23

Generally, most readers won't care... and the ones who do are weird. "Going to the Bathroom" is only brought up for low brow humor or plot points (such as a detail of an escape). You can even draw attention to your omission by having a casual question tossed to the character ("Wait... how did you go to the bathroom?" met with "I'd ...


22

Start with the works of other cyberpunk authors, specifically the father of the genre, William Gibson. Neuromancer and Burning Chrome are a little dated, but in a backwards kind of way. They are set far enough in the future that their cyberspace is more advance than what currently exists. Some of the ideas, like black ice, aren't possible yet (I hope) but ...


20

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,...


18

I've been working in Cybersecurity for 20+ years, and while I'm not a penetration tester (aka "white hat hacker") myself, I have worked closely with those for many, many projects. Real-world hacking rarely makes for a good story. There are a few amazing stories that I can't tell (NDAs and that), but they are rare, and most of the job is repetitive ...


15

This stinks! This is a slightly obscure question, and might be better answered someplace like the History SE or worldbuilding. It's more relevant if the character isn't from the period (like a time traveler), but the logistics of it won't be such a big deal for folks of the period. No one has felt the need to answer this question in books I've read unless ...


13

While I imagine it might be annoying to the reader, maybe readers will get used to these names and simply skip over them. The best way to check this would be to write some kind of dialogue (or copy an existing one and replace the names) and ask your beta readers. In any case, I'd advise you to make sure that each name has a distinctive beginning and ending, ...


10

"Good writers borrow, great writers steal". Real-world hackers have already found ways to solve this problem so just copy them. They've already solved the problem of presenting the often mind-numbingly boring topic of hacking in an interesting and engaging way. So I recommend that you learn a bit about hacking - not from a textbook, but from ...


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

It depends on whether leaving out details would constitute a plot hole There is no problem in leaving out details - if those details are not very relevant. Many authors tend to omit "dirty" details related to bodily functions, and if your book, in general, is not very descriptive and realistic, this would be fine to omit those specifics too. ...


8

BE DODGY: If you want to have a setting, but reality comes with a lot of baggage, then you need to create a new place. This can be LIKE a real place, but just a bit off so you can justify things that simply don't exist. But the point here is to skip the baggage of the real place while capturing the spirit of a real place. In most stories, I see this used ...


8

Pet Names/Convenient Initials: The MC can have pet names for everyone, and in third person everyone is called the pet name. But when someone is formally addressed, it's by their full name. So Alejandro Llewelyn Ignacio-Schmitt becomes "Ali" in the MC's head. Or a girl looks feline, so she's "Cat," but when the MC speaks they say "So ...


7

Don't get Bogged Down in the Technical Stuff: It is outstanding to have this level of detail in mind when creating a fictional city. Kudos. But these things are best for you to have in the background, so if they become relevant, you can pull on them. But guess what? 90% of the time, these factors won't matter to your readers. The less technical and more ...


5

In classic stories, like the tale of Prometheus (which I assume is the blueprint for this), this question is left out because it is unnecessary - you also wouldn't explain how the character took a breath or grew hair (unless it's a wizard beard) The classic story also had an awkward part where a bird eats Prometheus's liver each day, and no one cared if this ...


5

You have to come up with a solution. Whether you share that solution with the reader depends upon the genre, audience, and historical accuracy; whether the solution is an opportunity to show the personalty and motives of your characters; and whether who is telling the tale of the imprisonment would share these details. I do not think much detail is needed, &...


5

Social The most successful hacking is usually at least partly social. It depends on poor human judgement as a weak point. Getting an executive in a corporation to click on a link to download and install a tool that captures passwords for you is surprisingly common. Likewise, dressing and looking like someone who's supposed to have access to the networking ...


5

Newtonian Physics: When you're talking about a magic system, you are by definition breaking the world in a small way. But careful attention to detail should cover you. As long as you diligently follow the rules, everything is internally consistent and works. The problem comes when you realize you're 300 pages into an epic novel and some small detail you didn'...


4

I don't think it is possible to write about "hacking" (between quotes because personally I give it a different meaning than you) in a realistic way without scaring all your readers away with (to them) incomprehensible technical details. In most cases "hackers" just exploit an existing exploit with an existing tool - super trivial. Someone ...


4

Why: Kinda simple, to avoid offending people. Take DWKraus his example of Sokovia, it is most likely inspired by Slovakia(or a other eastern European nation). The nation is depicted as pretty much a third world country and in several episodes/movies in the MCU it is also implied that it had a corrupt government that wasn't above killing people. If they had ...


4

Don't fight the allusions to colonialism, lean into them. 100% morally flawless protagonists are just as boring as 100% morally despicable antagonists. Acknowledge that not everything in the "good guy" empire is all fine and dandy. When you feel that what they are doing is similar to colonialism, do your research on why colonialism is generally ...


4

This answer on a Worldbuilding sub might help: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/62648/why-would-a-city-not-use-names/62661#62661 In it, I talk about titles and positions in societies. While this is, in fact, the exact opposite of what you are doing, the answer might be contained within. Just ask the question: are the relationships BETWEEN ...


4

It would be a society where talking is simply allowed to take longer than with shorter names. Still, people would get used to rattle down the names - much like Finnish rattle down the digits of numbers. (A very instructive example is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuNs1v_jtfs, which demonstrates all numbers between 1 and 100; the start is very slow so you ...


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 ...


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 ...


3

Controversy and Emotion: There are lots of publications about industrialization and colonialism, and it's a really complex topic. If you want your writing to have a plausible feel, not just a pat anticolonial one, you have to embrace the complexity of the situation. I read a controversial but well written article suggesting colonialism was a net benefit for ...


3

Look to Biology: Okay, so I'm a biologist. I think that way. Something doesn't need to be from an alien planet to have alien motives. Think of humans and how they looked as primitive hunter-gatherers. They abused each other for gain (food/mating, etc). They hunted what they wanted, relied on others in a tight-knit community for support. If you try to look at ...


3

This depends on the perspective from which you are writing. An authorial (omniscient) narrator can bring this information before or after the dialogue, because the narrator explains the world directly to the reader. A footnote would also be possible, though it's less elegant and can throw the reader off the reading flow. Otherwise, the character can explain ...


3

There is nothing wrong with keeping the dialogue. From your excerpt, it helps to make your world feel real through the characters. There are a few ways you can choose to explain your dialogue. The first technique would be to assume that your reader will pick up as they go. In N.K Jemisin's "Dreamblood Duology," the narrator explains that one of the ...


3

Here's a brief overview of a survey of diagrams I've found, part of an ongoing research project on this topic: 1 - Gustav Freytag (1816-1895) In Die Technik des Dramas (1836), translated into English by Elias MacEwan as Freytag's Technique of the Drama (1895) Freytag specifically analyses theatrical tragedies (he gives classical and Shakespearean examples) ...


3

The short answer is, you don't put exposition in a chapter of its own. Here are some questions on writing exposition you might find helpful: How to avoid the 'magic explanation' info dump in Fantasy novels How do I avoid a “mid-story info dump?” Should I "tell" my exposition or give it through dialogue? And here are some other links: ...


2

I am not an expert on this but how about shepherd's pie. Seems like this is both an Irish and English dish and goes bad in about 4 hours at room temperature (source) .


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