The Emotion of Science Fiction

By definition science fiction stories are driven by the possibilities of known and unknown science. But pure science rarely makes for a good story. Humans are not mechanical machines. Emotion plays a significant role in every part of our daily lives, and any story involving humans (and, I think, aliens as well.) requires the characters have emotional depth.

I love to develop interesting characters: independent, plucky women, and strong — but not superhuman – men, with a strong sense of honor. But our daily experience proves no one is perfect. Weakness is a reality. For the story to ring true, our characters, both good and bad, can’t always be strong, and self assured. What will they do when pushed too far? Collapse, or fight on? Run screaming from the room, or face the threat head on?

In a good science fiction story, the science is important, but without believable characters it is just a boring series of related facts. Bring on the angst, the challenges, the strengths and weaknesses of mankind. (and alien-kind.) Make your protagonists earn their victories, even if they don’t fully realize what it is they’ve won (or lost).

That will make an interesting story!

Clifford M. Scovell
Prison Earth – Not Guilty as Charged


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