I would like to give a BIG round of applause to ALL of you who have taken what I believe to be the hardest genre to write in. So much has to go into writting Sci Fi. But for every great piece of Sci Fi, there are tons of really bad Sci Fi. So I'm asking for a small piece of your writting process. I'm not talking basic plot points or character development. These go into all story telling. I mean the things that only relate to Science Fiction. What you say to yourself as your writting about Warp drives, Lazer guns, psychic blast, Alien tech or whatever laws exist in your world that do not exist in the real world.

So please give me YOUR SCI FI DO'S & DON'TS

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LMAO!! Ok!

DON'T... STEAL from other science fiction! I'm talking to YOU STARGATE UNIVERSE! 1st you had your "gates" which was fine but then your writers got LAZY and decided to start "beaming" people to planets. WE KNOW YOU STOLE IT!!

DO... some RESEARCH!!! You can make up anything you want! Really, I'm cool with just about ANYTHING...but if you're writing SCIENCE fiction you still have to base you fiction in some kind of science! Example? Mars is NOT over a THOUSAND LIGHT YEARS away! I'm talking to YOU STARBLAZERS!!!

DON'T...show off for the sake of showing off! If you're fighting Vampires and decide to kill one with "lazer Bat'leth" you're readers are going to wonder why your hero didn't just shoot the damn thing with a lazer GUN!1 I'm talking to YOU BLADE TRINITY!!!

DON'T...over explain your unique concepts. If it's magic...let it BE MAGIC. DON'T tell me that your wizards bodies are host to some parasite! I'm talking to YOU GEORGE LUCAS!!!!!!

Don't forget that not every critter here walks about on two legs so why should it be so in the universe?

When it comes to sci-fi, it's a story supported by the technology. Yes, you can make up anything you want. But, what you create must suspend the belief of the reader/audience. If it's a magical environment same rules apply but with magic. One great rule came from an episode of the 'Dungeons and Dragons' cartoon when the Dungeon Master character explained that though he could do anything, there were consequences. If he made it rain in one place, there would be a drought somewhere else. For your story to be 'believable' the use of great scientific or magical powers should have consequences. Even in "Star Wars" when the Death Star used its 'Planet Killer' beam, it brought down the wrath of the Rebel Forces.

You will have to go into some detail concerning how or why a particular piece of gear, spell, magical item or system works if it is at the core of your plot. For god's sake don't go into infinite detail! Tell the reader just enough to get the point of its importance across and then move on. If it's just a supporting element give a short intro as to what it is (preferably by showing what it can do) and move on.

Creating supporting races, cultures and creatures follow the same rules as the previous. Also, if you have a character that can identify a race, culture or creature, please give a believable reason as to how the character knows this. Again, keep it brief. You can also show how the character has the info by showing it earlier in the story. That way, by the time the character encounters said element the reader already knows.

Lastly, what is your sci-fi story about the characters or the tech/magic? Technology/Magic generally doesn't create itself. If it does, then it should be considered and written as a character. Otherwise, there will be people, beings, robots, whatever which shall populate your world/universe. Character driven stories are what make readers turn the pages and audiences keep their eyes on the screen. The moment your story starts to wander away from characters pushing the story forward, you'll lose your readers/audience.

Preach Mr. Porter Preach

H. Wolfgang Porter said:

When it comes to sci-fi, it's a story supported by the technology.

You will have to go into some detail concerning how or why a particular piece of gear, spell, magical item or system works if it is at the core of your plot. For god's sake don't go into infinite detail! Tell the reader just enough to get the point of its importance across and then move on. If it's just a supporting element give a short intro as to what it is (preferably by showing what it can do) and move on.

Lastly, what is your sci-fi story about the characters or the tech/magic? Technology/Magic generally doesn't create itself. If it does, then it should be considered and written as a character. Otherwise, there will be people, beings, robots, whatever which shall populate your world/universe. Character driven stories are what make readers turn the pages and audiences keep their eyes on the screen. The moment your story starts to wander away from characters pushing the story forward, you'll lose your readers/audience.


LOL, and also don't forget

Don't forget don't come up with convenient outs just because you're SCI Fi. I'm talking to you Superman II and your magical pulled out of your ass powers like invisibility and the S throwing net.
Night Manager said:

LMAO!! Ok!

DON'T... STEAL from other science fiction! I'm talking to YOU STARGATE UNIVERSE! 1st you had your "gates" which was fine but then your writers got LAZY and decided to start "beaming" people to planets. WE KNOW YOU STOLE IT!!

DO... some RESEARCH!!! You can make up anything you want! Really, I'm cool with just about ANYTHING...but if you're writing SCIENCE fiction you still have to base you fiction in some kind of science! Example? Mars is NOT over a THOUSAND LIGHT YEARS away! I'm talking to YOU STARBLAZERS!!!

DON'T...show off for the sake of showing off! If you're fighting Vampires and decide to kill one with "lazer Bat'leth" you're readers are going to wonder why your hero didn't just shoot the damn thing with a lazer GUN!1 I'm talking to YOU BLADE TRINITY!!!

DON'T...over explain your unique concepts. If it's magic...let it BE MAGIC. DON'T tell me that your wizards bodies are host to some parasite! I'm talking to YOU GEORGE LUCAS!!!!!!

rotfl. true talk.



MARC said:


LOL, and also don't forget

Don't forget don't come up with convenient outs just because you're SCI Fi. I'm talking to you Superman II and your magical pulled out of your ass powers like invisibility and the S throwing net.
Night Manager said:

LMAO!! Ok!

DON'T... STEAL from other science fiction! I'm talking to YOU STARGATE UNIVERSE! 1st you had your "gates" which was fine but then your writers got LAZY and decided to start "beaming" people to planets. WE KNOW YOU STOLE IT!!

DO... some RESEARCH!!! You can make up anything you want! Really, I'm cool with just about ANYTHING...but if you're writing SCIENCE fiction you still have to base you fiction in some kind of science! Example? Mars is NOT over a THOUSAND LIGHT YEARS away! I'm talking to YOU STARBLAZERS!!!

DON'T...show off for the sake of showing off! If you're fighting Vampires and decide to kill one with "lazer Bat'leth" you're readers are going to wonder why your hero didn't just shoot the damn thing with a lazer GUN!1 I'm talking to YOU BLADE TRINITY!!!

DON'T...over explain your unique concepts. If it's magic...let it BE MAGIC. DON'T tell me that your wizards bodies are host to some parasite! I'm talking to YOU GEORGE LUCAS!!!!!!

First thing that comes to mind?

Don't go overboard with the alien names.  M'th'w'k'lah'hnn.  What?  Huh?  How am I supposed to pronounce that?  Are all of those apostrophes really necessary?  No, they aren't.  Keep the names simple, and easy to pronounce.  Human names from different cultures are difficult enough to pronounce already.  It doesn't take a whole lot for a name to sound exotic.

Don't make mono-cultural alien species.  If every single member of the species is aggressive and warlike, or likewise a non-violent sage, then you're being a lazy writer. 

DO think of as many applications as possible for the technology/magic/super powers you're putting in your story. I can't count how many episodes of Star Trek I've seen where people needed to be rushed to Sick Bay, or better yet, died because they couldn't get there.  They've got transporters in the ship, but they can't beam people to sick bay, or beam doctors to patients?  Obviously no one can think of everything little thing, but giving it a little thought can go a long way. 

DO think of what kind of impact having a certain technology/magic would have on a society in question.  If everyone is teleporting to work, does that make them more sedentary?  Or does easy access to normally difficult to reach places, make some people more active? How are gas prices effective?  How does teleportation effect other industries?  Perhaps the automobile companies are trying to push rumors of teleportation being the leading cause of cancer in a desperate attempt boost sales. 

DO get a rudimentary knowledge of physics, biology, and anthropology.  Be knowledgeable in at least one of those areas or their sub-fields.  Bad science only detracts from Sci-Fi.

Yeah... And stay consistent too!


Don't have Stormtroopers storming through the galaxy blasting everybody and they momma only to get trashed by sticks and stones throwing fuzzy little Ewoks!

And don't get us all up and excited by a bad @$$ intergalactic bounty hunter only to have Boba Fett "Accidently" fall into the Sarlaac Pit like a jive time sucker with no sense of awareness and balance!

And gosh dang darn it doo hickey the ultimate Dark Lord of The Sith should not be played by whiny little boys or teenagers... Have vast auditions and cast better!

So basically don't be so caught up in your own world that you refuse to heed better advice from those who are not your designated Yes men!

As an aside, please don't use passive voice, "seems as if", very, somehow, strangely, modern slang (surely it's changed in the last thousand years) and for heaven's sake, use punctuation and the right word!! (reigns, reins, rains -- affect, effect -- to, too, two)

Ok, ranting done. Gotta get back to editing soon, only 60 pages left to plow (and I do mean PLOW) through. Great story, great concepts, but you can see the problems...

Oh, and don't have 8 story lines going on and only 3 come together by the end of the book. Put the other 5 in the next two books!!


             Got Damn that was great. Thank you exactly what I'm talking about.
Griot Geist said:

First thing that comes to mind?

Don't go overboard with the alien names.  M'th'w'k'lah'hnn.  What?  Huh?  How am I supposed to pronounce that?  Are all of those apostrophes really necessary?  No, they aren't.  Keep the names simple, and easy to pronounce.  Human names from different cultures are difficult enough to pronounce already.  It doesn't take a whole lot for a name to sound exotic.

Don't make mono-cultural alien species.  If every single member of the species is aggressive and warlike, or likewise a non-violent sage, then you're being a lazy writer. 

DO think of as many applications as possible for the technology/magic/super powers you're putting in your story. I can't count how many episodes of Star Trek I've seen where people needed to be rushed to Sick Bay, or better yet, died because they couldn't get there.  They've got transporters in the ship, but they can't beam people to sick bay, or beam doctors to patients?  Obviously no one can think of everything little thing, but giving it a little thought can go a long way. 

DO think of what kind of impact having a certain technology/magic would have on a society in question.  If everyone is teleporting to work, does that make them more sedentary?  Or does easy access to normally difficult to reach places, make some people more active? How are gas prices effective?  How does teleportation effect other industries?  Perhaps the automobile companies are trying to push rumors of teleportation being the leading cause of cancer in a desperate attempt boost sales. 

DO get a rudimentary knowledge of physics, biology, and anthropology.  Be knowledgeable in at least one of those areas or their sub-fields.  Bad science only detracts from Sci-Fi.

LMAO Great break down

Iran harris said:

Yeah... And stay consistent too!


Don't have Stormtroopers storming through the galaxy blasting everybody and they momma only to get trashed by sticks and stones throwing fuzzy little Ewoks!

And don't get us all up and excited by a bad @$$ intergalactic bounty hunter only to have Boba Fett "Accidently" fall into the Sarlaac Pit like a jive time sucker with no sense of awareness and balance!

And gosh dang darn it doo hickey the ultimate Dark Lord of The Sith should not be played by whiny little boys or teenagers... Have vast auditions and cast better!

So basically don't be so caught up in your own world that you refuse to heed better advice from those who are not your designated Yes men!

Great Advice Thank you. Thats why we need editors like you : )

Ruth deJauregui said:

As an aside, please don't use passive voice, "seems as if", very, somehow, strangely, modern slang (surely it's changed in the last thousand years) and for heaven's sake, use punctuation and the right word!! (reigns, reins, rains -- affect, effect -- to, too, two)

Ok, ranting done. Gotta get back to editing soon, only 60 pages left to plow (and I do mean PLOW) through. Great story, great concepts, but you can see the problems...

Oh, and don't have 8 story lines going on and only 3 come together by the end of the book. Put the other 5 in the next two books!!

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