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Does it have to be a sci-fi?

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Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:40 am
Justlittleoleme says...



Alright, I've got a pretty general question. I've had this story in the back of my mind for years, I've been adding to it, subtracting from it, and have probably written several excerpts for it. I've got all the characters and seem to have developed a pretty decent villain even...but I just can't seem to find the right setting for my story. You see, its got a lot of different kinds of characters, including one's of species and races that simply do not exist on planet earth(or even in earth mythology)...but I'm not sure if I really want to go for the whole sci-fi fantasy scene...it seems, in a word, overdone...so here is my question, is it possible to pull off such a cast of characters and creatures without making your story a sci-fi?(In other words, can I do this without putting all my characters on a completely different planet, and thus having to go through all the details of how they got there in the first place?)




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Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:56 pm
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Rosey Unicorn says...



Sci fi =/= set on different planets.

Sci fi covers everything that has its firm base in science, just projected into the future far enough that we can do some (more) super cool stuff with it. If that means space travel, fine. If that means Earth in the year 2240? Go for it. Sci Fi can also cover dystopian literature (stuff like 1894 and The Handmaid's Tale), but that is rather hotly debated.

If you're doing an earth-like setting, only something is different and you've altered history accordingly (Ie- "what if these creatures came at this time period?") then you're doing what's known as an Alternate Universe, or AU. You can use a time period of Earth's as a base and just make the needed modifications for the change you've made.

You can also just forget about the whole "genre" business, write the story the way you want it, and have a ton of fun picking whatever genre conventions for different parts of the novel you want.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

#TNT




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Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:38 pm
Justlittleoleme says...



Alright, So what your saying is, that as a writer I should just write the story how ever I feel like it and worry about the genre later?
That makes a lot of sense...but I'm starting to think my story's gonna end up being a sci-fi in the end no matter what I do...I liked the AU idea a lot and tried it out...but it just didn't quite fit the bill. '
In the end I had to come up with just a many explanations on how everything got the way it was as I would have to in a sci-fi. One of the reason's I was avoiding sci-fi is that it is in itself, Scientific, and I was a little concerned with all the needed information that implies. I started asking myself complicated questions like, how big should the planet be, what would the weather be like, how far from the sun would it have to be for the weather to be that way. How did the people get there, what kind of ship did they use to get there, how was the ship powered, why do they now live in a world where technology is practically non-existant(cause this is the state in which they are now living)
I wanted to just be able to tell my story, but now my own brain is flooding me with questions that, I"ll be honest, I don't know how to answer. Especially without giving my readers an information dump or having to go back a whole new story just to explain the existing one...

I was starting to frustrate myself, if you know what I mean :?




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Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:21 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



Readers don't need to know all that.

It's called "willing suspension of disbelief." What that means is, people will accept that the planet's weather, size, position in the solar system, and other such factors that we take for granted in the real world, as normal because they are happening. So long as you have some sort of internal logic, then readers will accept it as real.

Also, you don't need to make an AU Earth. If you've read/heard of Fullmetal Alchemist, it's an alternate universe that asks the question "what if there was alchemy?" with the end result being a world that looks like Nazi Germany. However, the continent, and the main country the story takes place in, Amestris, looks nothing like Earth and has a completely different history. Its geography is vaguely based on Europe/Eurasia, but that's where the similarities end. So an AU is more qualified by what the end result is than Earth being used with a different history. It's more qualified by the current time period looking like Earth a little bit.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:03 pm
Justlittleoleme says...



hmmmm, so basically you're saying that I'm thinking about this too much. That as long as I write convincingly, and my story is a good one, people will just accept whats happening...Well that makes things about a hundred times less complicated :D

Thanks so much Rosey Unicorn and forgive my annoyingly over analytical brain >.< Sometimes it more of a pain than a plus :wink:




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Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:56 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



Yep. Put that over-analytical brain towards creating an awesome internal logic so there's no contradiction. ;)

Happy to help!
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

#TNT