We’ve all heard of symbolism before. It’s the “why are the curtains blue” debate, the argument of whether or not to take the author’s word at face value or to probe deeper. This often falls in with “death of the author”, which means to divorce an author from their work completely, and draw your conclusions solely based on the text. While I don’t like to critique how people read on their own time, as it is ultimately a personal hobby that should bring you joy, I do think it is important to delve deeper into works and think critically about the author’s message.
Note: This is the second part of a series. If you have not read Worldbuilding Basics - Introduction and Resources yet, I recommend you do so before reading this post.
And so, you choose to write science fiction. Where technology thrives both as a threat and a tool. Science fiction, as a part of speculative fiction, has an infinite array of possibilities. As you make this decision, you enter a brightly lit room and let your eyes adjust for just a few seconds. You can probably see the color of the walls and the lighting of the place. It is mostly empty and ready for you to work with it.
Personally, this genre is my favorite to both write and read. However, when I started my first science fiction piece, I quickly noticed I had no idea how to transfer the world I had created on my head to the page. I had the Pinterest boards and the spreadsheets with my character’s needs and wants, but I realized there were so many things about my technology, and sci-fi in general, that I did not understand. During this post, I will start with the elements of the genre, and then explain a couple of the things I wish I had known when I started.
A “time skip” is any time in a story where a time is glossed over or summarized to move on to the next segment. This can be minutes, hours, days, months, or years. Time skips are an essential skill to learn to master pacing. Often time skips can be used to your advantage, as they keep the story interesting, but other times they can be used to pass over moments that may be incredibly important to the story that you are writing. It’s important to know when and how to use this device, so hopefully, this article should serve as a helpful introduction.