Writing Science Fiction: World Building

Start building your science fiction world in this free course, hosted by Ian Nettleton. All stories need good settings but science fiction has its own unique and particular needs, whether you're writing in the past, an alternative present or the far future. This course guides you through classic sci-fi settings and explores ways to craft your own.

By the end of the course you’ll know:

  • How to use your setting to reflect and reveal your characters
  • How to use the mundane to your advantage
  • The difference between world building and exposition
  • What separates after the catastrophe from enclosed habitats
  • Why verisimilitude is key to any science fiction story
More information

Ian Nettleton has a doctorate in Creative & Critical Writing from UEA (2003). His first novel, The Last Migration, set in the Australian outback, was runner-up for both the 2014 Bath Novel Award prize for literature and the inaugural Bridport Prize/Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award. He has also worked for the BBC as a writer and presenter, critiqued novels for The Literary Consultancy and published short fiction in a number of anthologies. He was shortlisted for the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2019, the Edinburgh International Flash Fiction Award 2020, longlisted for the Winter Reflex Fiction Competition 2019 and longlisted for the Ellipsis Flash Fiction Collection Competition 2020.