How NOT to Write Science Fiction
Writing a science fiction story? The following are tips NOT to follow. Every cliché was once an interesting and potentially innovative idea, that was the problem. After a few hundred uses they kind of lost their awesome.
Oh my god, Aliens! Who doesn’t love an alien story? Better yet, make the aliens fly giant UFOs and be super sophisticated but have them choose not to contact us so that everyone is wondering if they’re friendly or not. Then, they kill everyone but the strapping good guy and a small group of humans who will be forever grateful!
Remember those aliens from before? It would be even cooler if they were completely invincible except for one super mundane detail. Aside to M. Night Shyamalan: Seriously man? A planet made of 75% water and your aliens can’t get wet? What the hell was going to happen when it rained?
Your story will be easier to understand if the alien races all speak one language, all dress the same, have the same haircut, accent and set of moral values as well as one global government.
You know what’s super awesome? When giant aliens can hide in tiny human bodies and then suddenly be giant again (when it provides the most dramatic effect). Think Men in Black.
All alien species, from every other solar system and galaxy, should have evolved in the exact same way humans have except for minor differences like hair line or eye colour. Why? Because we’re awesome.
Evil aliens are ugly for a reason. Evil is directly proportionate to ugly in every other species in the universe.
To keep things from getting messy make all interspecies mating produce healthy, viable and intelligent offspring.
Good Guys and Bad Guys
Make sure your protagonist is a young white male who has issues with authority and treats women poorly until the heroine wins him over and tames his heart.
You know what all the best protagonists have in common? They are all so headstrong and stubborn that they will agree to go on suicidal missions with little or no explanation.
To make sure the reader hates him enough the antagonist should be completely evil with no redeeming features or reasoning whatsoever.
You know how in real life when one dictator dies another one takes over? Forget that. When your evil dictator dies just go ahead and topple his whole empire without a fight.
The Future of Humanity
Eliminate confusion. In your version of Earth’s future make sure that everyone on Earth is happily ruled by one global, democratic government.
This tip will definitely make your book a bestseller. Make all women in the future beautiful, curvy and have a propensity for skin tight jumpsuits.
In the same vein, there should be no fat or unattractive people in your version of the future.
Want to make the future way more fun? Have everything covered with sparkly lycra and make it all ridiculously bright. No one should wear jeans or toques EVER.
Science and Other Nonsense
You know how Earth has one moon? Wouldn’t it be awesome if every other planet in the entire universe had two?
Your readers aren’t scientists! Make your spaceships look really cool instead of considering the fact that aerodynamics is useless in space since it has no air.
On the same note, don’t worry about there not being any sound in space. Just go ahead and ignore it.
It’s important to make any guard or soldier completely incompetent so that the good guy can get around them.
Just in case you need someone to fall to their death make sure there are no safety protocols regarding guardrails on catwalks.
You know what would be awesome? Ending your science fiction story with, “And then he turned off the virtual reality simulator.”
Here check it out:
“And then she turned of the virtual reality simulator and all the tips above became painfully overused cliches.”
Have a nice day!
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