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It's important for you to understand how your scifi universe works. It is NOT important for your reader to understand. With 2 exceptions: If it directly affects the plot. For example, if traveling faster than the speed of light is possible, and it will be critical to resolving some thread of the plot, you need to let the reader know beforehand. Likewise,...


20

To echo the comment from F1Krazy, you only need knowledge of quantum physics if your story depends upon quantum physics. You could write about information technology, orbital mechanics, synthetic biology, or a dozen other topics without ever mentioning (or understanding) quantum mechanics. While there are many different ways to write fiction, it would seem ...


20

Write the First one, then see if it's really a problem: Before you start to panic, I'd actually sit down and start writing. As you do, figure out what the central theme of the story is, then ruthlessly eliminate everything that doesn't support that. If it's not completely critical to the plot, cut it. That's just good focus. Now see if the material REALLY ...


12

First in, Last out A good rule of thumb is to resolve your major conflicts in reverse order that they are introduced. For example, if your story starts with a dragon attack, and while dealing with that you protagonist has a fight with their partner, then you should resolve the relationship issue before slaying the dragon. Your ongoing conflicts provide a ...


10

Show Don't Tell: I agree that it isn't always important for your reader to know the rules of your world - at first. Some things, like how the FTL system works, can be taken for granted - readers know what FTL is, but no one knows how it really works. explain the parts relevant to the story, and the rest gets cartooned in. But they do eventually need to know ...


9

I cannot do better than the answer by JoeStonecash in addressing the big-picture question, and I encourage you to take that advice and in particular to not worry about quantum physics until it somehow becomes critical to your story. At the same time, I wholeheartedly agree with the comment by Patrick Stevens that "the subject is unique among the ...


4

More Normal People Here's the thing, if your protagonist is the only normal person in a world full of non-humans, that immediately makes them stick out as unusual to the audience. By definition they are not normal, because they are the only ordinary human present in the setting. That will immediately make the character stick out to your human audience, and ...


4

Frame challenge: Why do you think it will be (better/easier/shorter/faster?) to write 7 volumes containing more than 20 books worth of content compared to just writing 20+ books? For sake of discussion, let's say you originally had 21 books of an average length of 350 pages, which is a pretty reasonable paperback size. Now you plan to have 7 books of 800 ...


4

Novels like Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep or Alastair Reynolds' Terminal World play in universes where the laws of nature are different, which plays a large role in the plots. In a way, most Science Fiction or Fantasy modifies the laws of nature to facilitate faster than light travel, unknown energy stores or to allow magic. Even the Expanse, praised ...


4

In The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells, author Ben Bova emphasises the importance of four elements: Character Background Conflict Plot This is no different from any other work of fiction. The difference with Science Fiction is the need to create convincing and consistent settings (world building). And he makes an important point: ‘Almost every ...


3

Something For Nothing? You can't get energy from places where there isn't energy. Ultimately, energy in almost any form comes from stars. The forms of energy we use are all the stuff we're likely to use. So it depends on how far out you're looking for tech. I'll give options for various alternatives at different tech levels. Most of the stuff listed by Allan ...


3

I would argue in a slightly different vein than the other (good) answers. Technically, you don't need to know how quantum physics works at all, to write hard science fiction that uses it. The only thing you need to know is what it can do. Or rather what people that understand it believe it will be able to do in the future. There is of course the engineering-...


3

Focus in on the book in front of you, and do whatever it takes to make that one the best book it can be. If that means you only get to a fraction of the plot, characters and settings you want to cover, that has to be okay. You can't write a good and successful book if your mind is fixated seven (or twenty) books ahead. Your best, and really only hope of ...


2

How much of that belongs in the same story? If you've had a bunch of neat ideas, they don't necessarily all belong together. One of my favourite authors, Charles Stross, has had two major series running at the same time (one a take on the old "parallel worlds" thing, and another a grimdark Lovecraftian magic/spy series), plus a future-humans ...


2

The problem with this approach is that it confuses the reader. The genre label is a signal to the reader that this story is one of those type of stories. A reader who is looking for a comfortable reading experience picks a story labeled as a mystery in the expectation that it contains all of the elements of a mystery. There may be some other elements but ...


2

Only Show the Relevant, but Have the Whole Story: You have a very complicated world, with LOTS of moving parts that will require tons of explanation. I love worlds like that, but you'll need to consider what you're trying to accomplish with the story. All those hundreds of shiny pieces of information are a draw on your reader's attention. If they're too busy ...


2

You can use comparison. If your character comes across other individuals of its own kind, opposite sex, youngster, elderly, different size, different colours/markings, then by comparing them to himself you give a picture of both creatures. Example: As he rounded the bend X spotted Y lounging on the track ahead, his fifth leg scratching at his stomach. The 5 ...


2

I'm not sure there's an easy answer; this is a problem in a lot of first-person narratives even with people. Here are a couple of suggestions: The protagonist/narrator/main character listens to people talking about it, maybe eavesdropping. The protagonist interacts with others who mention things in dialog, e.g. "But you're a land animal, you don't ...


1

Your protagonist is a dog, a sentient one. Or at least that's what your readers will think. That was feedback I got from one person on the first chapter of my own writing, depressingly enough, to which I had to respond what dog has fingers?! I can only assume that some of the details I gave were overlooked — two out of three people I asked for feedback had ...


1

I've considered leaving the description out and leaving hints throughout the story (example: the creature frequently mentions using its claws, showing the reader it has some kind of claws) and leaving the rest to the reader's imagination. Perfect. the events of the plot directly depend on the animal's design and abilities This will be opportunity for the ...


1

Okay, to answer your questions in order, since I've studied Physics: Diamagnetism is the way an object is repelled by a magnetic field. It is weakly present in all materials, but it is practically nonexistent in nearly all of them. It's the exact inverse of the force that allows you to connect paper clips to a magnet in a chain. (Newton's third law of ...


1

In Star Wars Thrawn, there's a lot of journal entries throughout the text. Whenever this is done, it is in italics. Throughout the book, italics are sometimes used as well when the POV switches from 3rd person, to the journalist's (Thrawn's) point of view. I suggest using the same system, as it flowed quite well. You don't have to use the second half of the ...


1

Formats: If your goal is to get this read, I don't think there's an issue. If you want to get this published with a publisher, I might use formatting (like an indent and additional lines before and after) to set this section apart, rather than font changes. I have a story with dream sequences, and this is how I set them apart. Sometimes the MC isn't the ...


1

If your world is populated by humans who evolved and adapted to climates as they spread across the globe, then --absent a cataclismic event wiping out local populations -- then you would expect diverse populations. You could use the traits of humans populating your planet -- Earth -- as a reference for which groups populated your world. This method is used ...


1

Peter and Jebediah both have good answers that I would like to expand upon somewhat. Peter recommends reading some other books that convey significant information about the physics of the fictional universe they are set in, and this is excellent advice. I can also recommend A Fire Upon The Deep, but I think that an even better recommendation is Greg Egan’s ...


1

I agree with the other comments. Sci-fi is a genre that does typically tolerate info-dumping, I still believe it is best to simply use the show not tell method when it comes to info-dumping. That way you're allowing readers to truly see how a world works rather than just telling them through pure info and data.


1

The key to writing speculative fiction is comprehensive world building. It's quite possible to take a junk-yard approach, throwing this and that into the mix. And if you do that, it is likely that the confusion that you fear will abound. The trick with good world building is to focus on how the built world affects the individual characters. That typically ...


1

There are a couple questions that need answer before considering the best approach for what you want; I don't know if you have answered them to yourself already, but mayne doing so will make the path to follow more clear. 1. How did you decide what each of the "new" 7 books will contain? You say your fist book will be the amalagamation of the first ...


1

There is no good way to do that. Did you have a long arc on the series? It may still be too long to put it into one book. And if you did that would be a very very long book most publishers would not buy. What you need to do is start over using all your ideas piled on the side so you can select some to use. Write your premise then do a log line. Write an ...


1

How does your magic work? This is the fundamental question. After all once upon a time, a woman gave you willow bark for a headache and told you to tie loosestrife to the yoke so your horses would pull together and they were both magic. Now that we know the bark works, we call it science. Obviously if magic works, that is no longer true, but if the ...


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