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Writing a Sci-Fi Novel

Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 05/27/14 05:12 PM

One of the items on my year-goals list is to publish my sci-fi novel. It's done. The issue is that some of my beta readers felt it was too much like my medieval novels, but set in space. I suppose I like my medieval novels so to me that's a win smile. But I'm trying to figure this out.

If anybody's willing to take a look at it, let me know and I'll send it along. It's an adventure-romance in the genre of Star Trek. A group of intrepid explorers looking to surmount challenges.
Posted By: Val FictionWrit/RomanceBk

Post Here to FIND or BE a beta reader of fiction! - 05/27/14 06:12 PM

Beta readers are well-read in their genres and give detailed reader feedback to a writer BEFORE a piece of fiction is submitted to agent or editor, or self-published. Typically they receive an electronic copy of the manuscript (which should be a complete first draft that is as smooth and polished as the writer can manage on his or her own), and they email back a detailed reaction/comments. The writer gets invaluable feedback, and the beta reader gets a free read and the satisfaction of being deeply influential in a writer's publishing process.

See my collected articles on beta readers for more info.

And please feel free to post here if you would like to FIND a beta reader or BE a beta reader. You can then private-message each other through the forum to work out the details.
Posted By: Val FictionWrit/RomanceBk

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 05/27/14 06:16 PM

This sounds very appealing. You've also given me an idea about posting a thread for beta readers and authors to find each other. Let me try to do a merge of this topic with that one.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 05/27/14 06:24 PM

Val -

I'm not sure if it would be easy to manage if all requests for readers were in one large thread - it'd be hard to keep track of who asked for what book and who was responded to. And the feedback. Just a thought smile. On GoodReads each beta-reading-book thread is its own separate entity for that reason.
Posted By: Val FictionWrit/RomanceBk

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 05/27/14 06:39 PM

Hmmm, I see what you mean. And I may have acted too impulsively in that I don't see a way to unmerge your thread and put it back! Hmmm. Let me leave it here for now (no other choice) and look into how they do it on Goodreads.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/06/14 05:54 AM

I've tweaked a new cover for my upcoming SciFi novel, Aquarian Awakenings. I'd love any feedback on it! And the book is ready for beta readers. It's about 300 pages. No explicit language / sexual content. Let me know if you're interested in taking a look! Even just a review of the first few chapters would be quite helpful.

Posted By: Jana - Creativity Editor

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/06/14 09:16 AM

Wow! Love the cover. I'll take a peak if you like. I'd love to be a beta reader. It's stretching my genre muscles.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/13/14 10:53 PM

Jana - sure thing! What format would you like?

Trying a new font for my Aquarian Awakenings novel. Suggestions? Still seeking beta-readers. #sciencefictionromance

Posted By: Jilly

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/13/14 11:10 PM

My unvarnished opinion is the cover looks amateurish. Sorry. frown
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/13/14 11:19 PM

Dear Jilly -

The original cover design was going to look like this -



So hopefully at least I'm moving in the right direction smile. I liked the original but it felt more like a horoscope book to me.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/13/14 11:21 PM

But let's look at this genre. Robert Heinlein, a famous author, put out stuff like this:

(WARNING NOT SAFE FOR WORK)



... update - I couldn't take it in its raw form on our site. I had to edit it. But the original cover did NOT have any censorship.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/13/14 11:22 PM

This is slightly better - but still ...

Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/13/14 11:28 PM

Oh and Poul Anderson smile.

Posted By: Jana - Creativity Editor

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/14/14 01:28 PM

Hi Lisa,

I was thinking more Stargate, but I liked that show. You'll discover your perfect cover. It'll come to you.
Posted By: Jana - Creativity Editor

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/14/14 01:33 PM

Lisa,

Word format is just fine. Send it over and I'll read it. What type of review would you like? An overall?

Keep writing,
Posted By: Jilly

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/14/14 04:02 PM

I've read probably a thousand sci fi books, and near-naked people are not on the covers of almost any of them. In fact, even the Heinlein stuff evolved. Those are some really old covers you referenced. smile
Posted By: Jilly

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 06/14/14 04:17 PM

Take a look of the beauty in the The Integral Trees, The Smoke Ring, Ringworld, The Legacy of Heorot, and Destiny's Road, all books by Niven, for example.

Robert Silverberg's stuff is really gorgeous - his Majipoor book covers are wonderful. Lord Valentine's Castle, Tales of Majipoor, Valentine Pontifex, the Mountains of Majipoor, River of Stars.

Orson Scott Card has some lovely covers.

Some of John Varley's covers are amazing.

For women sci-fi authors, Marrion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McAfferey have some really nice art, but less abstract, which is what I think you are going for.

Ignore the art from the 60s and 70s - that nude stuff was a long time ago. smile
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 07/23/14 10:43 PM

Seeking reviews for my cozy romance murder mystery Aspen Allegations. The ebook currently has 3 reviews and I need 11 to do a promotion smile. Please help! I can get you a free copy if you don't have one yet. Please share with any review-writing friends.
Posted By: Val FictionWrit/RomanceBk

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 07/24/14 12:00 PM

Lisa, you help us all the time, and I'd be delighted to have the chance to help you. In fact I've been trying to make the time to get in this forum and/or send you an email to thank you for the info you've sent us on the Kindle Unlimited and the bar code thing and how to promote our books via Twitter, etc. This is great information and a lot of us need it but we haven't yet started the research process. You're saving us a lot of time.

Unfortunately, I can't help with Amazon reviews because I recently reached the last straw with Amazon (many reasons, including their strong-arm tactics with the Hachette Book Group) and I made them delete my account. But I could review your book on the romance site here (Romantic Suspense) and mention that you need 11 reviews on Amazon so that others will know to review it. I have a copy of the book already, and I will move it to the top of the TBR list.
Posted By: Val FictionWrit/RomanceBk

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 07/24/14 12:15 PM

As for covers, I agree with Jilly on your science fiction cover. Unfortunately, to me, it looks self-published with all the stigma still attached to that, if unfairly. I do like the more streamlined font that you changed it to. But the abstract design of exploding light doesn't engage me. One of the reasons I think readers avoid science fiction is because they think it will be all ideas with no real character depth or development. If you could work in some people, even if it was just tiny figures in a landscape like the old Frank Herbert DUNE covers, then I'd be more intrigued as a reader.

(If you still need beta readers for your science fiction novel, I could do it. Word document or PDF is fine if you want to email me an attachment.)

Weren't those Heinlein covers awful? Poor devil might not have had control over his cover art, though, and had to take what he was given, especially on the early stuff.

One cover that I thought was just gorgeous was Iain Banks' cover for MATTER. The colors were so rich, the design simple and elegant, and the figure so mysterious.

Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 07/27/14 12:09 PM

Val -

I do like those colors. Which reminds me. If I'm going for that style, I adore this type of image -



It also occurs to me that this is really a sci-fi romance rather than an actual sci-fi. So I should be looking at images in that area to see how to fit in and then stand out.

The covers in that area of Kindle look pretty amateur to me so maybe it won't be hard to stand out against most of them. Lots of time travel and werewolf stuff in here. So I have to make it clear it's about space, not just strange-on-Earth stuff. I like the ones with a sword against a nebula - I do have swords in my book and the nebula speaks of space. But how to combine that with this feel ...
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 07/27/14 12:40 PM

So maybe something like this for my sci-fi romance book cover -

Posted By: Val FictionWrit/RomanceBk

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 07/27/14 03:19 PM

Yes, it catches my interest much more now. I think especially if it's an SF romance rather than just SF, it needs a couple in the cover art like you've done to suggest that.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 07/29/14 09:43 PM

Seeking beta readers for my new novella Into The Wasteland. Here's a very rough mockup of the cover idea. #dystopian Here's a blurb:

....

She doesn't know why she's shuffling down a sterile corridor in line with the roughest hoodlums, miscreants, and serial killers she's ever seen. She doesn't know why, when she's handed a gun, that she instantly knows the safety is on and the magazine is fully loaded. She doesn't know, once those massive metal gates before her swing open, what she will face on the other side.

All she knows is that somehow, whatever it takes, she has to survive.

.......

Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 08/03/14 11:41 PM

Getting closer on Aquarian Awakenings - my first sci-fi romance. Thoughts on the cover? It's clean / teen-friendly. If anybody wants a preview copy, let me know - I'd love some last minute feedback!

Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 08/05/14 09:19 PM

Here's the latest cover. Another moon to give it that sci-fi feel and brighter colors



Ideas?

The book is now live in Kindle, Kobo, Goodreads, Lulu, and SmashWords smile.
Posted By: Jana - Creativity Editor

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 08/06/14 10:40 AM

I like it. Looks great.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 12/22/14 02:55 AM

I'm close to releasing my first poetry / watercolor book - Haiku of the Great Blue Hill. I'd love some beta readers!

Posted By: Sheryl T

Re: Writing a Sci-Fi Novel - 05/20/15 07:38 PM

I am a BETA Reader. If you want me to read your particular book, please email me at sheryl_tilley@yahoo.com I will give you my honest opinion, look for typos, etc. Tell me what you want and I'll apply that as the criteria for reading your selection.
Sheryl
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