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Turning Reality into SciFi or Fantasy

 
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Silver Member
Posts: 290

The ideas part of the workshop focused on coming up with story ideas for people, places, things, experiences you know or can research. However what I didn't quite grasp was translating that into SciFi or Fantasy. I found my way to create Q2 entry from the workshop to turn my story into SciFi. However, I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on doing this.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: P

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Topic starter Posted : April 1, 2021 6:30 pm
Edward Lang
(@elmontague)
Active Member
Posts: 20

The human experience is universal.  Have you ever been surprised by a dog on the street?  What if it were giant spider?  How about a monkey in a Brooks Brothers suit?  I once walked up to a girlfriend's house and saw her talking with someone before any of them saw me.  What if she disappeared?  Or turned around with blood dripping down her chin?  Have you ever sat down with a bit of technology and thought if only?  Or held the hand of a loved one as they passed and wished there was a gene mod that could have saved them?  All of those things are built on normal everyday experiences and extrapolated to extraordinary stories.

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Posted : April 1, 2021 7:47 pm
LDWriter2
(@ldwriter2)
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Posts: 1280
Posted by: @craydimensional

The ideas part of the workshop focused on coming up with story ideas for people, places, things, experiences you know or can research. However what I didn't quite grasp was translating that into SciFi or Fantasy. I found my way to create Q2 entry from the workshop to turn my story into SciFi. However, I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on doing this.

I start with a SF idea, or fantasy, so I am not sure how to explain it. But where is the opening scene? On a space ship, an asteroid, or a dry dusty foothills with rock formation sticking out of the ground, with dwarves looking for your main character? It is said that a certain SF Master changed how we write SF with one sentence  "The door irised opened". I open a book with the MC in his space ship and he has to land on a nearby human colonized planet to find more coolant for his drives. 

I do not know if this helps but that type of thing is how I usually start my SF. 

Working on turning Lead into Gold.
Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Posted : April 6, 2021 8:48 pm
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Silver Member
Posts: 290

So I wound up starting of both stories with an idea from real world and then started asking myself how would it change if... The exercise was kinda fun.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: P

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Topic starter Posted : April 6, 2021 9:19 pm
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Reuben
(@reuben)
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Posts: 216
Posted by: @craydimensional

So I wound up starting of both stories with an idea from real world and then started asking myself how would it change if... The exercise was kinda fun.

Exactly. For example, a story might start with you observing a man walking robotically across the street, and thinking: What if everyone in the world were robots except for one person?

Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series started with imagining a world of mist, and ash. OSC's Ender's Game started with wondering how war would work in outer space, in which an enemy could come from six directions instead of four.

It's also good to change it up, like you did with the genres. Say What if more than once. For example, Ender's Game was taken one step further when OSC decided to make the soldiers not men, but children.  

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm ~ Winston Churchill
V37: R, R, R, HM
V38: SHM

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Posted : April 7, 2021 6:43 am
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Silver Member
Posts: 290

Just read “Shadow Man” by Donal Mead from v25. I really loved the use of Hiroshima as a backdrop for the fictional story. Glad to see an example on how to use this technique.

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: P

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Topic starter Posted : May 2, 2021 10:21 am
scribblesatdusk
(@scribblesatdusk)
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Posts: 158
Posted by: @craydimensional

Just read “Shadow Man” by Donal Mead from v25. I really loved the use of Hiroshima as a backdrop for the fictional story. Glad to see an example on how to use this technique.

That story was so good!!!

V36:Q3 HM V37: Q3 R, Q4 SHM V38: R,HM, F, HM
V39:

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Posted : May 2, 2021 8:42 pm
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David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
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Posted by: @craydimensional

So I wound up starting of both stories with an idea from real world and then started asking myself how would it change if... The exercise was kinda fun.

I've been trying the same thing, going for more of the urban fantasy direction. I love reading deep science fiction like David Weber's Honor Harrington series, but I don't know that I'm ready for that depth of world building yet. Taking everyday situations and throwing in a fantasy or sci-fi element has been a lot of fun and easier for my brain to wrap itself around as I'm learning the mechanics of good story-telling. 

V38 Q2: HM
V38 Q3: HM
V38 Q4: SHM
V39 Q1: Submitted

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Posted : May 11, 2021 4:27 am
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AliciaCay
(@aliciacay)
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Posted by: @craydimensional

Just read “Shadow Man” by Donal Mead from v25. I really loved the use of Hiroshima as a backdrop for the fictional story. Glad to see an example on how to use this technique.

Oh, I need to check this one out! Thank you for mentioning it.

I've been writing A LOT more historical speculative fiction lately, which is fantastical imaginings and magic, but set in an actual place/historical setting. ♥
That story sounds up my alley 😉

 

~A.

V32: HM (Q4)
V33: HM, HM, SHM, HM
V34: R, R, HM, HM
V35: HM, HM, R, HM
V36: R, R, SHM, R
V37: SHM, FINALIST, HM, SHM
V38: SF, X, tbd, tbd
https://aliciacay.com

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Posted : September 18, 2021 6:33 pm
scribblesatdusk
(@scribblesatdusk)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 158

Somewhat tangential to this, is it ok to use real historical figures for this contest? Say a famous athlete or some such who was abducted by aliens or is it better not to do that? For my story I initially planned to use an actual real person (it's a scifi story, the actual person died sometime ago but was very famous among his circles) but am now wondering if I shouldn't just smeerp him instead to avoid possible conflict. Can I do that while leaving all the background info I needed for the character in-tact or does it then become disingenuous? 

V36:Q3 HM V37: Q3 R, Q4 SHM V38: R,HM, F, HM
V39:

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Posted : September 19, 2021 2:15 pm
Preston Dennett
(@prestondennett)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 531

@scribblesatdusk 

Yes, it is apparently okay to use historical figures. There have been winning stories featuring Hitler, Plato and Edgar Allan Poe. Those are three that come to mind, but I am sure there are others. 

 

Preston Dennett
HM x 12
F x 1
Winner, 2nd place, Q1, Volume 35
39 stories published! (and counting!)

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Posted : September 19, 2021 5:15 pm
AliciaCay
(@aliciacay)
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Posts: 144
Posted by: @scribblesatdusk

Somewhat tangential to this, is it ok to use real historical figures for this contest? Say a famous athlete or some such who was abducted by aliens or is it better not to do that? For my story I initially planned to use an actual real person (it's a scifi story, the actual person died sometime ago but was very famous among his circles) but am now wondering if I shouldn't just smeerp him instead to avoid possible conflict. Can I do that while leaving all the background info I needed for the character in-tact or does it then become disingenuous? 

I know someone who entered and placed (not won) with a story with Napoleon. He wasn't the MC, though. In case that helps.

 

~A.

V32: HM (Q4)
V33: HM, HM, SHM, HM
V34: R, R, HM, HM
V35: HM, HM, R, HM
V36: R, R, SHM, R
V37: SHM, FINALIST, HM, SHM
V38: SF, X, tbd, tbd
https://aliciacay.com

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Posted : September 19, 2021 7:27 pm
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Silver Member
Posts: 291

@aliciacay 
Did that one involve  Malmaison?

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, R, HM

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Posted : September 29, 2021 10:53 pm
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AliciaCay
(@aliciacay)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 144
Posted by: @scott_m_sands

@aliciacay 
Did that one involve  Malmaison?

Mayyyyybe .... yes .... Lol

You read it? 😉

V32: HM (Q4)
V33: HM, HM, SHM, HM
V34: R, R, HM, HM
V35: HM, HM, R, HM
V36: R, R, SHM, R
V37: SHM, FINALIST, HM, SHM
V38: SF, X, tbd, tbd
https://aliciacay.com

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Posted : September 30, 2021 9:10 am
Preston Dennett
(@prestondennett)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 531

@scribblesatdusk Thought of some more historical figures which have appeared in winning stories.

1. George Burns and his wife Gracie! 

2. Ghengis Khan

Preston Dennett
HM x 12
F x 1
Winner, 2nd place, Q1, Volume 35
39 stories published! (and counting!)

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Posted : September 30, 2021 6:48 pm
scribblesatdusk
(@scribblesatdusk)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 158

Thank you! If this will be a rejection I'll have nothing to blame but my prose.

V36:Q3 HM V37: Q3 R, Q4 SHM V38: R,HM, F, HM
V39:

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Posted : September 30, 2021 7:22 pm
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Silver Member
Posts: 291

@aliciacay 
I did have that good fortune, yes. Such amazing description! A thoroughly enjoyable read.  grinning  

"Many people will tell you that you can't write. Let no one say that you don't." -Ken Rand
V36-37: R x6
V38: R, HM, R, HM

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Posted : October 1, 2021 7:01 am
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Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1032
Posted by: @scribblesatdusk

Somewhat tangential to this, is it ok to use real historical figures for this contest? Say a famous athlete or some such who was abducted by aliens or is it better not to do that? For my story I initially planned to use an actual real person (it's a scifi story, the actual person died sometime ago but was very famous among his circles) but am now wondering if I shouldn't just smeerp him instead to avoid possible conflict. Can I do that while leaving all the background info I needed for the character in-tact or does it then become disingenuous? 

Well there is a story in V.38 called Hemingway, though direct associations must be inferred from what I gather.

For a few years I've had a story idea about a historical figure, but haven't dared to risk it. It's an alternate universe kinda thing. Suppose I can't do any worse than any of my other entries, and could always do better!

 

2x Finalist
2x Semi
7x Silver
10x HM
Finalist #2 ** KICKSTARTER ** Funded! (Booyah)

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Posted : December 7, 2021 4:09 am
Joe Benet
(@joebenet)
Advanced Member
Posts: 25
Posted by: @craydimensional

The ideas part of the workshop focused on coming up with story ideas for people, places, things, experiences you know or can research. However what I didn't quite grasp was translating that into SciFi or Fantasy. I found my way to create Q2 entry from the workshop to turn my story into SciFi. However, I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on doing this.

Typically, I envision the SciFi idea first, the cool premise, backdrop, etc., then inject the real world into that idea. So, going the other direction is difficult for me. However, at church one Christmas Eve as I sat people-watching waiting for the start of the service, huge, real-world camels strolled to their positions for the live nativity scene. It was a popular time for zombies (Walking Dead, et al.) so my wandering mind pictured how a wall of camels laying down would form a decent protective barrier. That moment birthed "Silent Night, Leper Night", an honorable mention from a few years ago.

5xHM: Q3'16, Q3'17, Q4'18, Q1'19, Q4'21

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Posted : December 9, 2021 3:13 pm
ellisael
(@ellisael)
Active Member
Posts: 22

I find this an extremely interesting pursuit. Have you read Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower? it is an incredible study in the close proximity of the sci fi and the reality. I think any exercise that would slowly expose the participants with small degrees of deviance from the reality would be worthwhile for the pursuit- 

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Posted : December 13, 2021 10:47 pm
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

My preferred method for writing a story is to allow bits of inspiration to come together on their own when I'm not actively trying to think about it until the story reaches a boiling point in my mind and I start to write. At that point I generally have the base concept of the world and the problem and at least a basic character. Then it all comes together on the page. Most of my ideas start out sci-fi or fantasy even if they are based off of real experiences. 

I plan to play around with different ways to start a story concept to get in more practice writing with a prompt instead of chance inspiration. I think it's a different skill set and will be helpful for maintaining a professional writing career in the future. So after I work at this a bit I'll come back with any insights I glean from the process!

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Posted : December 31, 2021 4:28 pm
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