Writing a Science-Fiction Book

science-fiction worldScience-fiction is popular, but writing in this genre may not be as easy as you think.

Here are some tips to ensure your science-fiction book is as strong as you want it to be.

Write the story outline first. Then make sure it’s Science-Fiction that you want.

A science-fiction book is a genre. However, more important than the genre is the story itself. When you come up with your story, do not force it to fit into the science-fiction genre. Instead, write your outline and make sure the science-fiction genre fits your story. If it does not, then the whole story will seem awkward and forced.

If you specifically want to write a science-fiction story, create a story you know will fit into the genre, but if you have the story first, do not force it to fit.

Do something new. Each time.

Yes. Lots of stories have already been written. Don’t despair! That doesn’t mean it’s ALL been written.

When you are creating your story, do your best to come up with something people haven’t seen before. If you are unable to come up with an original story, then try putting a new and interesting twist on an old one.

The key to engaging your readers is to surprise them. What was that? An out-of-space vampire coming to save the world? Wow! I bet you they didn’t see THAT coming!

Know your world

When you create a world for your science-fiction book, it is imperative that you know your world completely. You may start with basic ideas of the world, its people (or beings) and its culture, but in order for the world to be believable, you have to go deeper and know as much as possible about it.

Even if the reader does not see everything you know, the background information on your world will make it much more believable.

Double-check your facts

Science-fiction is fiction, but the science aspect has to be plausible.

So even when you speculate about technology or situations, it is important to double-check your science facts to make sure that what you are writing is something that could actually happen.

If there is no scientific basis for what you write, your reader will not be able to relate to or engage with your story.

Everything should have a purpose

Do not include something in the story just for the sake of including it. Just as with any story, everything you write should have a purpose and help further the plot in some way.

If elements of the story are thrown in to make it seem more like a science-fiction book without adding to the plot, they will detract from the story rather than strengthening it.

Write to the story first, and the science-fiction elements will come from it.

Filed in: Writing Your Book

5 Responses to “Writing a Science-Fiction Book”

  1. January 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Hello Melissa,

    I want to say thank you for using my image for this article. 🙂
    Just a tip for all scifi writers… if you need some inspiration how your alien world or city could look like, then have a look into my shutterstock gallery where hundreds of images are waiting to be your next book cover image.

    Thanks again
    Regards, Yvonne

  2. Jenine
    January 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    I’m a bit young (16) . I have a wonderful imagination but sometimes dreams get spoilt by people who say you should be studying or you won’t get much money being an novel writer.
    They say this because I have really bad spelling and a talent in music.

    • Melissa Contreras
      January 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Hi Jenine,
      Well, some people have to study, some people have to work. That doesn’t mean they have to give up their dream. I know lots of people who work a full-time job and then come home at night to write and others who get up really early to do some writing before they go off to their college courses. If you are really committed to writing and it is your dream then you will find a way to make it happen.

      Before writing can make you a living you are probably going to have to work in something else. And in order to work in something else, you are probably going to have to study. Besides dreams we have responsibilities. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams. Just organize your time and schedule a bit better.

      Regarding bad spelling: the best way to improve your spelling is to read a lot. This is the best way to learn how to write words correctly and how to form better sentences. Your brain will learn and start to recognize errors when it sees it. Reading lots of different books will also ignite your imagination, give you ideas, help you improve your writing style and expose you to different writing techniques.

      As Stephen King says: if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.

      Good luck!

  3. Jimmy
    November 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    I’m amazed how complicated Science Fiction can be. I’m always impressed with all the intricate plots, characters and inventions writers dream up. You would think it would be easier to write when you can just invent something to make your story fit, but it’s incredibly difficult once you give it a try! This is another instance where authors like to keep books filled with the details of their characters.

    • Melissa Contreras
      November 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      It’s true! Science Fiction can bel really difficult to write because even if you have funky-looking robots flying around, your story has to be “believable”. Therefore, characters and plot must hold integrity and consistency. It usually also helps if you somehow “humanize” some aspect of the characters so that readers have something to relate to.

      Nevertheless, science fiction can really stretch your imagination and be a lot of fun to write!

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