ASMSG Scifi Fantasy Paranormal Emagazine March 2014 - Page 14

Doing whatever you want to do is a sign of a lazy writer. That does not mean you have to spend half your book describing the science behind the events/object in your book. That is also the sign of a lazy writer. Solution : Establish rules for your science and follow them. Even in the purest fantasy, you need to logic and rationality behind your writing. You don’t have to get a Doctorate in astrophysics; however, you do need to know the mechanics of the science in your story, at least at a layman’s leve. 4. “BECAUSE ITS SF, THEY ALWAYS THINK THAT SOMEHOW OR OTHER THE ‘FATE OF THE WORLD’ HAS TO BE AT STAKE.” Straczinksy goes on to say “If you’re doing a drama, no one suggests that solving the relationship problems or the murder has to save the world, but they feel that it has to be that way if you’re writing SF, which is why it’s also so often the rule in SF movies. It’s absolutely crazy-making. 2001, one of the most classic SF motion pictures of all time, could never get made today. Not a chance.” I’ll admit, I’m very guilty of this in my own writing. Back in high school, when we read Death of a Salesman, my English teacher told me it was kind of revolutionary. Most tragedies, she said, were about important men: world leaders, kings, presidents. Who cares about the little people? Solution: That doesn’t mean you have to blow things up every five minutes (I’m looking at you, Michael Bay) but you need events. You need drama. You need love and lose, humor and – yes – even sexuality. Even if you are writing about microscopic organisms on Mars, your readers are still human. Write things that humans care about. CONCLUSION Here’s how J. Michael Straczysnki’s words of wisdom to the critics of science fiction: “I keep waiting for a paradigm shift to happen that will let network and studio execs see that SF is the same as any other genre in terms of how you approach it – logically, character based, with challenging ideas and forward thinking – but I worry that it might never happen in my lifetime.” You’ll notice I’ve said nothing about how to convince other people to take science fiction serious. There’s a reason. The only thing you can control is yourself and your actions. Forget about the detractors. Focus on improving your writing. Solution : Look at your own writing. Have you forgotten the littlepeople? Why not write a story about a waitress who loses her job because the entire staff has been replaced by robots? Or the high school teacher trying to prevent her students from cheating now that everyone has neural implants. Stop picturing your book being turned into a Michael Bay film. 5. TOO CEREBRAL, THEY SAY. NOT ENOUGH ACTION. Remember what I said about morality plays? The same rule applies. Your book is not supposed to be a church sermon. You have to entertain the audience. 14 | P a g e Original Article on M Joseph Murphy’s Blog