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What’re some tips for an aspiring science fiction author?

Welcome to the world of the fantastic!

Okay, that’s out of the way, now on to the question.

Tips to help you develop your craft are all over the place. The best tip I can give you is – read books written by good Science Fiction authors.

Science Fiction writing is not as complicated as it sounds. One thing you have to understand is, the word Science means grounded in fact, and Fiction means not factual. Does it mean the technology does not make sense? No. Make sure you research the science and just imagine how far it can be taken.

Writing Science Fiction means your backdrop is that world. You need to keep in mind that characters drive the story. You will need more than space ships flying around in order to entertain your reader. It can involve crime, romance, horror, and many other interesting genres. Look at some fantastic books out there. One of my favorite authors, Fredrick Pohl, wrote a fantastic series entitled Gateway. The driving force of the main character was, in the first book, guilt. He survived something that killed many of his shipmates. The second, discovery, the third, survival. The book Alien by Alan Dean Foster centres around horror, and the book is by far more entertaining than the movie. Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny deals with humanity, and what makes a person a person. It also deals with undertones of slavery.

Write, and keep writing. Some people think they can just sit down and hammer out a novel. It takes planning, thought, perseverance, and tenacity. You will need to hone your craft through practice. I always suggest to new or budding writers to start small with short stories. Get used to building worlds, characters, and getting the story out in the shortest amount of words possible. Once you have become proficient (mastery is never obtained), then move onto longer pieces and, finally, a novel. Believe me, it helps.

One thing to remember, being an author means finishing the work. Sit down and complete it. Don’t hesitate. Give yourself deadlines. NaNoWriMo is a good start, for they organize support groups both online and off. Connect with other writers and share ideas, for you never know when someone will give you a hint on what will finish off or complete the puzzle of the tech you thought up.

And keep at it! Rejection letters are something you will get no matter what. Even the best known or celebrated authors receive them for some reason or another. Don’t get dejected. Keep plugging away.

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