Writing Prompts For Science Fiction Stories

Want to start flexing your creative muscle but need a place to start?  We’ve canvassed the NITH community to find out what you think are the best prompts for Writing Science Fiction. Check them out below.

Writing Prompts for Science Fiction

 

1) Salvage

You wake up in a deserted place, with no memory of how you got there, or why you are here. It might be an old space station, a vault beneath the earth, or an alien holding pen. Describe the place as you move through it. What does it look like? What can you smell? What objects do you find that might provide clues as to who you are and why you are here.

Write this in the first person. Then, if you want, you can change it to third person later.

Some other questions to think about.

  • The objects that you find. Are they familiar? What do they feel like?
  • Can you see the sky? What does it look like.
Warehouses are a good place to start
Warehouses are a good place to start

 

2) Artificial Intelligence

This writing prompt gets you thinking about what it means to be human. Write from the point of view of an Artificial Intelligence. It could be:

  • A synthetic humanoid
  • A computer like Intelligence
  • Man made or spontaneously occurring

Write about the AI’s first contact with humans. What do they think of people? Where are they? Can the AI smell? What is it’s purpose and how does it think or feel about that purpose?

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3) Squid Face

Different from our other writing prompts, this one is all about character building. Imagine two characters from different parts of a galaxy in a bar. They are sitting next to each other. In what ways are they opposite. In what ways are they similar or relatable? What sort of things might they talk about (You can write it as dialogue if you like)

For this writing prompt don’t feel pressured to write it like a story. Just write notes, snippets, lists, however you like.

 

4) Falling – The Douglas Adams Writing Prompt

You spontaneously spawn in mid air, falling fast towards the ground. Who are you? What are you? Is there anything you can do in this situation, or just ponder life and accept fate?

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5) Engineers Do It In Their Overalls

For this writing prompt envision a large, technological construction. A rocket, a space colony, a luxury ship, or the Death Star.
Now write about it from the perspective and experiences of an engineer, mechanic, or service person*

*Could be an alien or robot too.


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6) Free Association Splatter Gun

Whether it’s a dystopian near future, a sprawling space opera, or a weird alternative reality of synthetic AI’s and vat grown humans, Science Fiction gives the author (and the reader) a sprawling canvas to paint on. Instead of writing a cohesive story, play a gave of word association. Let your imagination run free for 15 minutes and invent new languages, cultures, cultures, and cuisines.

7) Tomorrow’s Better Future

When you signed up for the Government’s experimental Better Futures Program you thought they were offering you a fresh start. A way out of the smugglers lifestyle and into something legit. Instead, they’re sent you back 500 years to kidnapp a 14 year old child and bring them back to the future.

This isn’t what you signed up for.

8) My Neighbour UFO

Writa story about a kid or group of kids who discover alien lite has taken up residence in the empty house down the street.

9) Grandma’s Secret Recipe

They say that before she died your Grandma, the famous theoretical astrophysist Gertrude Kavotnik, hid the secret of near instantaneous galactic travel somewhere in her lab. Fearful of the damage this secret might cause if it fell into the wrong hands.

Several years later people had given up hope, until a mysterious envelope arrives on your doorstep.

10) Pedal Powered Zombies

Solar Energy Failed after the fallout, wind turbines just attract trouble. Maybe there’s a way we can make green energy from zombie power.

11) Kepler 452b

When the call went out for brave young things ready to colonise a new world, you didn’t think twice.

Of course, they failed to mention that you would also be making first contact.

12) We Don’t Need Another Hero

After a military expermient goes wrong, twelve memebers of an elite unit find themselves possessing incredible powers. Rather then use them for good, they quickly take over the world.
Choose one of these antiheroes and write about their motivations and reasons for wanting to control things, no matter the cost.

13) Machine Type

With ever narrowing profit margins in print and digital, and a voracious shareholder appetite to fill, Panchetta Publishing begin employing robots to create new works. Created without legs, these sentient AIs are shackled to desks deep in sub basement five. Write from the POV on one of these robots. Do they aspire to something more?

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14) Rocket Salad

The setting for this story is aboard a colony ship of thousands sent to inhabit a new world. Write about it from the point of view of a cook, food handler, or someone in the ‘hospitality’ industry.

Write about the sorts of dilemmas and problems hospitality workers might face working onboard a colony ship full of thousands of anxious space farers.

You can also write about grander plots of typical SciFi but do it from the point of view of a food service worker.

Daily writing prompt

15) Body Conscious

Pulled from the wreckage of the burnt out farming combine that was once your home, your body is wrecked and broken, but your mind remains strong.

Impressed with your resilience, your captors make an offer that you can’t refuse, a new body if you’ll work for them.

With little choice but to say yes, you agree to their terms. It’s only when you see the body they are going to put you in that you know how you’ll take your revenge.


Related:

Looking for more prompts?  Try our Writing Prompts Master List.

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