People Should Solve The Problems

One problem that you see too often in science fiction is that technology is used to do more then set up problems, it’s used to solve them, to the detriment of the story. Basically the technobabble problem. People talk and the problem is shown to be bad. The problem is then easily solved by hitting a few buttons.

It’s one of the easiest ways to tank your story, but it’s easily avoided as long as you remember that your characters should be solving the problems that you put forth as serious. In almost every case if a problem is easily solved then your characters should know it is and fix it.

Its like if my low fuel light comes on, and I get worked up only to have the car come to a stop in the bad part of town. Then after worrying and being scared for ten minutes I realize I have a spare can of gas. I would have know about the can of gas before, you would need a VERY good reason to make that not make me look stupid.

Any problems you present should be solved by your characters, and if you want people to care about them they should have a cost to solving.

If you have an asteroid coming to hit a ship, and they hit it with a laser that is boring. It’s certainly not worth having as a focus of your story.

If the asteroid is so large they have to rush trying to tie all the power of the ship to one laser, which takes about as long as they have to live, that could be a good story.

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