For Beginners: Write That Sci-Fi As Easy As Pie (Part 1)

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

So, you want to write science-fiction?

Well, good for you. But, seriously, do you want to write in a genre that is saturated with novels, and that has been around since the beginning of storytelling? (i.e. Ancient Greek Myths).

I mean, why even write genre fiction. Wouldn’t it be more admirable to write a memoir or a book about a cat with a facial deformity?

No, you want to write sci-fi still? 

Okay then, keep reading. 

Let’s start with the basics, what is science-fiction. 

Depends on whether we are talking about hard sci-fi or soft sci-fi

Hard Sci-Fi

This type of sci-fi is created by someone who knows their stuff. A good example would be The Martian. There’s heavy science. Some historical data sprinkled in. And, the author may make sure that his book can hold up on both the bestseller’s list and possibly a scientist’s laboratory. 

Hard Sci-Fi doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle fiction in your writing. But, it does mean you need to know your audience might be a Ph.D. or someone who can prove your writing is not only improbable but downright impossible.

Soft Sci-Fi

I believe science fiction experts may differ on what they consider soft. I believe this involves pseudosciences, almost paranormal (minus the vampires and werewolves). 

Soft Sci-Fi may follow basic principals and scientific laws. But, the science is loose and may be plausible, but not possible. A good example of soft sci-fi might be Gini Koch’s Touched by An Alien. Sure, aliens could exist, but will they really share human DNA and be able to reproduce with humans with little to no-genetic issues?

Possibly not.

What about the rules?

Now, I’m sure there are sci-fi novels that don’t follow the rules. The best thing about sci-fi and most genre novels is the fact that you don’t need to follow a lot of rules, when you are first starting out. Just focus on creating in these early posts. We’ll worry about following rules later.

Plotter or Hit-the-Ground-Running Writer?

Do you have a plot outlined or are you a hit-the-ground-running writer?

If you want to sit down, start writing, and not worry about creating an outline, then that means you prefer to hit-the-ground-running. I will create a separate post for folks like us. ;D

If you prefer neat details and plenty of notes prior to writing your first draft, then these next few items might appeal to you.

What is your book about?

One way to help keep track of what your book is about is to create a quick sentence or theme of the novel. You never know, whatever you create may be the first line of your pitch or synopsis.

Do you need a theme to start writing? No. But, while you develop your draft the premise of your novel should be in the back of your mind.

Example: Young hybrid alien discovers she is on an enemy’s hit list, and her life is in danger. (Based on a real novel idea)

So, can you start writing, now?

Well, hold on… 

Do you need to research some locations?

Brainstorm some unique alien names, (complete with hyphens and missing vowels)?

See the idea here?


Do you have an idea what you want your creatures to look like?

Have you found out the gravity of the moon?

Before you write, or while you are writing your first draft, create a portfolio filled with research. Don’t over do it. You can always research during the rewrite. Find out all you can, and store your data in a separate document on the cloud. 

See, it’s almost like you’re a scientist preparing research for a thesis.

So, are you ready to write? I think so, but first, lets recap.

What have we covered in this post?

  • Hard Sci-Fi
  • Soft Sci-Fi
  • Determine Your Writing Style
  • Research For Your First Draft
  • Write!

Here’s Part 2 for Your Reading Pleasure!

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