, makes me feel manipulated because your narrator is being deliberately coy. Try combining it with another technique: engage ...


7

There is one fault with the previous answers by Dale Emery and Henry Taylor, and that is that the basic principles of sailing and combustion engines are a part of every school kid's education. And if something new is invented, as for example solar cells, it is extensively described and explained in popular media from newspapers to television. Any educated ...


6

Some of the choice of words depends on the desired feel of the story. The reader might be an invisible observer of this alien world with a fellow human guide explaining various details. This expert may be a tourist or have a more scientific bent (e.g., sociological, biological, or physical/chemical). With such a feel, wording would be more human-oriented ...


5

Short version: Carefully. Long Version: It is definitely true that any kind of fantasy/sci if setting that departs in its construction significantly from the shabby parade of commitment phobic half-truths we call reality will require some explanation to, and understanding from, that most ferociously temperamental creature known as the reader. The best ...


5

“Drake? Hey, wake up.” My eyes opened to someone standing over me. She had steel gray eyes and long, black hair that fell to her side. She was young and beautiful yet, she gave off a mature vibe. “Oh, welcome home Grace.” I said, yawning. Brandon Sanderson did this time and again in The Alloy of Law and it drove me crazy; My eyes ...


5

You can publish them yourself. If you do that, you retain all of the rights to the stories and the book. That way, nobody can get the rights to the book and throw them away. To publish an ebook, you can make an epub file and distribute it through Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Smashwords, and other places. They won't steal it. They want to sell it for ...


5

I agree totally with Dale Emery, but would perhaps use a long train/boat ride as the metaphor. Not only should the average passenger (a.k.a. the reader's point of view) be uninformed of how the vehicles operate, or the physical principles behind their locomotion, such passengers should not even recognize that their ignorance is unusual. Their attention ...


4

For now, write to amuse yourself. It might also amuse other people, but that's not something to worry about now.


4

Between the second and third paragraph is an idefinite stretch of time where your character sleeps and nothing happens. Even if you don't explicitly count the seconds in your writing, that time with nothing happening is still there in the mind of the reader, creating a false start for them. Don't begin your novel with telling your readers that nothing is ...


4

No. We're floating in void. It might be a mars colony or a soviet siberian town, or a suburb in colonial Brasil, or the last human city of postapocalyptic Earth, I just can't picture the place, nor the characters. I still don't know the narrator's gender. It's an uncomfortable void and instead of trying to get into the minds of characters I'm grasping at ...


4

This is one of those instances where understanding the history of things matters. If you're building a science-fantasy world with the equivalent of modern chemistry, have some fictional elements with distinct properties, and have any concern at all for the periodic table, you really only have four choices: Make the new element something strange and apart, ...


4

You don't actually have to care much about hard-core physics. If your sci-fi world is set in another universe entirely (Star Wars and the Force), you needn't even bother about following the periodic table or conventional physics. After all, the Force isn't even something the Jedi (in their Universe) can explain completely. It's okay to create imaginary ...


3

The first and most important thing to consider is your reader and, for the most part, I imagine they're humans. Writing a science fiction story where there is nothing for the reader to relate to becomes tedious, and unintelligible. To carry it to its extreme, assuming you're writing your story in English (sorry, you did mention you're not a native English ...


3

First, think about what is universal and what is specific to our own planet, species, or culture. Like, would aliens have the color blue? Color is a basic phenomenon of physics. The same colors exist everywhere in the universe. I suppose it's possible that there would not be any blue things on their planet, but this seems pretty unlikely. Surely something, ...


3

You may be interested in Brandon Sanderson's lecture series on writing long form fantasy and science fiction: https://www.youtube.com/user/WriteAboutDragons/videos This is an excellent series on the practical craft of writing and particularly about what you asked about, writing about what is alien to the reader. He talks at one point about the dangers of ...


3

I'm always a bit surprised by this question. My first impulse is to ask: Don't you read the type of book you want to write?!? You should remember how the world was introduced in those books, and how you reacted to that. Personally, I never read prologues, interludes and similar detours from the main plot. My recommendation is: Just write your story. ...


3

You're right that it's a cliche and they don't "need to". it is quite silly and one would expect it only from mediocre or lazy writters I agree. See TV Tropes: Birthmark of Destiny See also scars, beards and hairstyles. Villains also sometimes come with convenient labels, e.g. The Omen's Damien: See TV Tropes: Mark of the Beast. Frodo is one ...


2

I agree with the others here that the beginning is a good idea, but not executed well. I think there are two ways you can remedy this. First idea. I don't want the narrator to talk to me. Your narrator is trying to tease me by not telling me every important thing I should already know because I live in this dystopian world but don't know because I don't ...


2

If this is a day when something culturally important happens, then the culture will have a name to distinguish it (cf. “confirmation”, “bar mitzvah”, “quinceañera”). Who is the first-person narrator talking to? Why would this audience need to be told about boosting, etc.? “Others viewed it from a different angle. There were so many ways that people thought ...


2

My personal opinion? Do not rush it. Do I need to know that its 31st August? Do I need to know that main character is 17 years old boy? Do I need to know that there is some "Wall" which needs to be protected? The intro should give me a hint about what’s going to happen. And not little details about something which can be revealed later. I will think about ...


2

Get it on paper, and make sure it's funny to you. Then find beta readers and editors and see if it's funny to others. You can always fix something after it's written, but you can't edit a blank page. Start writing. Figure out the joke too far later. P.S. please reference Martin Freeman, for several obvious reasons.


2

As a suggestion, why not open with the altercation itself? You can use the fight to illustrate your protagonist. Is he short and slight? Tall and gangly? (Also think about how this might change as the story progresses.) Show his reaction to the dog's mistreatment as a way to provide insight into his internal motivations. Why is he fighting? Most ...


2

I don't think there's a right answer for what you're asking. At the end of the day, you're writing in English. English, like any language, reflects the history and collective views of the society it came from. For example, English has many words for water related things, especially about things that relate to sailing, because throughout its history (through ...


2

It's worth considering the fact that characters are a product of their world, and their world is a product of key characters: I work in IT, working in IT defines a big part of who I am, IT makes up a huge part of the world I live in, IT is a product of people like Babbage and Turing. In short I find World Building is best as a free form ...


2

As another example, Asimov's Foundation series does a good job of this. You say, "I want to be able to write about spacecraft in space as authors in the golden age of sailing would write [about] sea ships on the sea." In that case, you cannot ignore the technology of spacefaring. Those ships in the golden age of sailing were the technological marvels of ...


1

A setting sketch is as important, if not more important than a character sketch. We also maintain sketches on structures, roads, livestock, pets, vehicles, etc. Especially when working with long time lines. Another term that may help you find more information than you will ever need is to use "World Building" as your key search word. World building can ...



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