Xlibris Writing Tips| The Space Opera Genre Pt 2

Xlibris Publishing returns with Part 2 of The Space Opera Genre.


The People and the Politics

To one degree or another, the narrative of a Space Opera tends to focus anywhere between individual characters- the people- and society at large- the politics- within the setting. In a Space Opera both elements have roles, though how important and emphasized those roles are is up to you the writer.  But whichever is your focus, be sure not to neglect the other.



Xlibris Writing Tips| The Space Opera Genre
The spacesuits used by people in Space Operas are often, but not always, grounded in realism.

The People, for the purposes of this article, refers to your main characters, those who are the focus of your narrative and whose actions drive your narrative. The people provide the main emotions with which the readers are to connect. They are also the lenses through which readers will experience your science-fiction universe, its societies, its technologies, and its politics. Whether technology, culture, or governments are viewed by readers in positive or negative lights will be heavily influenced by how they are viewed by the main characters.


Star Wars firmly establishes the Galactic Empire as this oppressive, ruthless, and even evil force, by using the perspective of such characters as Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Luke Skywalker. Could readers draw their own conclusions regarding the Empire and its principle actors, based solely on their acts? Possibly. But seeing and experiencing the Empire through the perspectives of those fighting against it, helps ensure a human and emotional grounding for readers to perceive with.



Even the most character-centric and driven Space Operas do not ignore the existence and role of politics within their settings. In various episodes and in its film finale, the series Firefly featured politics, implying or outright showcasing the larger ramifications of the characters’ actions on the setting and vice-versa. An example with greater emphasis on the political would be the series Babylon 5. In that series political conflicts within and between the various interstellar nations influences and drives the actions and choices the main characters make.



Xlibris Publishing will conclude The Space Opera Genre in Part 3.


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