Writing Technobabble: L is for Lifestyle

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! 

L is for Lifestyle 

In most sci-fi, the tech is a key part of the story. You could even say that technology (and thus, technobabble) is part of the lifestyle. 

“Lifestyle” covers everything: from big stuff like transportation, weapons, or medical care; to the small stuff, like clothing, home décor, or writing implements. Whether you’re writing futuristic sci-fi or retro-tech like steampunk, don’t neglect the little details when it comes to creating your tech.

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Writing Technobabble: K is for Killing Machines and Weapons

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! 

K is for Killing Machines and Weapons 

Fantastical, and often violent, weapons are frequent staples of the sci-fi genres. Even stories that are not specifically about war (like Star Trek: The Next Generation, for example, which focused primarily on discovery and exploration) feature weapons both large and small. Not every story has to have weapons, of course—for example, the science-heavy story The Martian doesn’t feature weapons at all, since the antagonist is not something that can be thwarted with a gun or a bomb (it’s more of a man-versus-nature story, or perhaps man-versus-bureaucratic red tape).

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Writing Technobabble: J is for Jargon

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! 

J is for Jargon 

Jargon is a cornerstone of science fiction technobabble. “Jargon” are the vocabulary and phrases particular to a specific industry or group. There’s military jargon, medical jargon, and even for us authors—there’s writerly jargon.

Technobabble jargon can be fun to create, and is a great way to add rich details to flesh out your world. There’s no real right or wrong way to write jargon, especially if you’re inventing names from scratch or creating your own unique slang for your world and its tech. There are a few guidelines, though, that can make your tech jargon easier for your readers.

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Writing Technobabble: H is for History

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! 

H is for History 

There are two different aspects of “history” that I’d like to mention when it comes to writing technobabble and sci-fi gadgetry: 

First, there’s the history of technological development itself in the real world. Certain levels of advancement came about during the Industrial Revolution; the World Wars led to further tech developments. The history of humanity is the history of scientific discovery and technological advancement, ever since we started using simple tools and invented the wheel.

Second, there’s the history of technological development in the fictional world of your story. One will probably matter more for your story than the other. It’s up to you as the writer, and the sort of story you’re telling, to decide which sort of history has a greater impact on what you’re writing. And of course no “history” of any kind may actually make it into your book—it may be just part of that research and development that you as the author spends hours doing but never writes about. And that’s okay, too.

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Writing Technobabble: G is for Genre

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! 

G is for Genre 

What is “genre?” Dictionary.com defines it as: “a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like.” Science-fiction is of course a genre of fiction, but even within sci-fi, there are numerous sub-genres: steampunk, dieselpunk, raypunk, technothriller, military sci-fi, science fantasy, and many more. 

Within each genre come certain expectations. Not rules, per se, but fans of specific sub-genres tend to have certain preferences for their chosen categories of sci-fi, and expect their books and films to meet certain standards. A lot of these genre standards or expectations come in the form of storytelling style and pacing; and emphasis on themes such as political espionage or large-scale war or exploration or social commentary. The types of tech, and the importance of tech, also differ from genre to genre. Therefore, the degree of explanation given for the science behind the tech can vary greatly. You can read “E is for Explanation,” where I discuss the difference between the science-heavy technobabble of Star Trek versus the lack of explanations in the science fantasy world of Star Wars

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Writing Technobabble: F is for Fiction and Fact

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! 

F is for Fiction and Fact 

If you’re writing science fiction or a related genre, then facts don’t matter, right? After all, it’s fiction! While that is very true, sometimes facts really do matter. 

Facts matter the most when you’re writing something that takes place in the here and now, or any time in history. For example, a cyber-thriller that’s set in present day needs to get some facts correct. If it’s sci-fi set in the real world, then places and things about life need to be presented accurately; and similarly, the real-world technology of today should be the baseline for any fictional tech or gadgetry in the story. That’s part of what would make a story like this believable. If it’s about fictional advanced tech in real world today, then the reader needs to recognize all of the elements of today’s world for the story world to be believable and the sci-fi element to make its impact.

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