Resources for a young sci-fi writer?

Hi there! I'm a seventeen year old girl who is an avid reader of the science-fiction genre. I'm actually an avid reader of just about any genre... but I've found myself being interested in writing sci-fi lately. I actually got to 200 pages in a book but recently watched a movie with similar ideas and I've decided to scrap most of it and begin again... I was just wondering if any writers had resources for me which would help me write. I'm majoring in Literature/Writing next year at university, which I'm sure will be of great help, but yeah, just wondering if you guys have any websites or books I should check out.


Thanks for all of the input!

I'll look into the short-story advice, as I already have a few ideas and the beginnings of one.

I've read a great deal of the Hugo-award books as well as some Nebula. I've also read just about every other genre (from books on quantum entanglement and scalar fields to the predictions of what will happen to China's economy come thirty years, etc.)

Lynn: I have written 200+ pages of a book minus extensive brainstorming, outlining, etc. And I have saved it! I save everything I write. Well, I need to go to college because it's kind of a requirement in my family (and I like to learn, and I feel that everything I learn in my classes at college will help me in my writing lol)

Also, I've been taking Physics (Honors) and Advanced Placement for the past two years and plan to pursue it as a minor (perhaps a second major). It has really helped me add realism to my writing and helps to keep my science in check! Thanks for all your input, I'

7 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sci fi is a bit of a broad genre. Is there a particular area that interests you?I write general sci fi and military sci fi, but by and large, my published work is military sci fi. 200 pages you tossed? Ouch! I'd try to get a complete short story or 3 completed to help get your feet wet. Writing a novel is well and grand..but finishing one... You can always go back to your short stories to flesh them further out, heck you may later find a character in there that demands a full length book! On an aside, I'll say its probably easier to sell a short story/novella than a full length book. That will get you your name out there and make future works easier and make YOU more marketable.

    Some general rules


    READ UP on finding and acquiring a good, trustworthy agent, editor and developmental editor.

    Contract with a legal professional who specializes in author's rights to help secure you financially.

    Acquire a thick skin to survive and accept withering criticism and cultivate a masochistic love of rejection.

    Learn YOGS LAW. Apply it to ALL your transactions!!!

    Avoid vanity publishers/printers like the plague!!

    Ebook publishing is cheap and won't make you rich but, might get you exposure.



    School may not teach you how to be a great writer, but it WILL teach you some skills you may find valuable for later.


    As a student you've already got a wealth of resources available to you already:

    your professors

    your fellow writer peers

    english majors

    for review, testing the waters with a story try

    ------------------------- and other similar sites

    for getting into the profession try reading up

    ----------------------- <= GO HERE‎ <=GO HERE FOR SURE!

    Some good books on the creative process


    The 10% Solution, by Ken Rand.

    Writing to the Point , by Algis Budrys.

    Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You, by Ray Bradbury.

    Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Jeffrey A. Carver

    World Building, by Stephen Gillett.

    The Science of Science-Fiction Writing, by James Gunn.

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft , by Stephen King.

    Beginnings, Middles & Ends, by Nancy Kress.

    Booklife, by Jeff VanderMeer.

    Writing and Selling Science Fiction, many authors and editors, published by SFWA.

    EDIT: Sorry this post is all over the place.

    Source(s): I am a published scifi/military scifi author going on almost 15 years now. Ahh good times. God I can't format on my damn iphone.
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  • Athena
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    First, ditch the book idea.

    Write a short story instead.

    It is easier for an unknown to sell a short story than a novel.

    Once you have a few stories published then you have a name and credibility.

    Next, grab a copy of Writer's Digest down at your book store.

    If you can find it, grab a copy of Poets & Writers also.

    Each edition gives you great information as well as interviews with writers who are going through what you are going through right now. Indispensable advice and information.

    Be sure to take some business classes while in college. Writing is not an art, it is a business. IF you don't know what you are doing AFTER your story is written, they will eat you alive. Talk to any new author and they will all tell you the same horror story. If they had only known.

    Finally, several good books on writing science fiction. It helps if you actually know some science. Nothing is worse than reading, "Once we pass theses few stars we will be in another galaxy." That is like saying, "once we pass that mailbox we will be in a whole new city." The universe does not really work that way.

    Ben Bova had a good book on Writing Science Fiction and Issac Asimov had a great book of short stories and why they worked. Indispensable

    You can find them on Amazon.

    "How and Why 10 Science Fiction Stories worked."

    How to enjoy writing" Issac and Janet Asimov

    Good luck

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  • Lynn
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    And by, "I actually got to 200 pages in a book," you mean you wrote that much, not that it was the first time you ever read a whole 200 pages, right? (I hope you kept it.)

    I would recommend NOT taking Lit or writing, if you want to write, simply because colleges teach how to read and write for college, not fiction, most of the time. If you're going to a school where they have authors teaching, then disregard that. But lit? Why? So you can see and admire how dead people wrote long ago? Publishers aren't looking for past greats. Until you start talking about authors who are still writing, you're talking about authors who couldn't get published now. After all, would reading the first edition of Grey's Anatomy teach you how to be a surgeon now, or how to be a surgeon centuries ago? Like medicine, writing has come a long way, even since Vonnegut or Dr. Seuss.

    You don't need college to be a writer, and that doesn't even take into account, you're wasting a lot of money to do something you'll need to do on the side for quite a few decades. ;)

    But you're interested in sci fi? Yeah. I can give you a link to the definitive site for sci-fi writers-

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  • 7 years ago

    Don't take this the wrong way, but hearing and reading "sci-fi" makes me grit my teeth. I hate that term. "Sci-fi" is generally what the mundanes call it. Oh, mundanes? They're the people who don't read science fiction/fantasy. I've been reading SF/fantasy since I could count my years on my fingers...and I'm in my mid fifties now.

    Resources: I would disagree with #3, because it's so much easier to rewrite these days.

    Poke around those websites, most of them have a lot of different resources for you.

    I STRONGLY suggest that you at least try to read all of the Hugo award winners. The Nebula winners are more hit and miss, and sometimes they are great and sometimes they are not. The Hugo winners are chosen by SF/fantasy readers, though, and if you read a lot of them, you will see what works and what doesn't.

    If you are serious about writing science fiction, as opposed to fantasy, it won't hurt to learn as much as you can about science in general. If you make a basic scientific mistake in a story, it generally won't be accepted.

    Get a job, and start saving money to go to cons (conventions). There you will meet other fans and authors.

    Edit: "Unfortunately, the only legitimate source for sci-fi is your brain. Sci-fi is the only genre that does not stem from experience and is fueled purely by imagination. Even fantasy must have roots in realism, but not sci-fi." GrimmJubJub is wrong in this. Science fiction extrapolates from known facts. You can't just make up a story that contradicts science as we know it, without having at least a plausible explanation. SF must be rooted in realism, or else it fails. Larry Niven once wrote a story about Mercury, before they discovered that Mercury does not keep one face always to the sun, and it was accepted, but before it was published, astronomers learned that Mercury does, in fact, rotate in respect to the sun. Had Niven written the story AFTER this was known, the story would have been rejected and mocked.

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  • 4 years ago

    If you intend to train your child quickly how to read then Children Learning Reading from here may help you.

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  • 7 years ago

    growing up I've ALWAYS watched classic black and white movies and though the HD quality of those movies can't shake a stick at what we have now its still good to look at those classics because the basis of a good story are still there.

    Two amazing producers to start with would be:

    Alfred Hitchcock a amazing pioneer of suspense and psychological thriller genres. He produced many movies and t.v shows such as "The birds" and "The Hitchcock hour".

    Rod Serling, a screenwriter, playwright, television producer, and narrator best known for his television dramas of the 1950's and his science fiction anthology TV series, "The Twilight Zone" also "the night gallery" are awesome works to start of with.

    Also "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and "the X-files"

    Astro Boy, Tetsujin 28-go (Gigantor) and Gundam series and Macross series are pretty good.

    Source(s): Me and my sci-fi addiction
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  • 7 years ago

    Unfortunately, the only legitimate source for sci-fi is your brain. Sci-fi is the only genre that does not stem from experience and is fueled purely by imagination. Even fantasy must have roots in realism, but not sci-fi.

    The base of any sci-fi book is a good idea. It's as simple as that. You get your root idea and expand on it, and when it comes to these things you have to create an elaborate, unique, and interesting setting for your characters to run around in.

    The only thing you need to research or use for resources are the actual science-linked things you're talking about in sci-fi (you know, since it's science fiction), but that is always at the author's discretion and you can use various sources depending on what you're looking for.

    Sorry, but just keep thinking! An idea will come to you!


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