A few tips on writing good science literature from The Science Creative Quarterly

July 10, 2008

Thanks to SEED’s Daily Zeitgeist, SEED Magazine’s blog that I occasionally read, I was lead to a newish online magazine called The Science Creative Quarterly. Anyone who has ever been to the McSweeney’s site will notice that SCQ’s design and distinctly playful tone is none too original. However, SCQ addresses the likeness up front in their FAQ, going so far as to call themselves a McSweeney’s “clone.”

At the end of SCQ’s submission guidelines, they include these tips, which I felt were worth sharing:

Go out on a limb. Don’t be afraid to use the words, “Uranus”, “friction” and/or “sperm” vicariously.

In your story, it is good to insert either the line “Now, at last, we can save the world!,” or “Dear God. What have I done?” For extra conflict, insert both.

Be aware that the majority of the Elements in the Periodical Table end in “ium.” This makes rhyming really easy.

Sex, drugs, blood and guts – really now, this is just an invitation to write about mate selection, pharmaceuticals, and anatomy.

When in doubt, chemists are the bad guys, physicists are the good guys, and biologists are generally the ones with the best cleavage.

Bacteria make good antagonists. Plus, they are literally everywhere – this only adds to their aura as an awesome force to be reckon with.

If you plan on using the “=” symbol, please be certain that the two sides are indeed equivalent. If they’re not, mathematicians will be irked, which to be honest, means that nothing else will happen.

Try using Boolean logic in your plot lines. Bonus marks if you can also use the word Boolean in your plot line. Extra extra bonus marks if your plot line can be express as a y=mx+b equation.

And finally, for the love of all that is good, please no articles on Scientology.