If you are a big fan of Sci-Fi Novels or Sci – Fi movies, you must have noticed some common elements in these stories. When you pick a good Novel and you see these elements, it feels a bit irritating and cliched. I am listing down a few and let’s see if you agree with me or not.
- The World is going to End
In most Novels, the main theme is that the World will be destroyed. It is either a weird creature, an alien, a chemical or some deadly disease that will cause the destruction. And the protagonist/ hero has a mission to save the world.
Can’t there be some other theme? We have already saved the world a trillion times in all the books. We are tired of saving it anymore.
2. The world gets saved during the last few seconds.
Why is it that if a bomb is ticking, or a missile is about to get launched, the hero stops it just a few seconds before it explodes.
If a deadly chemical is about to get dissolved in water, from where it can mix in water supply and can kill or infect people, the hero saves it just seconds before it enters the water.
Similarly, in other cases, the world is saved at the last minute. The reader already know it. Let’s get some spice. What if someone diffused the bomb already or something else happened. Something creative than the last minute rescue.
3. Advanced Spaceships
When we talk about books that show advanced science concepts or inventions, the Sci-Fi authors just write about spaceships or space settlements. The spaceship is huge and has many features, it has robots and some advanced machines for survival (eg: advanced surgery machine) or some break-through weapon
Come on, Aren’t we bored with that. Science Fiction can be anything related to science, the way we walk, the way we communicate, the way we eat or simply the way we paint our houses. Anything! There can be advancements shown anywhere. the magic of technology can be into anything. Why only spaceships?
4. Planets and Aliens
There is no doubt that the concept of Aliens has always fascinated us. We love to think about them, we love to imagine the unknown. That is why Most of the Sci Fi books are based on Aliens and other planets. This is an interesting concept but how far can we stretch it? A group of leaders/gods of galaxy deciding the fate of a planet is also quite common now.
To cater to such books, we should have a separate genre – Alien Fiction.
5. A Good Person is actually the Villian
When this idea first emerged, it was fresh and new. People were surprised at the nice twist. The character they were thinking is good turns out to be bad. In some books, this character is a friend of the hero, or he is an assistant, a teacher, or even a minister. But the character is shown really good from the beginning and turns out to be the villain or generally the boss of the villain.
Sounds Familiar? If yes, then please don’t include this in your next book. (in case you plan to write one)
6. An Emotional Angle
In Sci-Fi stories, authors try to give an emotional touch. And how they accomplish this is by giving the protagonist a little child (mostly a daughter) and if this is the case, the protagonist is a single parent. Then there will be many emotional scenes on how the hero misses the child while on a mission to save the world.
If a child is not there, and a girlfriend/ boyfriend is shown then 99% times the villain will capture this partner.
Do you feel the same? that all stories are quite common (Of course, with a few exceptions)
That is all I could think of, that I see repeatedly in most novels. Please note that these are just broad generalizations. There are many novels that are exceptions.
Also, I am not writing any names of Novels here as examples. I am doing that intentionally because I do not want to demean any author. They have put so much hard work on their book. The sole purpose of this article is that If you are planning to write a Sci-Fi novel, please keep these points in mind and avoid them. Or simply bring some freshness in the old stale ideas. Some twist or creativity that works.