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Speculative Fiction Teaching Resources

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  • Can I Write My Own Speculative Fiction Story?

  • Instructions for Students

    If you love Speculative Fiction, then you should try writing your own story. Browsing this exhibition, you will be aware of the range of interesting topics you can explore and the diversity of characters and situations that can be incorporated.

    If you would like to tackle a novel, producing an outline might be helpful, although not everyone agrees that it is a good idea and NY Book editors propose another method. Also, writing a book can be tough work and you might like to listen to the advice from a fantasy expert such as American author Terry Brooks.

    Having trouble getting started? Find out about the Hero’s Journey or Ronald Tobias’s Twenty Master Plots.

    One final thing before you start: if you are starting with a short story, remember that everything must be very condensed. You cannot tell an epic story with a cast of hundreds in 1000 (or even 3000) words. So, a few tips:

    • Limit the number of characters to one or two.
    • Create a plot that could, in the real world, be acted out in 10-20 minutes. This means that you might tell self-contained, smaller story that is part of a much bigger one.
    • Write about a life-changing or crisis moment in the life of the main character.
    • Start in medias res, i.e., the middle of the action. You will not have time to mess around with too much introduction.
    • Ensure that in parallel to the plot, there is an emotional arc. This means that as well as lots of exciting ‘stuff’ happening, you also need to show the emotional journey of the character.

    Whatever, you do, have fun and make it interesting. When you are ready to publish, the world is your stage!

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