blog about writing fiction

Science Fiction Writing Tips From Sci-Fi Writer, Veena Maheshwari

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Are you into fantasy story writing or writing science fiction? Learn how to sell more books as a fiction or sci-fi writer in this blog about writing fiction.

Veena Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of SciMysFic Publishing House, and I discuss writing fantasy and science fiction, and how science fiction writers or mystery novel writers can build an author platform.

We also discuss elements of fiction writing and novel writing, tips to spark creativity when you have writer’s block, from famous fiction writers like Richard Bach, and how famous fiction writers like John Locke and famous fantasy writers like George R. R. Martin build an author platform of raving fans.

Veena, who identifies as a sci-fi writer, realized that creative independence was important to her. So, she began walking down the road to freedom by choosing to help others who lack that freedom when writing a novel or writing science fiction.

Today, leading a team of 7 wonder niche-oriented professionals across the world, she is the Founder & CEO of SciMysFic Publishing House which is primarily based in the United States.

Having understood the growing trend for self-publishing, she chose to have sci-fi, mystery, and fantasy fiction works as her niche. “Every category has its own demands and we cover for this one,” she says.

If you’re interested in writing a fiction novel, self-publishing short stories, or selling short stories online, you’ll enjoy this interview on writing fantasy and science fiction.

Resources Mentioned In The Interview

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Science Fiction Writing Tips From Sci-Fi Writer, Veena Maheshwari

Priya Florence Shah:

Today I’m interviewing Veena Maheshwari, who identified herself as a writer at first, and realized later that independence laid the foundation of her desires. So, she began walking down the road to freedom by choosing to help others who lack that freedom when writing for their passion.

Today, leading a team of 7 wonder niche-oriented professionals across the world, she is the Founder & CEO of SciMysFic Publishing House which is primarily based in the United States.

Having understood the growing trend for vanity publishing, she chose to have sci-fi, mystery, and fantasy fiction works as her niche. “Every category has its own demands and we cover for this one,” she says.

So hi, Veena. It’s been a little bit of a struggle for us to get in touch with each other and finally connect. But yeah, so we are finally here. I really liked what you’re doing because you’re kind of a niche publishing house for fantasy and fiction writers. So how did that come about? Tell me a little bit about that.

Veena Maheshwari:

Okay, so first of all, when I started writing, I always wanted to publish something, especially in religion, philosophy, and science fiction. And the War I, you know, like bend from commercial publishing and traditional publishing as people call it.

So when I approached them, I found out that the more it is niche-oriented, you get the kind of customers where people will definitely buy the books. Like a funnel, you’re not sure if actually everyone will buy it or not.

Second, the market is really narrow, which is more niche publishing. So commercial publishing is not really an option for a lot of people who write like a pin-pointed kind of writing. But the kind of books that I’m actually writing right now, I find it very connected to Dan Brown’s books.

So that’s where I am concentrated, maybe people, in general, will be liking it. But for people who really write in particular areas, I would like to give them more, so people buy their books. That’s where we will be focusing on especially the marketing side.

Priya Florence Shah:

So what I wanted to ask you is, so you’re in a niche, right? You’re focusing on the niche? And are you traditional or self-publishing for your authors? I mean, do you go this traditional publishing way? Or do you self-publish for them?

Veena Maheshwari:

Okay, so most people don’t even understand the difference between what exactly self-publishing is and what is subsidiary publishing. It’s like, we just take their books and they pay us.

But the name that we give is that it’s our company that is published. But when it comes to self-publishing as such, we never take the credit, we give all the name and everything to whoever is publishing. The name that comes up is the author itself.

He is the one who’s publishing, so right now, I’m not focusing on traditional publishing at all. I’ll be playing around with subsidiary and the self-publishing part if the other ones complete, right.

So you know, whenever his name has to show up, even in the publishing areas, that is what he wants to give, otherwise, it will be published in our name. And as I respect publishing houses, who is publishing it, this will be displayed. So we’re clear on that.

Priya Florence Shah:

So, how does that differ? I mean, in terms of creating authority for the author, can the authors say that I got it published from a traditional publishing house or from a self-publishing house or whatever? Because that’s a concern for a lot of authors right?

Veena Maheshwari:

I mean, I have seen a lot of people, I don’t want to exactly point out, but they really inspired me in their work because what I have seen is when you go for traditional publishing people, not everyone gets their chances.

Everyone gets either rejected like I’ve been rejected 12 times. I’ve personally seen others who got rejected more than they can imagine. And they have to take another job and just quit their writing career, and they just lose hope.

Yeah, it’s like really sad when you hear their story. So you’re like, “Oh, really? You can self-publish.” And they’re like, there is no name in it. Nobody will care. Nobody is gonna read. There’s no respect and all that comes up.

So I’m like, Okay, if there is a name behind it, like a publishing house, maybe it might help at least some people. Nowadays what I’m hearing from the people we are reaching out to, it sounds like a lot like what they are trying to accomplish.

They get science fiction or mystery fiction, fantasy fiction. So maybe, a name like ours comes up behind it. So they know what exactly the market is, where to send it.

And even yesterday, we had a client who was only focusing on Amazon, he wants only to be selling on Amazon and he wants to reach the right audience who will just buy it without a second thought or even caring about the algorithms or reviews.

So we will build that for you, the fan base, and manage your author profiles and all that. So you give them back support, like the support system for an author.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, because even traditional publishers don’t give you as much support as authors think they will today. That’s not the case.

And there’s a lot of work to do themselves when it comes to promoting their books as well as branding themselves and creating an author platform, which is really important.

Can you tell us a little bit about the importance of an author platform, you know about creating that branding for yourself as an author?

Veena Maheshwari:

So to start with, you give complete independence to the author. Like, for me what happened when I finally got a little nod from one of the editors of traditional publishing, what the person told me is, they will need to edit a lot of parts and they will need to change a little bit about the characters and how the ending should be.

I was like, “Okay, let me just think about it.” So then they were like, “Okay, we’ll decide the cover design.” And I was losing authority. And then, in the end, I’ll be getting only 13% of my loyalties.

I’m just like, “Okay, I’m going to lose complete right over my own creative work,” that’s what I thought. And I don’t like being told to do something or being under somebody else’s authority. I just don’t like it.

So I was like, maybe I need independence, even though I just have to work hard to get to the audience, but it is worth it, I suppose. Because you’ll know what to keep, and what not to keep, and you’ll learn by trial and error. I love that.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, I completely agree actually, because you have complete control over your creative work and your creative process. And that’s something that many authors value more than just having this traditional publisher’s name. Many authors value having that creative control over their book and their material.

And, I think a lot of traditional authors are planning to self-publish. I think Stephen King was planning to self-publish as well. And there are a lot of self-published books that have become bestsellers. Right?

I think 50 Shades of Grey was self-published. Lots of self-published books have become bestsellers. Doesn’t mean that just because you’re self-published, you can’t be a successful author. So that’s just a myth.

And I think self-publishing is going to take over frankly. Penguin is in trouble right now. A lot of traditional publishers are in trouble. And they can’t give you the support that you really want. So I think self-publishing is the way to go for many people.

But you’re focused on fiction and science fiction, which I’m a big huge fan of, but I have no time to read science fiction novels nowadays. I’m more into watching science fiction movies. Star Wars is coming. I have to see it because I’m a huge Star Wars fan.

Veena Maheshwari:

So we also have partnered with one of the companies that work for Hollywood, who would like to take in books that are published with us, which have a good story and which have good scope.

But they’re mostly into Prime media, making Prime videos for Amazon Prime. They’re excited about them, but they are willing to produce our movies. They like it. Just a huge platform.

Priya Florence Shah:

Great. So that means if someone publishes with you, they even have the chance of getting their book made into a movie? I’m going to pass on your contacts to a friend of mine who’s writing a science fiction novel.

Okay, so what I want to ask next is, what do you expect from your authors? Because I know being successful as an author takes more than just publishing a book. Just because you have your book out there doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful.

You have to keep marketing it every day, I know as an author that I have to keep putting out the message every day almost, in order to get sales or to get downloads or whatever.

So can you just tell us a little bit about what is the best way for an author to market themselves online, to promote their books online?

Veena Maheshwari:

Ah, okay. Since I was also stepping into this, I was very new. I didn’t know where to go, how to start, what to do, who you go to. To be honest, I did it myself, and I failed really bad. I took a real nosedive, and I realized we have to delegate.

It’s not something that everyone can do, because it’s your own baby. And no matter how (no offence to a lot of fathers out there) ugly your baby is, or no matter how loud your baby is, you’re gonna see it as perfect, to an extent.

So what I realized that is you need to give it to at least three to four people – a really professional editor, then a proofreader, then you go to the best cover design because when it comes to Amazon, the thumbnails matter really matter.

Then, of course, you need to start with market research. Nowadays what we do is for Amazon, so we get exact results. What kind of titles do people use, what sells, what doesn’t? What keywords to use, and what kind of keywords should come in the description…

Everything you need to delegate with people who know stuff. But when it comes to marketing, especially, you need to have really good people behind you. So time for market research, you need to be out there as an author, you have to give your freebies, and you need to put your content out there.

And, of course, the Facebook and Instagram ads and all, that’s really expensive. To be honest, I experienced, it because I didn’t know when to target, who to target, and which target audience exactly to put in under my phone and start email campaigns, I didn’t know all that.

And, when I actually delegated with people, I saw results, to be honest. Really good results.

Priya Florence Shah:

Because you can’t be an expert at everything. I mean, you’re an author, right? You’re an expert at whatever you’re writing about. Whether it’s a fiction novel or nonfiction, you’re an expert at your topic.

But you can’t be an expert at everything in marketing, and it’s difficult for you to learn everything and become an expert overnight. That just doesn’t happen.

So I think it is very important for authors to hire someone, like an online marketing firm to promote their book and to know how to set up your sales funnel, because you do need a sales funnel as an author, for your book.

Veena Maheshwari:

Yeah, absolutely. And I don’t think I can do that even if an author comes to me. Even I cannot do that. I need to give it to my team, that’s what they’re for. So I would say marketing is the toughest part. Even for us.

When you have to research your course you are holding it in your hand. You need to know, inside out, you go out there, you tell people to buy it. It’s like you are the in-between person, so you’re making the person make a decision. You need to convince them.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, you have to know how to market to your audience, how to set up your platform, and stuff like that. And also, you’re an author yourself. So, do you have any tips for your author platform in terms of building your reader base? How do you build that? How would you go about doing that?

Veena Maheshwari:

Well, when I started out, I was a newbie, and I was very new to this. I was just cold emailing, cold messaging. Or maybe you can go for a review swap. I did that with one person. I’m still reading his books. He has not put up that review yet. I think what I would say, just don’t panic. It’s a slow process.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, just because it’s out there doesn’t mean it’s gonna be an instant bestseller. Right?

Veena Maheshwari:

It doesn’t happen in one week, one month. It takes time for anyone, even the best authors, they have to work at it.

They have to work at marketing, and promoting their books, and there are very few books that become instant bestsellers unless you’ve pre-sold them and you’ve had a marketing campaign to hype up the launch of your book.

That’s the same thing I would say to everyone who’s hoping to get published. If you have a dream, just keep writing and don’t lose focus. Just leave that to the people who are good at it, and you keep writing. You write the next book when you’re done with your first book. That’s what I faced. I’m stuck in the middle.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, you’re a writer. So you should write and let the marketing to their job. Have you heard about John Locke? I think he was the first one to make a million dollars or something through his books on Amazon. I was reading about him.

And he was a marketer before he got into fiction writing. And he spent $25,000 promoting his book. But the fact is that he wrote a series of books, and it probably becomes easier to sell the later books once you’ve established a platform and made sales for the first few books.

And if they like your books, they’re going to come back and read the rest of them. It’s like Stephen King has his fans and they will come and read absolutely anything that he writes, they will come and read it. So you have to build up the platform over time, right?

And it takes time, it takes money. To think that they can put out their book there and it doesn’t need any money to promote it. You need to invest in your book and in your writing and in your audience and put out the message there.

So, Veena, as an author, as a publisher, what is the number one thing you would recommend to anyone who wants to build a brand online, whether as an author or in any way?

Once you become an author, you’re creating a brand, but what is the number one thing you would tell a new author to get started with when they’re writing their book?

Veena Maheshwari:

Yeah. So, I would suggest sticking to what you really believe in and you really know about because when you look at the really famous authors, they just stick to one area they can write about.

Like, if you look at Dan Brown’s style, the way he narrates the story remains the same. Just look at the other people who are really famous, like JK Rowling, where people would definitely buy it, knowing what it is.

Priya Florence Shah:

I mean people like fiction, people will read fiction. They like that formula, right? They like to know that things are going to follow a certain sequence that they can relate to so that matters.

Even John Locke created a character called Donovan, something, I don’t remember the exact name, and when he communicates with his audience on Twitter, he communicates in the voice of his character. People enjoy that kind of thing.

So that’s very important to become almost like a guardian. It’s also a lot of fun for your readers because they can value that voice.

Veena Maheshwari:

It’s true, you start being in that person’s shoes. So that is what makes fiction. So you need to feel that when you finish a book and keep it aside, you feel like maybe there should have been something else or something more.

Then when that same author writes something you expect, maybe you get something from there or some kind of universe collapse or something like that. So I have seen that personally in my own reading style, I expect to get something that is completely different from the others.

But another book has some kind of a clue or one person showing up and I was really excited, so maybe there is a pattern that each author follows starting from JRR Tolkien and all those people were really, really huge names, even George R. R. Martin. You just name anyone, you just look at their profile and you know what exactly they write about. Yes, follow that.

Priya Florence Shah:

George is also into Sci-Fi, by the way, you know that right? He’s compiled a Sci-Fi anthology.

Veena Maheshwari:

There is Night Flier that is like a kind of Sci-Fi. When you see it on screen, sometimes it’s disappointing, sometimes it’s amazing.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah. I was underwhelmed with the Game of Thrones series on screen because I’ve read the books two or three times, all the books, and I’m still waiting for The Winds Of Winter which is supposed to have come out in 2014, and we’re still waiting for it in 2020.

The Winds Of Winter

Veena Maheshwari:

So I don’t know maybe it’s much more satisfying than the series, because the series was really disappointing. The last season was really disappointing to a lot of audiences out there so I think people should start reading.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yes, read the books. The books are better than the movie. And so I’m really waiting for the next.

So it takes a while to build up that kind of crazy fan audience who will read every book that you will put out, right? It takes a while and he’s been writing those books for many, many years before they finally were made into a series, right?

So instead of expecting instant results, authors should start becoming more, not just realistic, becoming more aware of the fact that it takes marketing, it takes promotion, it takes an effort to actually build up that audience of crazy fans that will buy everything.

Veena Maheshwari:

So, building an author platform is not easy. So that’s what we’re here for. Because we can make your work 60% easier for you. because anyways you need investment.

You have your time invested, your hard work, your sweat is invested. Why not some money? It’s nothing compared to spending so much time writing, imagining your book to be a success but you didn’t do enough, so that didn’t get where it should have been.

So, even though I went through this personally, say that if I was a company before and I was looking for myself, maybe I would have given this to my company itself and maybe I could have got a better result from my first book. You fail fast, you learn fast, so I learned really fast.

Priya Florence Shah:

Okay, so what other methods do you use you do to build your personal author brand and to promote your books or your own personal brand?

Veena Maheshwari:

Personally, I like to connect to the other authors around. I never realized that there are so many authors. When I went out and started speaking to them, I was like, “Oh my god, there were so many and I thought I was the only one.”

Then we started sharing, “Okay, I’m stuck in the middle. What do I do?” So they just come up and support you. There are Facebook groups, there are LinkedIn groups, and there are people out there.

Just start building your network, then you share the same kind of interests, maybe the same Sci-Fi interest or maybe the mystery interest, then you will know who bought their books, you can channel to them.

Maybe you can start emailing your mutual friends, maybe that friend can share your book, and those people buy your books. Because that kind of connection is important. You need to network, you need to go out there.

If you can just start getting on the PR, interviews, book signing, all that stuff. You just need to just reach out to some people who can help you. Because as a self-published author, in the end, you can only blame yourself.

Priya Florence Shah:

If it doesn’t work, if it doesn’t succeed, you have to take responsibility for that, because there’s a lot you can do to make your book succeed.

As you were saying, traditional publishers are not very helpful and you have met many people who’ve been rejected many times. But of course, the traditional publishers would argue that those books were not a match.

But I think also they are looking for a very specific type of book. And if that book doesn’t meet that specific type, then they won’t promote it. So I think self-publishing is the way to go for many people who want to get their name out there but are not able to get the book traditionally published.

That doesn’t mean you’re not a good author. Your books can become a bestseller, like so many authors are doing. So don’t just think of traditional publishing all the time.

This stamp of having a traditional publisher doesn’t mean your book is authoritative. Lots of traditionally published books don’t sell because there’s not enough promotion behind them, or the audience doesn’t like them.

Veena Maheshwari:

Yeah, I’m really choosy. I’m really picky. I go out there in a bookstore, and I even read through all the chapter ones of all the books that are there. And I’ll choose at least one or maybe two.

It’s like the reader is the real hero here. If you need to get to him, you need to tell him what exactly is the story. You need to do it in five seconds. That’s what I would suggest.

Priya Florence Shah:

That’s true, at least in the first chapter. Your first chapter has to grab their attention, right? And the person that you’re trying to target.

And do you think that the authors, when they’re writing their books, should have a very clear idea of who they’re writing for? I mean, isn’t that important?

Veena Maheshwari:

I think it’s the most important strategy. Most very famous authors will have an avatar, a person in their mind who they’re for. In my case, I was writing it for one person to be honest. And it’s not just one person who is with that kind of mindset.

So that’s what I think the marketing companies are helping us with, creating the right channels, creating the right kind of campaigns, doing the market research, where to do it, and what not to do. So that’s I think it’s very important. It’s not rocket science, but we do need specialists.

So yeah, another thing, don’t go for cheap ones, because I went through that. I went through the pain, and you cannot blame them really. It was your mistake. If you really value your work, you need to assess your work.

What that can gain you? What is your work worth? What is the value that will come to you? So just put in a minimal value of what will be coming to you. That’s what I would suggest to authors, especially the self-published author. It’s kind of like a businessman, you need to think in those terms.

Priya Florence Shah:

You do, right? Because your book is your product and you’re selling a product, and ultimately you have to think about who you’re selling it to, who your audience is, and how to target them.

And you know how to keep them engaged, how to keep them wanting the next book, how to keep them hungry for the stuff you’re writing.

So, all that takes marketing, takes a certain way of thinking that not all authors are born with. So you have to either learn that, and it takes years of practice, or you give it to someone who can only do that.

Veena Maheshwari:

Yes, people only do that for a living, and I know people who are focused on only making someone’s book a best seller using algorithms on Amazon. If you just provide a person with the right kind of investment, that person will do the A to Z thing and not even worry about it.

You just need to expect the results because you feel that you’re in the right hands. That’s it, you’re done with the initial stages, what you need to do is the planning. That’s really relieving.

Priya Florence Shah:

You have to believe that your work is worth that. And time is money, so if you’re going to spend all the time promoting that book and not getting a result out of it, you have to know that, okay, it’s probably something that you’re doing that you don’t know how to do. And ask your publisher who can do it for you.

Veena Maheshwari:

Yeah, I know. I don’t know how many people do that. I’ve seen a lot of people who just hoard their money. A lot of money will come to me, but I’m not sending any. So that’s something that you need to change.

Priya Florence Shah:

I read a nice quote the other day that people who are not making money are usually the people who won’t spend it.

Veena Maheshwari:

How do you expect your reader to spend any money to buy a book? Exactly.

Priya Florence Shah:

You want them to spend, but you’re not willing to spend on promoting your book. So you have to be willing to spend. So, what are the basic things that an author needs? Not just in terms of networking. As you said, you need a sales funnel. So you need to get all those things built for yourself, for your own books.

Veena Maheshwari:

Yeah, I had other websites before. I took it down because I was like, “I shouldn’t be doing both, and I’m not able to juggle both,” so I let go of the other website.

It’s not a small thing, to be honest, even if you’re a self-published author. You have to pat yourself on the back when you see your book in somebody’s hand, you should be really proud. So that’s the kind of credit you can give yourself. You need to just delegate and do your work.

The book cover design matters a lot, to be very honest, and with book publishing, you have to give importance to everything, every page matters, to be honest. Even the back printing, an error here or there sticks out. The reader will catch it, no matter how hard you try to just conceal it.

So you need to have the perfection up to what you can do, then you let delegate, and then you just free yourself up to start writing your next book. That’s what I would suggest for all the authors.

No need to stress out and bang your head against the wall to get the ideas just flow. Have a habit of writing every day.

Priya Florence Shah:

And you can train yourself to be a good writer. There are ways.

Veena Maheshwari:

I do believe that also but again, I would suggest if you’re feeling that you need to train it, that means that the writer person was inside somewhere. He was hiding, he was just being reserved, not willing to come out. He was like, “Okay, I’m really shy. I’m not that good. Maybe people won’t read it.”

One day you just feel, “Okay, maybe if I take some course, maybe some coach can come out and he will make me write, and then I can read a few books,” and you perfect your skills.

Priya Florence Shah:

I think what happens is that training and coaching help build your confidence because you can train with someone to build your confidence and help you write more easily and help the ideas flow more easily, help you tap into your creativity.

And I think a writing coach can help you tremendously in doing that. I’m not in need of a writing coach myself, but I would highly recommend it if you’re stuck or are finding it difficult, or don’t have the confidence to do it. So I think a writing coach can truly take you from point A to point B where you can help the ideas flow.

Veena Maheshwari:

Exactly, and what I feel is that what coaches really do is ask you the question that nobody else did. So you’ll start thinking maybe you have to answer because you have already paid him, so you need to answer, you cannot avoid the question. So answer the questions and everything starts to flow.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yes, things fall in place when you ask the right questions. You become accountable when you have a coach. You’re accountable to someone and that accountability helps you know how to get started with your writing and realize that, “No I don’t have any more excuses.”

Whether you’re always giving yourself these excuses in your head, “No, I’m not good enough.” Having a coach takes away all the excuses and then you have to get started writing. So I think that’s really important.

Veena Maheshwari:

Even the mindset matters to an extent. People need to work on their mindset. I think writing helps you in every phase of your life. Like, even if you’re stuck, even if you just start writing about maybe a wall or maybe something that is right in front of you, just start writing and things will start to flow.

That’s what I suppose we need. When I say that, some people will be like, it’s easier said than done. And I’m like, I was there, I am there sometimes. And you just face your blank paper, a blank screen every day.

And you’ll be like, “Oh, my God, I have to write a thousand words today, and I don’t think anything is coming up.”And then maybe you just introduce a new character, or somebody who came up in the first scenes, or something like that.

Priya Florence Shah:

Writing is therapeutic for many people. So I think if we can keep a journal, it could probably help spark your creativity. You have lots of writers who keep journals, and they journal their thoughts. So that is something that can help spark creativity.

And of course, there are lots of other ways to do it. I read about the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach, one of my favorite authors.

So I read that he used a method called the Silva mind meditation, in order to write the end of the novel, because he wasn’t able to get the end of the novel, you know?

And so he used the Silva mind meditation. And that came to him, the end of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which is a really famous book. It is one of my favorite books of all time.

Veena Maheshwari:

Yeah, it’s one of the classics. So no doubt this kind of stuff always comes up. There are many books written during the postmodern era that actually tried coming up with three endings for the same novel.

So, that’s why I would always say you can write a groundbreaking something that is out of cliche, something completely different from whatever has come before. Maybe we can start from the climax to the beginning, you can do anything. It’s up to you what you decide.

But that is where traditional publishing and self-publishing come in. Traditional publishing always sticks to something that people have already seen.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, like some formula that works, right?

Veena Maheshwari:

Exactly, like the Seven-Step Formula. Three-act thing, actually. So it’s like, you should maybe change it this way or that way. I have gone through it, so I always start my stories from the middle. So it’s like, they will be stuck somewhere or something and then you have flashbacks come in.

And you have to be really careful. You’re not telling the story. You’re showing the story. So for me, the worst part is when my editor who’s sleeping inside me just wakes up the moment I start writing, so that’s something I need to work on.

Priya Florence Shah:

No, when you’re writing, it should be a free flow. Right? And you should not be editing as you go along. You should give that to somebody else.

Veena Maheshwari:

I need to really work on that. Maybe because it’s a habit I stick to perfection, I try to make it as perfect as possible. And maybe that has been a problem for me. That’s why I’m having trouble finishing my novel at this point.

What I suggest is, as a Sci-Fi novelist, you really should have backed with good research and a really good background and you have to unlock a new kind of Universe.

You’re your Universe, it’s in your head. And you’re letting people in, you’re letting people see how it is in your head. So, it just has to be something spectacular and I would picture that when people go through my novel.

But to be honest, I would not even want a new person coming in and telling me to stop doing this and I have to change it here. The ending shouldn’t be here, or something should change and the character name should be changed or the cover should be like this. I would go for self-publishing any day.

Priya Florence Shah:

I agree. Personally, I don’t have the patience to go with a traditional publisher because it takes six months. And we’re waiting for six years for The Winds of Winter and it hasn’t come out yet and I don’t know if it ever will.

The Winds Of Winter

Veena Maheshwari:

I wish he just would have gone for self-publishing, he would have finished faster, so much better.

Priya Florence Shah:

George Martin, please get self-published.

Veena Maheshwari:

I think he can go for the highest-end packages, starting from the biggest investment possible and he can get that book out. Even you know everything that those books need. And there is no need for any publicity for that book.

Priya Florence Shah:

Absolutely, we’re waiting to pounce on it as soon as it comes out, or if it was on pre-order, but it’s not available. He’s just released three chapters from the book on his blog. I’ve read all those chapters. I’m a huge fan, I told you. I’ve read the books I think two or three times.

Veena Maheshwari:

Don’t mind me asking, but who is your favorite character so far?

Priya Florence Shah:

In A Song of Ice and Fire? I’m not gonna call it Game of Thrones – that’s the series. Arya is one of my favorite characters. I love Arya because she’s a very strong female character and she has a very interesting character arc. She goes to Bravos.

Veena Maheshwari:

It’s actually like a Sci-Fi or fantasy fiction hero. Like he goes through a very bad tragic thing and he or she needs the right kind of master. Then, it’s amazing. That’s the ideal kind of plot.

Priya Florence Shah:

The Hero’s Journey. It’s the Hero’s Journey. They’re all similar. There are a whole bunch of similarities and, if you see, they all have the Hero’s Journey.

All the famous books actually go through that Hero’s Journey and they have a similar plot, even Star Wars. When I watched the last Star Wars movie, I was thinking, “Oh my god, this is Harry Potter.” You know?

I love the movie. And I don’t agree with people who were complaining about it, but I really think you should you must watch it, as a fiction author.

Veena Maheshwari:

I’m a really huge, huge fan of baby Yoda.

Priya Florence Shah:

Baby Yoda’s in The Mandalorian, not in this movie. And Disney’s not available in India. So I’m really, really upset with Disney for not showing that in India. But anyway, I’m waiting for it to come sooner or later.

So nowadays it’s mostly the movies because movies are very fast. You can get through them in an hour and a half.

Veena Maheshwari:

That’s why, when you tell them that your book can be a movie soon, maybe that’s the biggest way to reach your audience. And maybe, when you watch the movie, then you go back and read the book. Yeah, people do that. Even I have done that.

So, that’s the biggest publicity you can ever give for yourself. You become a celebrity overnight. Movies are a very good medium. You’re getting out there as an author and reaching so many more people who are not readers. Right? Lots of people. The visual people. Visual learners.

End of transcript ——-

I hope you enjoyed this interview on fantasy story writing, writing science fiction, and how to build an author platform.

Whether you’re interested in self-publishing and selling short stories online or writing a sci-fi novel, these science fiction writing tips will help you use the book promotion strategies of the best sci-fi writers to sell more books online.

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1 thought on “Science Fiction Writing Tips From Sci-Fi Writer, Veena Maheshwari”

  1. Loved your content Priya <3 very well-written. Writing science fiction, helps you momentarily get away from reality, which is something that we all need.

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