A beginners guide to writing science fiction, fantasy, etc for male literary fiction writers who have decided to give it a go, possibly for financial reasons, despite having no real knowledge of, or interest in, the form.
Lesson One. Commit.
Without wanting to sound too patronising, if you are going to write science fiction, write science fiction. If you are going to write fantasy, write fantasy. Don’t piss around. Don’t start off by describing how there are tales, old tales, rumours really, of a dragon in the hills and then spend three hundred pages being nebulous before finally concluding we will never know the truth. Don’t be that guy. Don’t give us any of that ‘stories are powerful’ bullshit. Just give us a fucking dragon. Page one, dragon. Page two, dragon. We want plenty of dragons. Wings, tail, big teeth, fire everywhere, dragons. Pick a colour for it, give it a cool name, have it mess something, or someone, or somewhere up. Have it melt the shit out stuff.
Same goes for spaceships. Your spaceships better go into actual space. They better not be a metaphor for mankind’s desire for knowledge or something unforgivably lame like that. I honestly don’t care what they look like, or how they are powered, or any of that shit, but they need to do something. They need to go somewhere.
And so… story idea no. 1…
Invasion of the Fretful Egg Monsters
OK, some monsters are invading earth. Cool. That’s your story right there.
Protagonists have to ‘want’ something, yes? Well here you have a choice. Egg monsters who ‘want’ to invade earth or humans who ‘want’ them to not invade earth, if at all possible, thank you very much. My instinct would be to go with the aliens, because the ‘why’ of their ‘want’ is less self explanatory than the human side of the story, but it’s totally up to you. You could do both maybe? Really go to town with it.
And do you see what I did with the title? That adjective? Fretful. Why are the egg monsters fretful? Makes you thing, doesn’t it. That’s your hook right there.
First person to bagsy this idea it in the comments gets to own it. Happy writing, guys!