Find Science, Magic, and the Mundane: Speculative Worlds and How to Write Them Ages 14-18 on Outschool.

When we think of speculative words, such as those found in science fiction, high fantasy, and urban fantasy, we often wonder how the author managed to come up with fantastical ideas that are both believable and logical. At the same time, normally, we don’t stop to think about how much of the scientific in our world could easily be considered magical, or how our mundane life could also be seen as extraordinary. It’s easy enough to say that our technology would be fantastical to someone from a hundred years ago, but what separates the current mundane from the current fantastical in our writing? In this class we will first examine modern technology, current trends, the natural world, and popular beliefs, before then converting the same items to the magical. We will then create our own fantastical settings, building on our newly discovered points of view, to see how building a speculative world really is about using the mundane as a base.

Weekly Lessons:

Week One: This week students will talk about what makes science fiction and fantasy so interesting and amazing. Why do those sorts of stories capture our imagination? What is it about these universes that seem so different from their own?

Week Two: While using their lists detailing what makes up speculative worlds, students will analyze details in the modern world, and see how it can be turned into a fantastical environment.

Week Three: Now that students know what makes up the speculative, they will describe their world in a way that employs all of their observations and start transforming it.

Week Four: Students will talk about each of their magical, mundane worlds, share what they have created, and work on ways to continue to employ this tactic in their future writing.