5. Aliens and Other Creatures

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Excuse Me . . . Is That Your Alien Hatching On My Lawn?
alien hatching from an eggHatching your aliens, or mythical creatures, or other nonhumans is in many ways a lot like creating human characters. They may be weird or wonderful, frightening or bizarre, friendly or aggressive, proud or humble, very much like us or almost unrecognizable as living things. But you still need to know something about what they're like on the outside, and something about how they think and feel.
  • You need to design them, so that they make sense to you.
  • You need to communicate a sense of them to your reader.

As always, there's more than one way to skin a cat (so to speak).

Create Your Beings from the Outside In

Start with the environment they live in (Earthlike? Not Earthlike?) and what form might suit them for living there. As we mentioned in world building, you can start by designing the world and then creating its inhabitants, or by creating the creatures and then fitting a world around them. Then, once you know their physical characteristics, you can begin to understand their psychology and social makeup.

Create Your Beings from the Inside Out

Understand how they think, and what they feel and why. And then begin to form their physical attributes to go along with their personality.

 
 

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