Bonnie Doran: Why Do I Write Science Fiction?
A guest post by Bonnie Doran
I wrote devotions for decades. Some were for free weekly papers, some for daily devotional magazines, and a few for book compilations. I also wrote a smattering of magazine articles. I never thought I’d write fiction.
Then a workshop leader challenged me to “write what I read.” So I started on a science fiction novel for young adults, similar in tone to Heinlein’s juvenile novels.
Several years later, my critique partners asked why I wasn’t writing adult science fiction. I told them because YA fiction was shorter and it always used only one POV (not true, by the way). But another reason was that I’d read a lot of top-notch, award-winning sci-fi authors. I know I wasn’t up to their level. The challenge frightened me.
But that’s what God told me to write, so I started on what became Dark Biology.
Now, I realize science fiction is an acquired taste. People who enjoy the genre seem to be in the minority. So if you don’t read (or horrors, don’t like) science fiction stories, why should you?
Because a story is a story. It involves characters and a plot. The rest is secondary.
No matter how exotic the setting, you still have human (and sometimes nonhuman) characters with conflicts, triumphs, and tragedies. The author still needs to put those characters into a series of events that result in a satisfying climax.
I have a scientific bent, although I never went further than a few courses in college. I never enjoyed history. I’m more likely to pick up a sci-fi novel than an historical one. I still want characters I care about and a plot that entertains. Good writing trumps genre.
Question: Time to chime in. Do we have any science fiction fans? Any favorite Sci-Fi books, TV shows or films?