How to Write Science Fiction: Top 5 Tips | The Urban Writers

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Top 5 Tips for Sci-Fi Success

by The Urban Writers

Have you ever wondered why sci-fi has always been so popular?

Science fiction is compelling and exciting, and it provides readers with an escape from reality. As a writer, you want to be part of this genre. To do this, you need to know how to write science fiction books that will captivate your readers—and this is exactly what you will learn here.

Tips on How to Write Science Fiction

Science fiction is so popular because it takes your reader to different worlds that are only limited by the writer’s imagination. As a writer of this genre, you should make your story interesting enough so your readers will keep turning the pages. To craft amazing sci-fi stories, follow these top tips:

Know Who You Are Writing For

Apart from being extremely entertaining, science fiction is an important genre too. According to one study, science fiction influences how the public perceives and accepts science.

Isn’t that interesting?

Now that you know this, the first thing you should think about before writing your sci-fi masterpiece is who you are writing for. These days, the market size for science fiction is growing.

But you should also know that the readers in this genre are extremely diverse, and there are many different subgenres of fiction. So, if you want to succeed, you must know exactly who your audience is before you move on to the next step in the process.

Come up With an Idea and Start Researching

After figuring out the type of audience you want your books to attract, it’s time to start brainstorming. As you think about the main idea of your book, also consider what type of sci-fi you will write.

The two main types are hard and soft science fiction. If you choose the former, you will write a story inspired by chemistry, astronomy, physics, and other natural sciences. An excellent example of a hard sci-fi story is The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin.

If you choose to write soft science fiction, you will get your inspiration from sociology, anthropology, psychology, and other social sciences. The book The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord is a great example of soft sci-fi.

As you think about the inspiration for your idea, you can write several things down. Then go through your list and try to see, which idea (or ideas) you would like to move forward with.

With your great idea in your mind, you should start researching. For your book to be both compelling and believable, you need to broaden your knowledge. It doesn’t matter whether your idea is unbelievably radical or it’s something that hasn’t been done before.

Through research, you will gain the knowledge you need to add details to your story that will solidify it and transform your masterpiece into a true page-turner.

Create the Elements of Your Story

Science Fiction Elements

Next up are the elements of your story. Before you begin the writing process, take a notebook or a sheet of paper and continue writing down ideas. But this time, you will write down ideas for the various elements of your story, including:

  • An interesting world (or worlds) where your story will take place. This is one of the more enjoyable parts of writing sci-fi.
  • Intriguing events that will happen throughout your story. You can always change, add, or remove these events while you are writing.
  • Compelling, unique, and relatable characters your readers will either hate or root for throughout the story.

While writing down all of these elements, make sure they have good connections with one another. Consistency is very important in this genre; otherwise, you might end up confusing your readers rather than entertaining them.

Make sure all of your elements fit together well and the events flow smoothly. Even if you plan to add a deceitful storyline with a surprising twist, you still have to make sure you wrap things up nicely so your readers feel satisfied after reading your book.

Don’t Forget to Add the Element of Science Too

Naturally, your sci-fi story should have an element of science in it. Without this, your readers might think they have mistakenly picked up a fantasy book, not one from the science fiction genre.

In fact, for your story to be great, science should be an integral part of it. This means it should play an important part although your story doesn’t have to be about science. You must find the right balance between making the scientific component important while having an interesting plot.

These are the kinds of stories produced by the writers of our fiction packages. Whether hard or soft, semi-realistic or extremely out-of-this-world, the readers always know that science is part of the story.

Experiment With New Ideas

Robot science fiction

The best sci-fi books of all time started with a new, unique, explosive idea that the authors bravely brought to life. Science fiction is very popular because it offers outrageous concepts while still being relatable.

These days, people believe they have already “seen everything.” If you can give your readers something they couldn’t have imagined on their own, then you will have a potential bestseller in your hands.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. As long as you can bring these ideas together in a cohesive and logical storyline, you will be able to make something amazing. Play around with different ideas and don’t forget to have fun with it too.

Types of Plots for Sci-Fi Writing

When you’re thinking about the plot of your story, you can either go for a plot that a specific group of people will go for or something more common that will attract different kinds of sci-fi fans.

Let’s take a quick look at the two main types of plots for this genre to help you understand them better.

Niche Plots

This type of plot typically includes hard science fiction. This means you would have to do quite a lot of research to make your sci-fi writing more believable. Also, niche plots only appeal to a specific audience.

Take the Star Trek books, for instance. Not everyone enjoys these books (or the movies, for that matter), but those who do like them are very loyal fans. So, if you think your idea is a bit “out there,” that’s okay.

Who knows? Your book might be the next big thing for your target audience!

When writing this type of plot, make sure your story builds well (you can even write a whole sequence of books) and the whole plot has an important meaning. Also, don’t be afraid to build complex worlds or characters.

You can even create a new language for some of your characters. Just make sure that you explain everything well. That way, your readers will understand your plot from the beginning and feel intrigued to keep reading until the end.

Mainstream Plots

As the name implies, mainstream plots are more conventional. Here, you can use both hard or soft sci-fi since you will be dealing with more ‘realistic’ types of stories. One good example of this is The Hunger Games books.

Instead of being heavily reliant on scientific or technological concepts, it has a lot of other elements too. It even includes some drama and conflict between characters, which makes it more appealing to a wider audience.

Often, sci-fi stories with mainstream plots are more enjoyable too. Your readers don’t have to do a lot of deep thinking to understand the story. As a writer, you can enjoy more flexibility too, if you decide to create a mainstream plot.

When writing this type of plot, try to simplify it. It’s better to have a single main storyline. If you want to include a sub-plot, one would be sufficient. Include a lot of ideas, just try not to make them too complex.

For a mainstream plot, raising the stakes quickly will make it more interesting. This will hook your readers immediately so they keep turning the pages. Also, your ending should wrap everything up nicely so your readers are left feeling satisfied.

What Do Readers Look for in Sci-Fi Books?

Even though sci-fi is one of the most popular book genres, you should still know how to craft stories that readers are looking for. As you learn how to write science fiction, here are the things you should include:

  • A thought-provoking and catchy title.
  • Entertainment value by giving your reading a sense of wonder.
  • Authenticity no matter how outrageous the world, characters, or story.
  • At least one “classic element” such as advanced technologies, time travel, a fictional world, aliens, parallel universes, AI, humans, space travel, mind control, and the like.
  • High-quality writing to keep them intrigued.
  • Nuance rather than clichés.

Conclusion: Bring Your Sci-Fi World to Life

As a science fiction author, keep in mind that you can’t—and won’t—please everyone. You need to know who you are writing your stories for so that it will become easier for you to come up with ideas.

In this article, you learned the most effective tips for writing sci-fi.

Now, all you have to do is start brainstorming to find the BIG idea that’s just waiting to be turned into the next BIG story the science fiction world is waiting for.

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