I’m lucky that I haven’t fallen into any of these traps (some of which are very easy to fall into) so far. It was still a very interesting post to read and I’m going to keep it in mind for the future, as I think anyone attempting sci-fi should.
As the writer says, there are no new ideas any more. This might seem bleak, but I’m ok with it. There’s still plenty to do with what we have and there’s always a new way to approach an old idea.
But using cliches, whilst it might be easy, lessens the potential for you to let your writing do something that is entirely you.
Some ideas have been done to death in science fiction. We all know there are no new ideas anymore, and what matters most is the execution of the idea you
stole have, but there are a few things that are not only over-done, they’re either incredibly stupid or offensive, as well. Here’s a partial list of tropes I’d love to never see again:
- Funky Alien Language: your aliens from across the galaxy speak perfect English, except for a few “untranslatable” slang phrases? Or the language is made entirely of clicks and apostrophes? Hey, I know! All of your proper names are made with the 5, 8, or 10 point letters from Scrabble. Worst yet is when all of the men have harsh, hard-sounding names, and all of the women (or other effeminate species) have soft, vowel- and f/l/sh-heavy names. This is an instant clue that you’re dealing…
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