It’s fun to break away from the typical story tropes.
For years I have wanted to write a sci-fi “space opera”. An epic along the lines of a Star Wars or a Star Trek, but as unique as I could make it.
One of the problems you face with these things is that there have been numerous epics created. Beyond Star Wars and Star Trek, you get Babylon 5, Farscape, Firefly, and on and on.
Star Wars happened “A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.” As such, the humans are not from Earth. I like this idea a great deal, and rather than rehash all of the sci-fi books, movies and TV shows where the Humans are from Earth in the future, my humans come from somewhere else.
This opens up a great deal of options for my sci-fi. I can create star systems, worlds and alien races with no ties to anything but my own imagination.
One of the things I most love about sci-fi and fantasy is that there are few actual rules. Yes, with sci-fi you need at least vague plausibility in your technobabble and such. Fantasy, however, has no actual rules. You can do whatever you want, when all is said and done.
Playing with 21st Century tropes.
One of the things I loved about The Force Awakens and Rogue One was the ways they took a new approach to things. The main characters were not white guys, but women and ethnically diverse actors. They were all strong, mixed characters both likeable and not, and added a new dimension to the series.
Along the same line, Chuck Wendig defied the norms with several of his characters in his Star Wars: Aftermath series. In all of these instances, several people lost their minds, and got upset because for whatever reason they think sci-fi is supposed to focus on white male heroes.
This is the 21st century. Sci-fi in the past broke many barriers along the way. The original Star Trek provided the first interracial kiss on television. Given many of our modern societies’ issues, I applaud taking new approaches to the material.
As I began to write my sci-fi epic, I took several different steps to my approach. First, my humans are not well described. Male, female, and maybe at some point a reference to height, but I never reveal their hair color or skin tone or any other descriptives. As such, my reader can imagine them however they choose. It is all open to interpretation.
Further, I figure if they ever make a movie of this, ANYBODY could be cast in any role.
I give a lot more attention to my aliens. But that’s because they need more description. One race, however, has no gender definitions. As such, I even invented new pronouns for them.
As if I wasn’t having enough fun with my story, I made a few other choices. One of my primary characters is a middle-aged lesbian woman. Another is a thirty-something omnisexual male (omnisexual because he has no preference not just regarding straight or gay, but towards non-humans). Mind you, there is no sex in the novel (I feel no need to write sex scenes) but the topic gets discussed among the characters. My aliens are not all humanoid in appearance, and even those that are may be sexually compatible, but cannot reproduce together.
Writing is joy.
I have had the desire to write a sci-fi epic space-opera for some time now. I am thrilled to be playing with this story, and looking forward to completing and sharing it soon.