How (not) to plot an SF story


Snippet from our holiday in Brittany:
Me: “So, I want this story to be about child refugees and their experience. It kind of needs something else to be SF, though…”
The H: “Space stations? Spaceships? AIs? Nanomachines?”
Me: “Ooh. I like nanomachines. Sold, now I have to think of a plot to go with those. Mmm…”

Yup, this is how my SF gets plotted, which kind of explains a lot of things…
(I usually get the setting from combining one societal thing with one science/SF thing; however, at this stage I’ll throw in a random element to provide the actual plot that goes with the setting. Lately, it’s been a fairytale motif, go figure)


  1. That makes me feel better about the fact I do almost the exact same thing!

  2. That’s pretty much what I do. It’s what Graham Joyce has said to me that he does on occasion as well. Also what the indie rpg Shock Social Science Fiction enforces in its rules.

  3. Have you ever heard of TRIZ and its application to fantastic ideas? 😉 => here for instance:

  4. I thought doing it like that was a secret, or Not Allowed! 😉

    (I do it too, frequently. Of course!)

  5. Dylan, Will and Jennifer: Hahaha, so glad I’m not the only one!
    @Next_friday: no, I hadn’t heard of it, sounds like fun 😀 Thanks!

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