Writing Advice Archive

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

8 Ways to Bring Your Character Back from the Dead in Science Fiction

In science fiction it's safe to say pretty much anything can happen. With a good enough

6 Alternatives to Faster-Than-Light Travel

Faster-than-light travel is one of the most revolutionary ideas science fiction has ever explored. This simple

A Sexy Guide to Structuring Your Story

This is an approach to story structure taught to me by my old creative writing lecturer,

Taking a Leaf out of Somebody Else’s Book

If you are desperate for ideas, this might help...

Make Your Character Fail Before Succeeding

I found this article on the OngoingWorlds blog (written mostly by David Ball, who writes articles for