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10

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 ...


8

Complete originality is a bit of a wild goose chase. Neither Lord of the Rings, nor Game of Thrones nor Star Wars takes place in a completely original setting. They've all borrowed extensively from various sources. LOTR is based in large part on old myths, GOT is a fairly typical medieval-themed fantasy world and Star Wars is quite consciously a fairy ...


8

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 ...


7

You are overthinking this. There is Fantasy. Magic, fairies, dragons and such do not exist, yet the suspension of disbelief works without a special effort on the author's part. There are alternate histories. Utopias. Children's books about impossible creatures and events. Crime stories about crimes that never happened. Fiction with characters that do not ...


6

It's vanishingly rare to need a constructed language in written fiction. Orson Scott Card sums this up in How To Write Science Fiction And Fantasy: Invented languages are a lot more fun to make up than they are to wade through in a story. Here's the thing: very few readers will have the patience for more then brief, occasional snippets of languages ...


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 ...


5

In many (maybe most) cases over-research is a distraction our minds create to make us believe we are working on a project that we really don't want to write for some reason. It could be that we are afraid to write it because we have this beautiful idea of what we want and we are unsure if we could ever write it that well. The Best Advice The best thing ...


4

All fiction is about the suspension of disbelief. Decades ago I read a statement that sticks in my mind to this day. A writer discussing science fiction said that he had an easier time believing that it is possible to travel faster than light than he did believing that Perry Mason only gets big murder cases with innocent clients and always wins. A good ...


4

Answering more from a reader's perspective than a writer's, I'd prefer the version without the "cool for cool" powers --whenever I read something like that, it just seems like the writer being self-indulgent. You also run the risk of introducing plotholes. For instance, in the Harry Potter series, there are a number of over-powered magical devices (the ...


3

To build on Chris Sunami's answer, you don't want a universe or setting that is entirely foreign, lest your potential readers not find a way to identify with it even subconsciously. But given your examples, I definitely understand. I would say the most important aspect of a new setting is immersion; the more you can develop the world and characters, the ...


3

In the strongest writing, everything that's been included by the author has a reason to be there -- adds something relevant to the theme, moves the plot forward, develops a character, etc. If you're already suspecting that an item is superficial, then you should probably remove it. You wouldn't want an unnecessary element to accidentally remove the reader ...


3

I'm sure that unusually-spelt variations on words like "vampire" and "fairy" would be comprehensible to most readers, but, unfortunately that is partly because "vampyre" and "faerie" are a bit of a cliché themselves. "Faerie" has more than 15 million hits on Google. Evolving yourself some names from Latin source words seems a more promising strategy. ...


3

If you want to write a noble character, you have to first understand what nobility is about. Your comment – "To convey a more finer upper class breeding." – conveys to me that you don't actually think that nobels are any different from us common folk, but arrogantly believe so themselves. The fact is that individuals from noble families know their lineage a ...


3

In the Unites States it is implausible that a 14 year old legally lives on her own within society. Here are some expert opinions for Georgia, but it is unlikely that the situation will be different in other states: http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can-a-mature-14-year-old-live-alone-with-parental--1275608.html (I searched for "14 year old living alone" in ...


3

If you write a history, it will likely be of interest only to yourself (or as preparation for your book). That's not necessarily a reason not to write it. JRR Tolkien put years of effort into world-building for his books, which is likely a key reason for their continued popularity. If you do go ahead and write your narrative now, don't make the mistake of ...


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 ...


2

If you're after a medieval/renaissance style, there is of course Shakespeare, Marlowe and Bacon to draw from, but bear in mind these guys were writing for stage & so in a heightened style, often employing poetic devices that a person speaking in real life wouldn't use. Project Gutenberg has a collection of the love letters of King Henry VIII, which gives ...


2

Think up an alternate history and develop it logically - or parodically. Take for example a more serious approach - Steampunk: Electricity never passed beyond "mad inventor" sphere, and world developed finding new miraculous fuels to power increasingly advanced steam engines; external combustion engines got more popular than internal combustion ones, ...


2

Ensuring relevance/believability are key to stories/characters and magic/superpowers. When reading, I become fully immersed in the fictional world that if a power/ability appears 'just for show', the book's credibility weakens to me and I am cautious/fearful any new aspect that is introduced will also end up being a pointless trait. Though, I do enjoy when ...


2

First of all, I think you have to give your readers enough credit to understand what you are talking about when you use the term "fayree" instead of "fairy". As long as your spelling of the word doesn't get so obscure as to be unrecognizable, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Secondly, the burden of responsibility falls on you to write a ...


2

To my mind, creating an original world that still makes sense to the reader is best done by coming up with one central idea about this world and then deriving most of the other details from this idea. In Science Fiction this is often a technological development that may or may not be already starting in our days. For example in Altered Carbon one such idea ...


2

I'm going to take my own advice, and answer your question from a writing perspective, which (I think) boils down to: How original must my setting be, in order for my story to be worthy of readers' time? To start, try looking at this question and answers. One of the drawbacks of an original setting is that you've got a lot of explaining to do. Next, ...


2

In Tolkien-influenced high fantasy, realm is generally used in place of country, and means the same thing. A kingdom is a country which is specifically ruled by a monarchy. An empire can be one country or a collection of countries and territories, ruled by an emperor/empress. You can have one king or queen (or prince/princess) who rules a group of ...


2

What are your goals? Are you writing for entertainment, for yourself? If so, write what you want. Write the history, write a series of vignettes from the perspective of a prehistoric ghost of your world, write a new alphabet and language for each creature - write whatever makes you happy. If your goal is publication, ask yourself what kind of publication ...


1

Developing your world around a central concept or thought experiment that you want to explore is a tried and tested method, as is basing it on the needs of your plot and extrapolating from there. Both might, however, fail to provide you with inspiration for the details that are not directly connected to that central theme, in which case you might end up with ...


1

i am new to this so treat me kindly- the things that you need to worry about, are three factors to gain originality according to me: magic/tech/maybe both: have something new and interesting- something that people are willing and eager to read more about and understand this new system that you are bringing alive. in case of tech, just because the tech is ...


1

The short answer is no, having a slightly fantastic setting won't make your story harder to fall into, unless you do things that break your readers' willing suspension of disbelief. Rather than write a bunch of stuff about suspension of disbelief, I'll just direct you to this question from a few years back: What breaks suspension of disbelief? My advice ...


1

A story set in another world is harder to get into as the differences between what we (the readers) experience compared to what happens to people on the other world. The other answers are incorrect that it has to do with how good of a writer you are. What matters is how well the story you are writing connects to the reader. Plenty of fiction (mostly ...


1

ultimately it depends how how good your writing is! Some are able to very fluently create alternative worlds and places and have a natural ability to describe the nuances that matter. So really it comes down to your skill as a writer. But then why do you need to specifically state where it is? Describe your world as a place that will have an earth feel ...


1

YMMV as to how relevant this is, but basically superpowers = magic. And there is no one who has more clearly thought through the necessity and workings of magic in the context of a novel than author brandon sanderson. If you're not really sure what role your magic/superpowers are going to play in your story, you should take a look at this. ...



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