November 13th: How to Balance Handwavium and the Actual Factual in your story

I often get asked how does a research scientist balance using Handwavium to write Speculative Science fiction or Paranormal stories and staying Actual Factual?

So, little secret, I don’t try to keep any balance. I do a bit of research (sometimes I get lost in the Rabbit Hole of Research) about things that I may use in a story trying to learn more about the history/origin of paranormal legends and think about how these phenomena can be explained using science fact, or research how a technology may work and the limits that exist today and push past these limits in a “speculative” way to create interesting plot twists in a story.

Yet, after I do research, I often put it away, and focus on writing the first draft (just get those words down), and not let the Actual Factual box my story in.

It is in latter drafts where I square the Actual Factual using as little of Handwavium as possible to plug those pesky plot holes (which I like to explore in the Rabbit Hole of Research).

Speaking of werewolves (I did an episode on the science of werewolves; check it out here) and balanced the Paranormal with Actual Factual in writing my paranormal romance shifter novella, ‘Eve’:

My paranormal romance werewolf shifter novella, ‘Eve’was released October 31st in the Moonlight Anthology! You can Order it Now: ebook and paperback!


Also, check out my debut Sci-Fi Psychological Thriller Novel, ‘Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?’ Order Now, e-book and paperback!

Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?

Author: jomega22

Jotham Austin, II lives in Chicagoland with his wife and two sons. He has his PhD in Botany, and can be found taking electron micrographs of cells at The University of Chicago. His Rom-Com novella, “Tomorrow May Be Too Late” will be published as part of the romance anthology, “Askew Ever After,” January 2021. His debut novel, a sci-fi psychological thriller, ‘Will You Still Love Me, If I Become Someone Else?” will be released February 2021. Jotham recently started a newsletter that explores the science in science fiction (signup at jothamaustin.com). Preorder books and Follow Jotham on social media at https://linktr.ee/Jothamaustin

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