A Serious Look at How to Come Up w/Awesome Sci-Fi Ideas

The most helpful post of the month so far:

10 Tips for Generating Killer Science Fiction Story Ideas – by Charlie Jane Anders

Science fiction is the literature of big ideas — so coming up with an amazing story idea often feels like the biggest stumbling block in the way of your dreams of authorship. Unfortunately, most of us can’t just have Robert A. Heinlein mail us $100 and a couple dozen brilliant ideas. So what do you do?

The trick is not just to come up with a great idea, but a great idea that lives in your mind and leads to characters and situations that inspire you. So here are 10 pretty decent ways to generate your own amazing story ideas.

And it really is true that ideas are dime a dozen in science fiction. Take the idea of “first contact with an alien race.” There are a million possible variations of that idea alone: They come to us. We go to them. They’re super-advanced. They’re not using anything we’d recognize as technology. They communicate using only colors. They think emoticons are our language, and all the other stuff is just punctuation. They’re giant. They’re tiny. They’re invading. They’re well-intentioned, but troublesome. And so on.

The hard part is finding an idea that sticks in your head and starts to grow weird angles and curves. In a sense, it’s not about finding a good idea — so much as finding a good idea for you, personally. So here are some tips, that may or may not be helpful:

Read it all

The really good stuff is at the link above. We want you to experience it in its full glory on its original site. You know, the way God (and Charlie Jane) intended.