But if you decide to write science fiction and fantasy, there are few extra things to keep in mind about the genre. It may seem like these types of fiction are so far out of the ordinary that writers can just make up any old thing and get away with it. But that's not strictly true. To make a story compelling, full of conflict, and relevant, these three things (at minimum) must be adhered to:
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Science and magic must be a hindrance to your characters. Like any good story, science fiction and fantasy plots revolve around conflict. And your conflict is enhanced by the fact that what we readers think of as cool or time-saving should be anything but for your characters. Just as a good sex scene makes a relationship between your characters more complicated, science and magic will never, ever be helpful when they need it to be. Technology will break or work counter to how they believe it should. Magic will be unreliable or magical creatures tricky and unpredictable. Your character will have to triumph despite having the so-called advantage of a rocket ship or a magic wand.
Take Harry Potter, for example. In their second year at Hogwarts, Ron's wand is snapped by a run in with the Whomping Willow. As a result, every time he tries a spell, it backfires spectacularly on him. When he tries to hex Draco for calling Hermione a name, instead he gets hit by the spell and spends the rest of the night coughing up slugs.
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