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.
So, it’s time to see what you have learned so far. Have a go at this fun quiz and see how you are doing?
Question One. What is your novel going to be about?
- a) A man feeling a bit sad. Oh yeah, and global warming has happened.
- b) A man feeling a bit sad, but on a spaceship, going to Jupiter or something.
- c) A man and a woman, and maybe an alien or two, having some sort of adventure.
- d) Bikini clad sex baboons repeatedly shooting space hippos in the face with laser guns.
Question Two. How many adverbs will you use?
- a) None.
- b) A few.
- c) I will use them as and when they make a sentence more precise or beautiful.
- d) Probably, like, a couple in every sentence.
Question Three. How depressing will your book be?
- a) Everyone dies, often distressingly so.
- b) The protagonist will die, but their death will allow others to live.
- c) While I won’t shy away from dark subjects, the overall feel of the book will be upliftling.
- d) It’s just three hundred pages of people winning the lottery while eating cake. In space!
Question Four. Are you willing to take a risk with how fashionable your book will be?
- a) Nope. I’m going to keep this as close to literary fiction as possible. Think gritty. Think ‘real’.
- b) I’m thinking about putting a talking dog in it. Is that a good idea?
- c) I’ve been doing a bit of reading and it seems like a while since we’ve had a really good Antarctic mission goes horribly wrong story.
- d) Two words: Spacecuttlefish Sexwarriors!
- Mostly a’s) I’m sorry, you haven’t learned a thing. But don’t panic, we’ll try again next week.
- Mostly b’s) You are really really trying, and that is appreciated, it really is, but are you still clinging to your literary fiction apron strings? Keep plugging away!
- Mostly c’s) Yes! Go you! You are making great progress here. I’m really proud of you.
- Mostly d’s) Jesus, mate. Wind it back a little, yeah? Where did all this sexwarriors stuff come from? Because it sure didn’t come from anything I’ve taught you. I mean… fucking hell. Jesus.