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Create your universe: how to write fantastic fiction

What do we imagine when we hear the term "fiction"? Blasters, droids, hi-tech future, a robot vacuum cleaner that learned to assess the degree of clutter in the hero's room and sentenced him to death for sloppiness. It's like that! Genre expectations set the reader on a story of a fundamentally different reality, time, and circumstances. The reader wants to be surprised when he starts a fantastic book, imagine the world in a couple of hundred years, try on the fate of a space wanderer or inhabitant of a perfect faraway galaxy.

The ancestor of science fiction is Jules Verne. In the middle of the 19th century, he suggested that readers dream about future eras' scientific research, not forgetting to hint that human passions and sorrows will remain unchanged. Actually, since then, the tasks of science fiction writers have not changed. If you decide to write a fantastic book, then you need to invent an original concept of the outside world, while keeping the inner world of the characters understandable and close to your readers.

We note right away that we will consider the fantasy genre in another article. What subgenres do authors hide in fiction?

"Hard" science fiction, built on a logical and robust concept of the future, a particular invention or another world, thought out to the smallest detail (Michael Crichton, "Jurassic Park")

"Soft" science fiction, where the fantasy of admission remains the backdrop, and the fate of the heroes come to the fore (Daniel Keyes "Flowers for Algernon")

Space opera, where the scene becomes the protagonist of the story, and space adventures - the core of the whole story (Douglas Adams "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy")

Cyberpunk, built on the conflicts of people and technology, most often in such stories describes the distant future, in which the features of the real world appear (Carwin Wi "Monster")

The first contact where humanity meets with an alien mind (Strugatsky brothers, Hotel "At the deceased Mountaineer")

Time travel, combining the signs of modernity and an in-depth study of the era in which the heroes fall (Audrey Niffenegger "Time Traveler's Wife")

Historical science fiction / alternative history / parallel worlds, where the author himself decides what exactly and how much to change in reality, so that fantasy admissions start the plot movement (Stephen King "The Dark Tower")

Lost worlds where heroes discover uncharted and inaccessible places in the real world, life in which is strikingly different from ours (Kir Bulychev "Village")

Apocalypse and post-apocalypse, which destroyed the usual way and changed the face of reality (Cormac McCarthy "The Road")

Utopias and dystopias, where the world order is distorted by the totalitarianism and oppression of the system, and the heroes fight it in every possible way (Lois Lowry "The Giver")

- Where, in which city, in which locality is everything happening?

- What season is it in the yard? And how many are there in your world?

- Who lives around? How are the characters inscribed in society? What place do they occupy in it?

Yes, at the heart of any made-up world is a template of our own. And the task of the science fiction writer is to bring as much of his own, individual, and, most importantly, thoughtful, into this template as possible. In a fantasy world, you need to have time to show a little of everything - and geography, and history, and religion, and the socio-cultural layer, and life, and especially peoples. In this case, you should follow these recommendations:

There is no need to try to give all the details of the world order in the first chapter, use only those details that are needed to understand the plot and give them out regularly.

Understand what you are strong in real life, and deepen this sphere in a fantasy world. If you are a connoisseur of art, consider the cultural life of your characters' place. If you know how to weave a web of political intrigue, then let your hero become a diplomat. And the rest - strokes and strokes to give events volume. In a fictional world, it is the author who first of all, needs reliance on his knowledge.

Watch the speech. Immigrants from another world I can't know earthly idioms, so there's no "homeric laughter" and "angelic smile". Also, be attentive to the sound of names, measures of weight, and distance. Even the gestures and facial expressions of alien creatures can carry a completely different meaning. Which one? You decide.

And, of course, remember the rule of the traveler. We have all been to an unfamiliar city. And we still knew this unexplored place gradually - features of the area, map, language, way of life, cultural layer, customs of residents. It is how the understanding of the particles of the world gradually develops. Remember this. And do not frighten the reader with a verbose description of the relief, forgetting that he took your book to be surprised. Go and surprise your reader!


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