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5 Tips for Speculative Fiction Authors

Speculative fiction is a complex and varied genre, so here are a few tips to create an engaging spec fic story.

1. Societal Issues

Chose at least one societal issue you want to address.

These issues should be current, so your story will resonate with today’s readers. Even if you are writing something that takes place in the 1700s or on a different planet, the key is to keep the issue relevant to our society.

2. Who will this issue affect?

Create characters who this issue affects and show how it affects them.

Most of your characters should be affected by the problem in some way.

Environmental issues can affect an entire planet or just part of it. Governmental issues can affect one country or a few countries, but not necessarily all.

3. How does the issue affect your characters?

Chose which characters will see their society as a utopia and those who see it as a dystopia

At minimum, there are two sides to every story.

Some characters will believe a society where women have the power is fantastic, while others will feel it is the worst thing that could possibly be.

Dynamics create tension and conflicts, which move the plot forward.

4. Historical research

Research related historical issues and see where society went wrong and the new problems their solution created to inspire you.

History tends to repeat itself in one way or another. Look for times in the past where the issue/issues you chose have come to the surface. There are times in history and many countries where change has been fought for, but not enough progress has been made.

Think about how your story can improve upon this progress or show how things could be so much worse.

5. Plausibility

Make sure your story is plausible.

Plausibility is another key to writing great speculative fiction.

You can create your world however you want, but it needs to be believable.

Rules must be established and backstory that supports how the situation came to be. Consider how powerful people or those who sequester others can easily manipulate people into believing what some consider absurd.


  1. Societal issue(s)

  2. Who it affects

  3. How it affects

  4. History

  5. Plausibility

These five tips will get you on your way to creating a great speculative fiction novel!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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