Unless you’re new here, you’re probably aware that science fiction and romance are my bread and butter. Not only are they what I specialize in, but the two blended together is one of my all-time favorite genres to read. That’s also why for my next book, Breakup Queen, I’ll be doing just that. Sure, it’ll be a fake-dating rockstar romance, but I recently came up with a loose science fiction twist that should crank it up to the next level.
I really think it’s going to heighten the stakes and make the story a lot more nuanced. Whenever you’re writing a new concept, you’ve got to have the stakes high enough that the reader actually cares about the outcome. I know that sounds obvious enough, but it’s something I think a lot of authors accidentally overlook. That’s why I’m reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer to get myself in the mindset for the kind of story I want to build.
So this month, I wanted to share 3 ways I think sci-fi heightens the stakes more than a story without it:
- Life versus Death: While some heartache feels like it could kill you, everyone knows it can’t literally end a life (assuming the absence of a Romeo and Juliet situation, of course). With a science fiction or even dystopian twist, your characters could literally lose their life over the course of the story.
- Bigger world implications: Is there an evil overlord threatening to take over the tri-state area? Well, unless they’re as innocent and harmless as Dr. Doofenshmirtz, your protagonist could have a serious issue on their hands. Bonus points if the story also makes some bigger points about real-society outside of the story.
- Extra Plot Complexity: Suddenly, it’s not quite as simple as telling the guy you loved him the whole time; now you’ve got cyborgs to fight off. That’s a silly example, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Some of the best parts about contemporary science fiction is that while it’s situated in society as we know it, there are twists and new complexities that the reader maybe wouldn’t have expected. At the end of the day, we just want that escape from reality, right?
I know that’s why I’ve written my science fiction books. Whether it’s time travel or dystopian thrillers, there’s always an escapist quality that I’ve seen readers really connect with.
Happy reading and writing!