When many think of sci-fi, their minds tend toward space travel, life on other planets, and things that Isaac Asimov wrote. Though Asimov might always remain one of the leading figures in science fiction, he has capitalized on a pretty small corner of the massive landscape of science fiction.
If you think that you can write a great sci-fi novel, then, as an aspiring writer, there are a couple of things that you should know about.
What is the Sci-Fi Genre – An Overview
That said, let us have a more detailed look at one of the most inventive genres of modern literature – science fiction. But first, let us talk about the word genre – and we take the example of movies.
When you like movies, you don’t like all kinds of movies – or every genre – of movies. You might be all in for comedy movies but hate to watch scary or horror movies. Horror movies and comedy movies are two different genres of movies.
Like movies, books work the same way.
Most books with chapters in them are part of a huge genre called “fiction.” This aspect indicates that the books that fall in this category or genre tell stories from the author’s imagination. However, fiction alone doesn’t tell us details about what is inside the book, which is why books get divided into more specific fiction genres.
For instance, the books “Harry Potter” and Jurassic Park might belong to the same genre of “fiction,” but their settings and characters differ from each other. So, we classify these books into different fiction genres.
The books that have stuff related to space, UFOs, and time travel are categorized as science fiction – also referred to as Sci-Fi. Like most fiction.
Sci-fi books tell us a story from the author’s imagination. However, the number one thing that makes it different from other fiction is that it contains unreal things that could become real in our world in the future. According to A Little Bit Human, “The genre of sci-fi art is characterized by highly imaginative and often futuristic concepts. Many times, too, there is some political or social commentary happening within the image, perhaps a warning about what might come in the future if our societies should continue on a certain trajectory.
That said, a lot of imagination is required to write a sci-fi book and build a world of possibilities, which is why reading is so fun. Sci-fi books often explore the potential things that can go wrong with certain scientific tools or advancements.
On the brighter side, sci-fi books can cause humans to think about the potential outcome of certain actions, such as advanced war strategies.
Essential Tips for Writing a Sci-Fi Novel
Now, once we have gone through the obvious aspects of what makes a sci-fi book, let us go through some of the essential writing tips for writing fantasy and science fiction.
- Write Out Your Awesomeness
Our first tip is to write out your awesomeness. If you look at things related to writing, you see that at its heart, all writing – no matter what you are writing, is a transaction of awesomeness. The writer – for their part, delivers awesomeness.
Now, while the writer is busy delivering this kind of awesomeness, the reader delivers attention. And if money is part of this transaction, then it is only a by-product.
As an aspiring author, you must know what all aspects of your awesomeness are, and you must also know who your target audience is and what your genre demands of you.
Everything about your genre will impact the marketing and reception of your sci-fi book, which is why it is a good idea to get sci-fi book cover designers for hire so that your book casts the ideal impression on your target audience.
Although you might have heard a hundred times that you shouldn’t ever judge a book by its cover, when it comes to real-life books, the truth is that your book will be judged by its cover, which is why it is essential to let your awesomeness depict through the title and cover of your book as well.
Nonetheless, before you even reach the cover design, you must understand your target first and truly understand what they are expecting – it could be anything, such as a heartfelt romance between humans and aliens, a raging war between spaceship, and monsters invading the earth with the flesh dripping off their monstrous bodies.
- Include a Broken World in Your Settings
Another tip for writing sci-fi is to work your way through a broken world. Suppose you have read loads of books from the fiction genre, especially sci-fi. In that case, you see that it is not only the main character (protagonist) or the secondary characters that heal and have an adventurous journey like the world itself.
In other words, the world must be broken or going through certain uncertainties and eventually heal from it.
Take the book “Hunger Games” for an example where a certain number of districts are sent to the Capitol to fight for their survival – you get the point; if you want to write a sci-fi that is going to make a lasting impression on the readers, you must start off with a sick and broken world.
- The Hero Should be Flawed
In the best sci-fi stories, you won’t find a perfect hero – all heroes are flawed. Gone are the days when people thought that the world revolved around perfect heroes. Also, your hero must be part of the journey – if your hero fails to grow through the journey, the sci-fi novel will lose much of its essence.
You get the point – you must give your hero substantial space to grow. They might start their journey flaw; they might also start their journey with a fear or a weakness. But, on the brighter side, and to the greatest relief of your potential readers – they overcome their flaws along the journey.
The primary thing that makes a sci-fi hero stand out is not mainly because of their power and virtues, but it is based on their weakness and flaws in their character. The readers find them relatable and interesting because of their weaknesses.
That said, make sure to portray an imperfect hero in your sci-fi novel.
Conversely, your ideal sci-fi villain is supposed to be great. The inner motivation of the villain shouldn’t simply stem from their desire to be the villain, but the villain might want to live up to someone’s legacy. Or, the villain might be working to find a solution to something they might perceive as a problem.
The villain must have an interesting motivation.