Note: Although we are focusing primarily on the genre of science fiction, most, if not all, points mentioned in this post can be applied to other genres in writing!
These are only a few names known in the realm of science fiction (sci-fi from here on out.) Our own worlds have broadened because someone took the time to travel to the futuristic unknown rather than entering a fantasy world. But what are some key components to writing sci-fi? Let’s get talking!
Like any other creative writing project, planning and mapping out your story is crucial and necessarily before you dive into your tale. Not only for plot purposes but you always need to question: “how will this affect that?” You know, the usual. Depending on your sci-fi story, you’ll get the opportunity to create even further. For example, settings are new, language is different than what we know on our planet, races vary even more so than skin color…there are so many details to account for! We always recommend doing research into other novels within your genre range. Take it a step further and watch shows and movies. It’ll help further stimulate your creativity.
Something to help you indulge in your research is looking into scientific journals, new discoveries by labs or space teams, etc. This can influence your story in any way you want it to. Shaping your universe with new discoveries and current-world situations. Not only that but you’re expanding your own knowledge. what a way to kill two birds with one stone!
Our last point we’d like to highlight pertains to another question you can ask yourself. What if…? Utilizing the knowledge in the journals you find and articles you read, you can mix this with the creative details you’ve mapped out thus far. Apply your ‘what if’ question and add more depth to your story, add a new element, or a new plot line. Whatever the case may be, you’re adding something to the story by asking what if.
Reading a collection of words, more commonly known as reading books, has been the oldest form of entertainment for the privileged. As time has gone on and reading has become necessary and accessible to more…and let’s be honest here, illiteracy is an issue and we should acknowledge that…we want to ask the question: what’s next?
We have traditionally-printed novels, in the masses. There are eBooks, in the millions, for those who like to read on the run. The technology which has given us audiobooks makes it easier for those just as busy to listen and work, not losing out on the art of reading. Visual storytelling, choose-your-own adventure stories, Kindle in Motion…the list goes on!
But what technology is on the current rise? What can inspire the next generation of readers – to keep the act of reading alive?
Do you see yourself creating a robot, or purchasing one, to have creative discussions with about the books you’re reading? Or maybe using voice tech, we can pick and choose who we want to narrate the book we’re reading when it’s convenient for us.
What do you think is next? And what’s your favorite way or ways to read?
This week is our last week in Eastern Asia. Disregard the photo chosen for this week’s creature; there weren’t many options that really embodied what the creature is but there is very little to go on! You can be the judge.
Next week, we embark on mythological creatures deriving from Western Asia. Join us on our journey around the world!
Santelmo | Philippines
“Spiritual presence in the form of a dancing orb of flame.”
The name santelmo translates to ‘St. Elmo’s fire.’ It is also referred to as ‘Santo Elmo.’
Recently, the fires seen dancing along have been debunked by scientists…even though these fires have been reported since the Spanish era (that’s almost 500 years ago!)
Where did the name St. Elmo come from? To be clear, St. Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. Whenever the weather phenomenon (which is what scientists have deemed the fire) occurred, sailors saw it as a good sign. That’s a bit scary to be called a good thing, if you ask me.
If the santelmo was inspired by a weather phenomenon which occurs at sea, what does the creature look like? The best description is as follows (from Cryptid wikia!):
St. Elmo’s fires have ranged from a ghostly dancing flame to natural fireworks. It usually is of a blue of bluish-white colour attached to fixed, grounded conductors and has a lifetime of minutes. The flame is heatless and non-consuming occasionally accompanied by a hissing sound. These latter properties prove the myths of a spiritual presence.
The ball of fire spirit can come from the spirits of those who die in a river, the sea or while it’s raining. These versions of the santelmo are dangerous. They’ll drown someone!
Remember when Mary Shelley wrote one of the most well known monster tales of all time?
I sure don’t because that was 1818. But that being said, Mary Shelley created a man no one would ever forget.
Classic monster literature takes on several themes, some of which cross over into other. Most of the classic literature, like Frankenstein, Dracula, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde…they all seem to carry the weight of these themes.
The biggest one is enlightenment and science. Since these works were written during the Age of Enlightenment, pretty much moving away from the influence of faith to the influence of science, the emphasis on science and how it impacted those who practiced was reflected in literature. Each of the main three works mentioned earlier each show signs of science and enlightenment.
The other themes shown in these types of works are isolation, loneliness, and duality. Most of the characters embody the feeling of being isolated, being lonely, being helpless. Duality is mainly mirrored through Dr. Jekyll when turning into Mr. Hyde and in the idea of vampires, resting during the day and running amok and causing destruction when the night comes.
Do you have a favorite monster or work of monster literature?
The only free time I get to transport myself to another world within the pages of a book is in bed. Reading the right bedtime book is sometimes hard to do. I enjoy lighthearted reads before bed, but some people enjoy a good thriller to fuel their nightmarish dreams. Some prefer to read an action-packed chapter to tire themselves out. Everyone deserves a bedtime read – and now we have a way to get that book in our hands before resting our eyes at night.
As of 2018, HarperCollins UK has teamed up with the Heart radio station and Dreams, a bed retailer, to begin what will be known as the Bedtime Book Club. With the radio station broadcasting to listeners, the hosts will discuss a variety of HarperCollins novels, different themes, and genres to encourage reading. But just because the station is only broadcasting in the UK, doesn’t mean you can’t find your own nighttime reads.
If having a Bedtime Book Club isn’t reason enough to read before bed, maybe I should tell you why it can be important to get your nose in a book while under the sheets. It’s simple – if you want better sleep, read. You read me right. Sleep better. It’ll help reduce stress by distracting your brain from the life stresses that can get the best of you. I’m guilty of blaring my TV to help me fall asleep but it’s actually a good idea to read rather than watch. It’ll reassure your brain that you are at peace. And if you’re also like me, scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (whatever social media platform you choose), reading can help you concentrate better. In the long run, reading before bed can improve two other things: your empathy and your creativity. In a good way!
Reading is a powerful tool, so why not start your own Bedtime Book Club and start curling up with a good book to help rest your eyes and your brain.