Welcome to my guide on how to write technobabble! Every post will start with one letter of the alphabet, from A to Z, and cover tips and ideas for all you writers of sci-fi. Whether you’re writing about near-future science fiction, far-flung alien worlds, or historical steampunk adventures filled with advanced technology that never was – these posts are designed to help you write convincing and unique tech for your story!
W is for Worldbuilding
Building a fictional world—especially in a fantastical genre like sci-fi—encompasses way more than just technology. If your story is set in the present world, or a real place and time in history, then research is your friend for worldbuilding.
But even when it comes to creating a steampunk fantasy world or an alien culture a thousand years in the future, there needs to be consistency and continuity in everything, not just the tech. Worldbuilding involves everything from cultural laws to language use to food and clothing to work/play activities, and more.
I’ve written several posts over the years about worldbuilding in general for sci-fi and fantasy, which you can read here and here and here. Be sure to introduce aspects of your worldbuilding—whether it’s tech or anything else—at a natural pace within the context of the story. Infodumps can slow the pace of the story, and turn your book into a textbook rather than a page-turning novel.
A great way to create a richly-detailed world is to keep a separate document (or several) where you note all of your worldbuilding information: words in alien languages, explanations of how your tech works, cultural rules and laws of your dystopian sci-fi world, and so on. Even if only a fraction of those details actually makes it into the final draft, if you have it all straight in your head (and documented, to help you keep it straight), then your final story will reflect the rich world you created.
Now go build your worlds!