I have to confess that I struggle with creating a vivid sense of place sometimes. Usually when the setting is relatively mundane – some town, some house, someone’s back garden. To help me overcome this weakness, I’ve looked at what the … Continue reading Writing a sense of place according to the Internet
In honour of NaNoWriMo, let’s take a look at one of those topics that writers tend to Google far too much – disposing of a dead body. Let’s be honest, if anyone took a look at the search history of … Continue reading Writers Explore: Disposing of a dead body
Thanet Creative was planning to organise a NaNoWriMo meet up but then I noticed that there was already one taking place in Margate. Some wonderful person (Christie Drozdowski) has arranged for a write-in every Sunday from 4 pm to 6 … Continue reading NaNoWriMo meet up – Margate
Now we are in the window of crazy writing called NaNoWriMo, I thought I would take a quick look at a topic I have been abusing for comic effect – technobabble.
What is technobabble?
Technobabble is generally the bashing about of likely sounding science words to explain something that either you do not understand or that you should not be explaining but which, for various reasons, your plot hinges on. Extra credits do a great job of explaining technobabble in this video. As do TV Tropes (warning TV Tropes).
Is technobabble good or bad?
Technobabble is easily abused for hack writing. In that regard, it is very bad. If your story is already struggling to get the audience to buy into the concepts you are pushing adding complicated fake jargon rarely ever helps. I’m looking at you Star Wars prequel trilogy.
On the other hand, if done well, a little technobabble can stand in for “this is complicated so don’t worry about it”. In that regard, it can be good. Bonus points if the science makes perfect sense too.
I’ve been using technobabble to make science jokes as humour within humour for a year or so and find it whole heaps of fun. If you don’t get the science you see comical technobabble but if you do understand the science then there is a whole extra layer of jokes for you to enjoy. At least I hope you enjoy it.
Which is where you come in.
Over to you
This post marks the return of our “over to you” section. Tell us your opinion on technobabble.
- Is technobabble always bad?
- Can it be good?
- What are some of your favourite examples of technobabble?
- Midichlorians aside, what are some examples of very bad technobabble?
- Have you used technobabble in your own writing and how did you go about it?
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The Winner of the September story challenge is Jess Joy. I thought I would get that out there right from the offset. This is a zero mystery post, today. On the other hand, there is a lot of really good … Continue reading September’s Winner and Sunday’s challenge.
There is something magical about finding a fun writer’s group. At last weekend’s Sunday Writers group we tried out a new activity – Word Bingo. Now, before you groan here me out – this was a far more fun than … Continue reading Having fun at a writer’s group
In this post, I am going to take a brief look at constructing the idea of Alien Numbers in your alien world. World building your alien world is a topic I hope to visit a few times. Perhaps not to the … Continue reading World Building: Alien Numbers
Mental illness is a topic that has long fascinated writers. Mental illness has been the topic of many different stories, with varying degrees of accuracy and success. One hurdle we writers must overcome to tell an authentic story is how we … Continue reading Writers Explore: Mental Illness