How to Break the Code of Speculative Fiction and Genre Writing

Not long ago, I gave a workshop on writing stories. Among other things, I showed everyone how to break the code of speculative fiction and genre writing. I think it works whether you’re writing a novel, a Wattpad serial, a Hollywood script, a manga comic, a transmedia franchise, whatever.

Now you can be clever too. It goes something like this —

science fiction
People use technology in weird and wonderful ways. Plus artificial intelligence.

fantasy
People use magic in weird and wonderful ways. Plus mythical creatures.

horror
People get terrified in weird and wonderful ways. Plus death.

supernatural
People encounter ghosts in weird and wonderful ways. Plus dead people.

dystopian
People are exploited in weird and wonderful ways. Plus dictator.

post-apocalyptic
People survive the end of the world in weird and wonderful ways. Plus ruins.

crime
People break the law in weird and wonderful ways. Plus police procedures.

mystery
People uncover the truth in weird and wonderful ways. Plus misdirection.

thriller
People beat the clock in weird and wonderful ways. Plus a cunning opponent.

romance
People are attracted to each other in weird and wonderful ways. Plus ugly fights.

Happy writing!

DON BOSCO writes thrilling fiction for teens and children. His stories are inspired by Asian legends and pop culture. He started the publishing studio Super Cool Books in 2011. In 2015, his Sherlock Hong Adventures series was acquired by Marshall Cavendish for international release. He is a local co-organiser for StoryCode Singapore, which promotes transmedia storytelling across different platforms and formats. His website.