Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How to Become a Science Fiction Writer

*This is a sponsored post.

Do you daydream of star travel or science just beyond reality’s grip? If so, then you just might have what it takes to be a science fiction writer. If you’re considering writing cosmic fiction or stores that take technology down exciting new avenues, there are a few things you want to keep in mind when you’re just starting out.

Start Writing

Too many science fiction writers never make it past the ideas stage or spend so much time researching, they never get their own ideas off the ground. Remember, writing is the ultimate goal, and you don’t have to wait until you’ve looked up every last thing or read all the major authors. Do some preliminary reading and research if needed, then take that pen or fire up the word processor: you can look things up as you go.

Watch, Read, and Listen to Noted Works of Science Fiction

To learn the craft of science fiction, you must familiarize yourself with it. While reading classic works by authors like Harlan Ellison and Octavia Butler is always a good start, you should also explore creators whose stories are relevant to what you want to write about. Keen on aliens and space exploration? Read the works of Arthur C. Clarke, or watch the various Star Trek series created and inspired by Gene Rodenberry. Like cyberpunk? Read Pat Cadigan and Phillip K Dick. Also, consider the length of your stories: if you prefer writing poignant but short tales, read short stories by classic authors like Daniel Keyes and newer voices like Charlie Jane Anders. If anything, you’ll get a better idea of what’s already been done, which can help you avoid the well-trodden ground.

Learn About Science

You don’t need a degree in the sciences to write intelligent science fiction. However, learning about true science not only allows you to ground your concepts in reality but can also serve as a wellspring for creativity. At the very least, you’ll learn more about science in general, which is useful in just about any endeavor you take.

Keep Up With Current Events

Science fiction has often been used as an allegory to describe our world and the happenings in it. Following the news keeps you current and can give you plenty of material ripe for reinterpreting in a sci-fi context.

Don’t Forget the Characters

Shows like Star Trek are famous for their techno-jargon, but what they’re loved for are their characters. Don’t bog your work down in technical language—real or made-up—and remember that readers connect with the people you create, first and foremost.

Take this advice to heart and your science fiction may take you to heights—and success—you’ve only dreamed of.