Writing Advice Archive

Sciency Words: Eccentricity

According to Kepler’s laws, no planet has a perfectly circular orbit. The “established norm” is

Sciency Words: Chromatophore

Chromatophores are special cells in the skin of some animals, most notably the squid and the

Sciency Words: Orbital Vocabulary

When you want to move your spaceship to a higher orbit, fire your rockets prograde. If

Science Fiction Doesn’t Have to be Believable?

Though I admit I’ve written series of sci-fi novels where scientific accuracy takes a back seat

Top 5 Worldbuilding Must-Haves

What if you work on your world for weeks, write dozens of spreadsheets or notes, create

For the love of space opera

This article was originally posted on Veronica Sicoe’s blog, and is re-posted here with permission. Space opera

The ORIGINS of your alien species

Invest some work in figuring this out on a pragmatic, satisfyingly realistic level, and each time

Why Even Space?

I love space. But sometimes all that pesky space travel can get in the way, and

Why We Write Heroes

Are our heroes simply an extension of our own vanity – a striving to be something

25 different Sci-Fi Settings

A list of interesting sci-fi settings to play around with, and a mini-generator to create challenging

These Things You Say

These days everyone know what Unobtainium is, because it’s become its own punchline. Unobtainium is the

Screw Wikipedia, Contact a Scientist

Even though you’ve scoured the Internet and checked out every science book your local library has,

Aliens and Morality

Is moral conduct a prerequisite of civilization, even for aliens?

Maksim Smelchak: Categorizing Aliens

Maksim Smelchak shares some advice for those creating their own alien species.

Should Sci-Fi Writers Stop Using the Name Terra?

Is the name "Terra" an enormous cliche, and when is it okay for science fiction writers

How to Create a Competition Winning Alien Profile

Advice on how to write a winning entry to our Alien Week competition

Spin the Genre Bottle: Generating Ideas for SciFi Crossovers

If you're having trouble thinking up new and original ideas for a science fiction story, here's

Four-Part Story Structure Explained

It's useful to consider a story as having four sections; the introduction, complication, climax and resolution.You

Using Attributive ‘Tags’ to Make Your Characters Memorable

Writing large numbers of characters in any fictional work can cause confusion for the reader. This

A Guide to Science Fiction Subgenres

The world of science fiction literally epic and incredibly complex. The genre can be divided into