Some of the most lucrative books these days tend to be from the science fiction genre. It has a massive following and is generally fun to write. However, writing a good science fiction novel is more than just adding a spaceship and a robot into the story. Here are 5 tips that will help you produce a really good science fiction novel:
Don’t Forget About the “Science” in “Science Fiction”
Novice sci-fi authors tend to focus too much on the “fiction” part and end up writing fairy tales with robots. The beauty of science fiction is that all the amazing fiction you find in them is still somewhat rooted in science. That’s not to say you can’t stretch things a bit or speculate, but you do need to provide some scientific grounding to major aspects of your story. A sci-fi story with everything explained by “because it just is” won’t have much leg to stand on.
Focus on the Characters
You have to understand your characters well because they will be the ones driving the story. You can build the best sci-fi world in literature but it’s not going to amount to much if you don’t have characters that will live in them. It is the characters – whether human or not – that will provide readers with a view of how the world in the story functions. You can provide as much facts about a setting, but it will never be as powerful as reading about a character experiencing those facts firsthand.
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Pick Your Battles
If you’re used to reading about massive sci-fi epics that run through several books, it’s easy to get the impression that you have to cram as much stuff in when you’re writing your own novel. Don’t. Pick one strong message that you can explore and focus on that. You can add more story elements and side plots, but you want to ensure that they add something to the story and that you can resolve them without sacrificing too much of the main plot (or introducing loopholes that you can’t plug convincingly.)
Given how amazing technologies – especially fictional ones – can be, it’s easy to focus on them so much that you’re basically hitting your readers over the head with new gadgets. Try to avoid giving them too much importance that they draw attention away from everything else. Try to turn it down and see if it can add more texture to the story instead of drowning it in unnecessary details.
Finish the Story First Before Polishing the Details
Sometimes you can get too focused on fleshing out the minute details that you end up tying yourself in knots, with story elements that you either have to abandon or resolve at the cost of stretching the story far beyond the expected length. Finish a working draft of the story first before adding more texture to the story. Not only will this let you avoid writing yourself into a corner, it will also help you come up with new things that wouldn’t have been so obvious had you not written a complete story first.
Image credit: Jason Trbovich on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]