Discussion in 'Writing' started by Isaac Law, Dec 21, 2012.
What might be the best way to bring my ideas to life in my science fiction stories?
(Sorry, couldn't resist...)
Kidding aside, this question is so broad that it's impossible to answer it meaningfully. I suggest you check the Stories subforum, there's a lot of great examples of short fictions there, in all the possible styles, subgenres and themes. It's a great way to start to find your way to tell stories.
"LOL", as they say.
Characters. If the characters are unique, even quirky, the tale will be interesting. If they are you cleverly disguised as a character, they most likely won't carry the story. (No put-down of you intended).
Ultimately, this isn't a question we can definitively answer until we have a little more information about your ideas or your writing style. I know the urge exists to avoid giving out information about your writing to anyone (I'm fairly conservative about that myself), but if we don't know what you're specifically trying to do, we cannot help you except in the broadest sense. Besides, we're not idea thieves (at least, I sincerely hope not).
The best compromise would be to link us to some prior work of yours. If you don't have any prior work, make some first, and let us see where you stand.
Window's got it. Characters. Unique and deeply worked characters can lift even the most mediocre story.
Here's a link to my wiki, http://isaacsguidetotheuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Isaac's_guide_to_the_universe_Wiki.
Hi, Isaac, and welcome to this lovely section of the forum! I must warn you, participation here is addictive and a known gateway to stronger material.
I have to answer your question with a question, I'm afraid. What do you mean by 'bring my ideas to life'?
I mean make my ideas work for me in my stories.
Okay, took a peek at your wiki. Most of the ideas there are pretty bare-bones, actually, and you'd need some more detail. As I told you in the other thread, the semi-holy trinity of plot, character, and setting needs to be fleshed out before these alien races shine.
To start with, you could consider the leadership of these races. What sort of leadership structure is there? How did they become leaders? What kind of personalities do they have? What might threaten their leadership? What might make them consider stepping down? Start asking yourself those kinds of questions, and your work will take its true shape.
Are there any questions about my alien races that you want answered?
I figure if I'm going to create characters, I need to know what species they come from. And what would separate the characters from the rest of their species.
The problem with this statement is that only you know what works for you. Focus on something concrete and practical that you'd like to know more about. Remember, ideas are two a penny - writing effective stories is much more than coming up with a cool sci-fi universe and filling it with different aliens.
Imagine you have no wiki, you're just starting with a clean slate - what kind of story do you want to write? Do you want a sprawling space opera? An action adventure? Interplanetary romance? Could you give an example of an existing book you would be happy to compare your ideal work to?
Science Fiction I like
1. Doctor Who
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
3. The Draco Tavern
4. Childhood's End
5. Trying Human
Just to name a few. I think ultimately, I want a hybrid mixture of what I enjoy from science fiction and the science documentaries that I like. Hard sf, soft sf, Space Opera and so on. I don't know what to choose from if I had only one to choose from, but I think it's either Space Opera or Speculative SF.
Okay. So would I be right in saying you want to take the first step in writing a novel-length story, using the details in your wiki as a starting point?
I was thinking an ongoing science fiction graphic novel series, but that is accurate.
If I were you, I would look at what I have already and ask myself: Where is the story? What is happening right now in your universe that is so interesting you can't look away? Who is doing it, and who or what is trying to stop them? Seek out conflict (and 'conflict' doesn't have to be a physical battle) and follow where it leads. See it through the eyes of individuals and their character will reveal itself to you. Follow them through the events that arise.
I'd start with a pilot episode and then move on with the rest.
Okay Isaac, do you see how that response might be interpreted as perhaps too broad, and vague? It's a statement of the obvious, like a novelist saying "I'd start with the first chapter and then do chapter two." It tells us nothing about what you're considering, or what you want for your story, so it makes giving any meaningful advice or observation next to impossible.
Let's imagine you have an idea who the 'hero' characters of your universe are. And you know who the bad guys are. The info in your wiki kind of hints at this. You'd imagine the first chapter, episode, whatever, will introduce your heroes doing whatever it is they usually do - or perhaps shows them meeting each other for the first time - these are the standard scenarios where the reader/viewer learns the basics of your world. But at the same time you've got to show them starting on their great task, or some hint at what the grand arc of your story will be, so you might go with the other tried and tested format of showing the big bad guys being really bad, so we know what our heroes (whoever they may be) are up against.
But even if you nail that completely, you've then got the rest of the story to tell, and saying it's 'ongoing' is not good enough - I've seen a hundred webcomics start out promisingly and then meander into pointlessness as it becomes clear the author has no idea where the story is actually going (or takes a hundred pages to depict what could have been done in five).
You can sidestep the story issue if you have great characters, then it becomes more like a strip comic like Peanuts, where you just check in to see what your friends are up to today. It doesn't matter if there's no big story behind it all. But I don't think that's what you're after, so you've really got to knuckle down and sort out in your head what it is you want to tell, and the less outside interference you get, the better. Go forth and write, young man!
1. Mizzik, an alien beast-like creature from the planet Grear. He traveled beyond Grear for adventure, mayhem a satisfy his curiosity. Became a Mercenary.
2. Jason Sheridan, human from Earth and a science fiction geek. Mizzik takes him onboard after saving Earth from Dragoth pirates. Turns out he's pretty helpful since science fiction has so much in common with science fact. He's always open minded.
3. Salena, female aquatic salamander-like alien. Rather nymph-like in personality. Always interested in sex. Like the rest of her people, Salaki, the concept of "taboo" doesn't really apply.
4. Nellishia, female ungulate-like alien. Peaceful, friendly as many members of the Phylless species. Open minded, a scientist, always looking for a peaceful solution to a conflict.
Separate names with a comma.