Questions tagged [science-fiction]

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

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8
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3answers
714 views

Is time travel science fiction or fantasy?

The line between science fiction and fantasy is often blurred. And that's okay. Genre is often more about marketing than anything else. As a general rule though: SciFi has science and technology ...
18
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7answers
5k views

Fantasy novel with obvious - but never defined - sci-fi elements?

I'm considering writing a fantasy novel. While I'm striving to make the world as original as I can, and not rely on many of the popular fantasy tropes, for the purposes of this question you can assume ...
8
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11answers
6k 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 in....
2
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2answers
125 views

What are some ways to make absurdity of certain ideas in fiction more palatable?

I am writing a science-fiction short story where there are a lot of pseudoscientific ideas being dealt constantly. I was wondering how to reduce the absurdity of some of those ideas using literary ...
11
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4answers
568 views

Conlang question

Diving (OK, dove) into conlanging for a novel I'm working on. The Conlang is atmospheric and allows for some subplot intrigue, but it's not absolutely essential to the story. I've got basic grammar, ...
2
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3answers
80 views

Research on an alternate history novel

I love alternate history scenarios; however, I just want to start writing. Should I do research or just start writing and go with it with some research along the way?
24
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12answers
5k views

Problems Blending Sci-fi & Traditional Fantasy?

I have been cautioned against blending: Traditional fantasy elements Such as magic systems and exotic, less plausible creatures (on a scientific level - magic tends to explain away these beasts) ...
8
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9answers
253 views

When writing Sci-Fi whats a good way to determine the year?

I'm having trouble deciding what year I want my Novella to take place. How do other Sci-Fi writers make up what year it is in their writing? I want it to be far enough in the future that the present ...
0
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3answers
143 views

Finding resources for sci-fi writers on Quantum Mechanics

I don't have the financial resources to hire a scientific consultant to ask him whether my science-fiction plot is realistic, so I was wondering if there were any resource that teach Quantum Mechanic ...
10
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5answers
881 views

In the background of the Future

As I've mentioned multiple times, I'm writing a military sci-fi novel. The focus of the story is war, and that happens far away from Earth. However, I'm starting with my MC's "normal", on Earth. It is ...
20
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12answers
3k views

How to explain the main plot with science based concepts, without the non-sci-fi fans getting bored?

Let me explain: I'm writing a game where the Earth gets a massive biological attack from an alien race in the close future, and only a small part of the planet's life survived (few dozens of humans ...
1
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1answer
156 views

How do I write a Star Trek themed fiction making the story believable?

I love reading, but I am unable to retain specifics. And Star Trek has quite a few - like the difference between the 'bridge' and the 'deck'. So, when I try my hand at writing, I tend to skirt ...
5
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3answers
638 views

Dystopia that isn't cliche

Dystopian fiction is a big thing right now, and YA books like The Hunger Games and Divergent are pretty individual and subsequently are bestsellers. But a lot of stuff is also really cheesy and trite,...
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6answers
513 views

Does the concept come before other “literary devices” in philosophical science fiction?

I have read in a few books about writing science fiction that a compelling concept should override considerations for character, and possibly other things like setting or plot. I have the notion to ...
2
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0answers
52 views

Where can I post my rough drafts for peer evaluations? [duplicate]

I apologize if I am not in the right community but I figured this would be the best place to ask. I am looking for a place or a group where I can have my story read by others, so they can offer me ...
4
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3answers
254 views

Writing Structure - Building an Anthology Outline

Hi more experienced writers than I, I have been struggling to figure out how to outline a story (script) I am writing to put all my ideas together. I would like to make an Anthology where it starts ...
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0answers
55 views

Halting virtual reality advancement [closed]

Imagine a world where a shadow organisation can insert, modify or delete the thoughts and actions of individuals to maintain the status quo in society. Due to one faction of the organisation becoming ...
0
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2answers
80 views

How to describe movement in zero-G?

Within the setting of my personal project (a hard science fiction) I need to be able to describe movement in zero-G extensively. Because I wish to write a whole narrative involving very little ...
22
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9answers
9k views

What breaks suspension of disbelief?

So much of Sci-Fi and Fantasy requires the viewer (or reader) to suspend their disbelief: The speed of light can be circumvented, magic works, vampires are real (and may or may not sparkle), etc. ...
0
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2answers
95 views

Characters' motivation and feelings on defending against an alien invasion [closed]

I got really good answers to my last question, so I decided to post a new one:) In my novel, a few humans suddenly find themselves tasked with defending humanity against an imminent alien invasion. ...
20
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7answers
667 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 ...
14
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3answers
1k views

What are key features and pacing in a satisfying ending to a science fiction novel?

My novel has been through multiple drafts and beta reads, and by and large is in good shape. I've learned how to cure a saggy middle, how to stay in point-of-view, how to keep the protagonist driving ...
23
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12answers
6k views

When writing science fiction, how important is it to provide scientific details for the (fictitious) things you are presenting in the story?

I know there is a difference between 'hard' and 'soft' science fiction. But even then, it can be hard to know what sort of categorization in which to place and treat your story, and it is not really ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Use of past tense in a book about the future

I'm writing a sci-fi novella about a scientist named Steves living in the 24th century. I'm mostly using the typical past tense to narrate the incidents happening to the protagonist. Whenever I'm ...
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5answers
232 views

How can I make a compelling character unlikable?

I know what goes in to making an unlikable character compelling and engaging but I'm not sure I know how to make them unlikable in the first place. In particular how does one show that a main ...
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4answers
1k views

How alien can my aliens be if I want them to demonstrate how alien a human character is?

Using non-humans to show human failings is a mainstay of Science Fiction but is there a limit to how alien a viewpoint can be and still be used to show that a human character is devoid of an aspect, ...
12
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6answers
2k views

I suck at plots. Is there a way to sort of train oneself to think of creative plots, specifically in scifi?

I'm pretty good in the writing department as far as prose, it's just that I'll sit down and have no idea what to write. Perhaps it's a creative problem, I just don't know. I cannot figure out any ...
4
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4answers
97 views

Presenting unrelated or vaguely-related stories in a setting in backwards chronological order by epoch?

I'm thinking of a science-fiction or science-fantasy setting wherein modern humanity colonizes a new homeworld in a classical star system, bombs themselves back to a Neolithic technology level, and ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Seeking Comp (Comparison) Titles for my Work-In-Progress [closed]

Seeking comp titles for my WIP. Can you recommend books that meet one or more of these criteria? Soft sci-fi Space setting with fantasy feel Speculative fiction about species that has advanced ...
19
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8answers
7k views

Is it considered lazy writing to have a dry prelude at the start of a book?

I'm thinking of the crawl sequences at the beginning of Star Wars, that just give you the background information straight up, and then start the excitement. I've just been wondering if putting a ...
3
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5answers
196 views

Creating a logical framework for the concept of “decisional causality”

I'm working on a science fiction universe in which time travel exists, in a very limited form, but it's useless, at least it's the intention that it be useless. To that end time travel, on the rare ...
9
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1answer
166 views

Writing a short story set in a place I’ve never been

I’m writing a science fiction type short story set in Germany (actually Stuttgart). To some extent the location isn’t that important- it could be set anywhere but setting it there appeals to me and ...
4
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1answer
175 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 ...
3
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5answers
192 views

I need recommendations for what software can I use in writing my first story [closed]

Hi I'm new here and obviously I'm also just a beginner in writing a story. Actually, I'm gonna try to write a fictional story. So I will just ask if how do you start writing a story? Of course, this ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Could I be overdoing it on my first story?

I have always wanted to write a story so I finally started to take action rather than just dream about it. I have started writing down characters, their personalities, their roles in the story, a ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Researching Future Technology for a Science Fiction Novel

Because I enjoy reading Science Fiction, I'm thinking of writing a Sci-Fi novel myself. I'm interested in 'hard' (related to the engineering sciences) science fiction with a military bent (think The ...
7
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8answers
371 views

Why do most literature magazines take so long (several weeks or months) to respond to submissions despite having only a few hundred subs per month?

I have heard that the the editor of F&SF (Finlay) is the only one who reads all the submissions. Yet he always responds within a week! (With detailed comments on each story.) Clarkesworld is ...
17
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8answers
2k views

How do I know which elements I can use from the work which orginally inspired me?

I recently read the Blood on the Stars series by Jay Allan and really enjoyed the idea of a post-Golden Age human civilization that has splintered into factions and is now at war with itself. I ...
24
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9answers
6k views

Does everything have to be accurate?

Do I have to make everything apply to logic, physics, science, etc? The Harry Potter series has been a major hit, and it is nowhere near to being scientifically possible. But I've noticed that I can'...
4
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3answers
307 views

Does this opening somewhat grip the reader? [closed]

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 ...
1
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2answers
887 views

Do these starting paragraphs make you want to keep reading? [closed]

OK, first, I'm not a native. So, what you do by instinct and a bit of research, I do by extensive research, including accents and dialog style. I’m dead. ‘But you have a chance,’ I was told, ‘...
2
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0answers
41 views

Am I too young to publish a book? [duplicate]

I am writing a novel called "Abducted by Aliens", but I'm only 9 years old. Am I too young to publish a book?
5
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4answers
328 views

Writing a Novel Set In The Future

So, I have this idea of writing a novel set in the future. Not the far future but a few decades away from today. Could you please give me an advice for that. The reason that I am asking this is that I ...
6
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4answers
174 views

Do I have to capitalize ESP in sci fi fiction sentences?

Some of my fiction sci fi characters are ESP sensitive and the term is used a lot. Capitalized ESP stands out in my sentences like yelling so I am using esp,lower case. Is that acceptable? Will a ...
11
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10answers
3k views

I'm not enjoying my attempt at a science-fiction novella; should I continue?

I'm only 12, and I've been writing seriously since last year. I tried writing a novel before (I wrote only 5 chapters; I gave up later due to time constraints). I've written a couple of short stories, ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

How to add depth to writing - turn a story into a book [duplicate]

I've had a few 'great ideas' for books. I'm a big sci-fi fan, especially Michael Crichton. I'm not sure if that's relevant but there it is. I want to write a full length book, not a short story, a ...
18
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9answers
3k views

Referencing modern pop culture in science fiction

A geek today is quite likely to reference the pop culture of 30 years ago: "Do or do not, there is no try", "Beam me up, Scotty" and "Ground control to Major Tom" are easily and commonly recognisable. ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

How to balance between dialogue & character building and action scenes?

I'm writing a novel which takes place in a carefully built (science-)fictional world. The protagonist is also a fictional creature. Obviously, the reader does not know about the world or the creature'...
11
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8answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
330 views

Is trying to write an entire novel in one month possible?

Lately I've been thinking about trying to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where the idea (at least I think it is) to write an entire novel in one month. Is this even possible?