21W.759 | Spring 2016 | Undergraduate

Writing Science Fiction


What is and is not Science Fiction?
1 Introduction: What is speculative fiction? Various forms and subgenres.  
2 Discussion of speculative fiction: What is its function? Why is it popular?  
Destroying (Building) the World
3 Build the World to Destroy the World  
4 World Building 101  
Building the World
5 World Building Exercises  
The Protagonist Destroys the World
6 Creating Characters Within the World  
7 Exercise: Creating Characters Within the World (Scenario Work)  
The Science in Science Fiction
8 How the Science (or Magic) is Central, but the Story is Not Always About the Science (or Magic)  
9 Exercise: Locating the Science / Magic / Speculation (Scenarios)  
10 Where worldbuilding can go wrong. Examining the economics of how worlds and societies function—and don’t. Story One due
11 Troubleshooting Societies  
The Future is Now, Theme and Extrapolation
12 Does science fiction try to predict the future, or address questions of the current day? The answer, of course, is yes.  
13 Long Form Structure  
14–23 Workshop

Ses 18: Story Two due

Ses 21: Rewrite of Story One due

24 Contracts Rewrite of Story Two due
25 The way a professional writer works in the world The business of publishing: Conglomerates, agents, distributors, etc.  
26 Course evaluations, stories about publishing life in the real world, The Scotch Lecture, and cupcakes!  

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2016
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples