He opened the door….
I was trying to explain to my mum that writing science fiction romance is far more challenging than writing most other types of romance, because everything you write involves a decision you have to make that can affect the rest of the book.
My mum, bless her, is 76 years old. She managed to get herself onto the Internet and taught herself to send emails, but anything more challenging than that (including Facebook) she tends to avoid.
So I settled down and explained it to her in terms she could understand.
For example: Let’s say I’m at the beginning of a new book in a new series. I write “He opened the door.”
That’s a pretty simple phrase. You can use it with impunity for virtually any romance sub-genre, except science fiction romance.
Why is it such a big deal?
Because the story is set in the future, nothing can be taken for granted. Perhaps the doors in that future don’t “open”. Perhaps they iris open, or slide open or slide up. Or even slide down. Or perhaps both sides slide to one side each. Or both ends go up and down (it would be faster than just one sliding open).
Perhaps they don’t even have doors in that future setting.
Perhaps everyone lives in open plans “rooms” that don’t need doors, but connect seamlessly from one area to another.
Perhaps they don’t even have buildings that need doors.
Or perhaps, in this future world, technology provides “doors” – holograms that shield and provide privacy. In which case, he wouldn’t open the door…he would step through it.
Or perhaps computers control all doorways, and he never has to open another one again. He just steps toward the door and it swishes open. You get automatic doors even in the present, but they open for everyone. The automatic doors of the future would scan the hero, check for retina prints, palm prints, DNA registration, and then decide if he can enter or not. He’d never need another key or lock!
Perhaps the society of this future world is so segregated, that only certain people at certain levels of society get to step through certain doors. You might enter a city and, depending on what “class” you are, the only doors that open for you are those that lead to the poorest, crime-ridden sections of the city, doors only let you access sub-par companies and products. While someone else enters the city and the doors all open upon beauty and plenty, luxury and ease.
Perhaps the doors of this world aren’t just openings into the next room. Perhaps the hero can step through a door and find himself upon another planet, or even a different dimension. What if he didn’t know for sure where he would end up when he stepped through? That would make opening a door a life-changing event.
Perhaps, when he opens a door, sensors in the handles instantly analyse his sweat and skin, and excrete medicinals that his hand soaks up, to correct any incipient health conditions the door handle has spotted.
There are a lot of possibilities that simply opening a door in a far distant future can bring into play. Whatever I decide will happen when the hero opens, or tries to open the door can have a huge effect on how the rest of the story plays out.
So I spent a lot of time explaining all this to my mum, using lots of examples, just like I did here, for you.
By return email: “You lost me after ‘he opened the door’…”
Tracy’s first science fiction romance novel, Faring Soul, is out today:
Rumors emerge that Catherine Shahrazad, possibly the oldest person in the galaxy, has returned from the fringes and has been seen in Federation space. Wherever she goes, her name and her history cause civil unrest, riots and worse. The Federation Board don’t want her there, neither do the leaders of Cadfael College, the educators and moralists of the galaxy. No one pays any attention to the reticent navigator called Bedivere X, who pilots her ship better than she does.
The truth about Bedivere threatens the entire Federation.
His feelings for Cat might just save everyone.
This book is part of the Interspace Origins space opera romance series:
Book 1: Faring Soul
Book 2: Varkan Rise
Book 3: Cat and Company
Tracy Cooper-Posey writes paranormal, urban fantasy and science fiction romance, and romantic suspense. She has been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award. She published 35 titles via legacy publishers before switching to indie publishing in March 2011. She has published over 50 indie titles to date. Her indie books have made her an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author and have been nominated four times for Book of the Year. Byzantine Heartbreak won the title in 2012. Tracy has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.
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I love this story! Thank you so much for stopping by, Tracy! So, dear readers, have you ever opened a door in a conversation and wished you’d left it closed? haha
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