Science Fiction Writing Guide
“I ached to explore new worlds. I stood in my backyard at night and looked up at the stars, and desperately wondered what it would be like to fly among them. Well, we don’t have starships yet. But in reading stories, and later writing stories, I’ve stood on the bridge of more and grander starships than Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk combined. … Through writing, you can touch that dream.” – Jeffrey A. Carver, science fiction writer
If you’ve come to this site, you probably share Carver’s sentiments and are interested in writing science fiction. I certainly share Carver’s dream and have been writing science fiction for several years. But just as every writer wishes to share his stories and dreams with others, so I’d also like to share what I’ve learned about writing science fiction. This knowledge is based not just on years of writing science fiction but also of reading it, of teaching literature and of being an editor.
How this site can help you
What can this Web site and accompanying blog do for you? It will make you a better writer by helping you to:
n Practice your craft more effectively
n Increase your awareness of what you’re doing when penning a story
n Plan more carefully your story’s construction
n Sharpen your ability to examine the inner workings of your story
A side benefit is broadening your understanding of science fiction as a genre, even if you’ve been reading it for years. Each entry includes examples from popular science fiction (“Star Trek”, “Star Wars” and famous authors such as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke) and those of less commonly known works, in hope of introducing you to an author, short story, novel or film that you may not be familiar with.
Hopefully, this Web site and accompanying blog also will create a sense of community among the many of us who write and read science fiction. The opportunity exists for discussing how to write SF and to share our works in progress.
What you'll find here
This site primarily is aimed at those writing science fiction short stories, novellas and novels. Screenwriting techniques aren't covered. However, the craft of good story telling is the same whether it appear on the printed page, the big screen or on a Web page. In addition, the core of the art of storytelling is the same regardless of genre, so if you're more interested in writing a fantasy story or a western, you'll still pick up some good tips here.
At the end of each entry is the "You Do It" exercise. Hopefully it'll spur you to write. After all, if you want to be a writer, the one thing you must do is write.
Now, let's go pursue our dreams.