Summer Writing Series: World Building

Nancy Pennick

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Today Joy V. Smith joins us. She has another take on writing Science Fiction. Compare her to John Steiner’s techniques from a few weeks back. We all create differently!

Straight on Until a New Planet
by Joy V. Smith

       I love SF, and some of my favorite stories are about other worlds, including Andre Norton’s adventure-filled books, Christopher Anvil’s Pandora’s Planet, Gordon R. Dickson’s The Outposter, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, Robert A. Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars, and Keith Laumer’s Retief series.

Usually I start out with a story and then fit in the background–planet and culture, though some of my stories are set completely on Earth.  While my main characters are usually Americans in stories set on Earth, elsewhere I often give them backgrounds of other countries and cultures to make them more interesting.

Some planets are simple, with little description of wildlife, moon(s), etc. (I…

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