Today, AuthorHouse Author’s Digest continues our series about writing science fiction. A few weeks ago, we kicked things off with a discussion of sci-fi genres, and their almost limitless variety.
This time we’ll look at what, for many writers, is THE stumbling block: coming up with ideas. After all, “Where do you get your ideas?” is probably the question most commonly asked of successful writers. Well, today we’ll tell you where a lot of those writers get their ideas—and you can too!
We begin with…
Don’t just focus on hyperdrives and transporters. Yes, you read that right. Science fiction writers tend to focus on advances in technology; well, don’t be afraid to look at other disciplines too! What will philosophy look like in the future? Archaeology? Sociology? Music?
Think about the negative side of a scientific breakthrough. The positive results of scientific progress are easy to imagine. After all, they’re the main reason we’re trying to advance science to begin with. But what about the downside? Okay, so medical advancements allow people to live for centuries; how does that affect overpopulation, resource depletion, the job market, etc. Imagining the negative can give you an entirely new angle to write about.
Don’t shy away from the big subjects. The movie Prometheus was about no less than the creation of life on Earth. If you have an idea, don’t be scared of tackling large, “macro” topics like this. The good news is, it’s unlikely that real-world scientific advances will disprove your theory any time soon.
Find a popular sci-fi writer to disagree with. Hopefully, as someone who wants to write science fiction, you’re also an avid sci-fi reader! Think about some of those stories. Were you intrigued by another writer’s setting or concept, but disagree with the direction he or she took? Now’s your chance to “correct” the mistake! We’re not suggesting plagiarism; rather, we’re saying that you can use other stories to provide the seeds for your own unique take on things.
What if disproved theories had turned out to be true? What if the Earth really was flat? Research beliefs and theories, some of which might be thousands of years old, and then imagine what would happen if they were true? Granted, this kind of thinking can quickly turn your science fiction story into one of fantasy, but who cares if it’s a story you want to tell?
We’ll be back with more tips about writing in the ever-surprising, ever-expanding science fiction genre. Until then, browse the AuthorHouse Bookstore for the latest sci-fi offerings from our self-publishing author community.