Do you want to zoom away in a spaceship? Or be captured by a hunky alien? Perhaps your fantasy is to be whisked off to a far future society, where all diseases have been eliminated? Or maybe you'd prefer a society closely aligned with Earth's medieval period-complete with warriors, sword fighting, and castles.
No matter how diverse all these different ideas seem, they all have one theme in common-they can all be found in futuristic romances.
Do you need to be an astronaut or have been abducted by aliens to write about other worlds? Certainly not! Studying the masters of s/f and fantasy for style is a great start. Look at the various ways the masters handle their worlds, such as: Issac Asimov's technical expertise, Poul Anderson's humorous touch, Andre Norton's magic, or Robert E. Howard's dark/magical adventures.
One aspect you need to consider is how hard you want the science to be in your story. In other words, do you like writing technical information with lots of details about the future society? Or do you prefer to concentrate on the characters/storyline and have softer science? For example, in Love's Captive, the society I created is based on the Medieval system. It's something I'm interested in, and I don't care to read or write hard science fiction.
If you choose to go with hard science-you better have your facts straight or fans will call you on it. Study articles or books on science facts, recent discoveries, and future ideas. Maybe you can gleam something to incorporate into your story.
A good way to get the feel for what you want to write is to study your favorite authors style. There's a reason you like their books-so study their works and see if you can incorporate some of their style into your work. Of course you must find your own writing voice, but imitation is the best kind of flattery. And there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. If you love Dara Joy's Alpha males and the s/f plus fantasy elements she infuses into her stories, then perhaps that style would work well for you too.
Articles are a great resource in helping you seek information, check your facts, or maybe give you ideas. A good site where interesting articles can be found about different aspects of writing s/f romance stories, are at Science Fiction Romance. www.sfronline.com
I discovered several intriguing articles, such as Creating Believable Aliens, Worldbuilding, and Cursing in Alien Tongues. I think these would be worth a good "looksee".
The different terms you hear in connection with the genre may confuse you. Is your book s/f romance, fantasy romance, or futuristic romance? Don't worry about it. Write your story first. Later you can consider how to classify it. Friends can help by giving you feedback. Also, critique partners and writing groups can give their two cents worth. Ultimately your publisher will assign the sub genre they feel is appropriate for your work.
Now, write that exciting book!
© 2004 by Myra Nour