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Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Putting It All Together: The One Thing

If you had to pinpoint only one thing, in all the aspects of writing SF, that helps to create a strong SF story and a strong sense of wonder, what would that thing be?


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mae-V
Posts: 147
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Putting It All Together: The One Thing

The idea. That's what brings me back to certain writers and to certain stories. Usually I rephrase it as "what would happen if...?" Or, "OK. So, what if...?" The One Thing is generally what emerges from several other things being atom-smashed together.

Ok, so what would happen if, instead of just another android, it was a detective. And it's partner hated androids and was agoraphobic.

Ok, so what would happen if you were the one who discovered the number zero.

The idea.
#Play tasty!#
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WriterJim
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Putting It All Together: The One Thing

I think the creating the sense of wonder means getting the reader to see things in a different, novel way. Sometimes that means taking the world and showing it in a different way, the way John Brunner created a novel setting out of invented newsclips, advertisements, and video scripts, the way he did in _Stand on Zanzibar_.

Or creating a new twist on a familiar future the way Phillip K. Dick did in _The Man in the High Castle_, or William Gibson's _Neuromancer_, both of which depict an America on the decline while other nations and cultures around it are on the rise.

Or creating a novel environment, the way that Frank Herbert did with the planet Arrakis, known as "Dune," a desert planet with a unique and mysterious desert planet and a desert people trained for an unusual destiny.

These stories used ideas that had been thought of before. But they each used an unusual, creative "twist" to make their ideas novel and unusual, and thus fascinating to us.
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