Writing for an alien species can seem daunting at first, particularly when there are nearly two hundred unique species permitted for use on the Intelligent Life Index (ILI). It can be a highly rewarding experience and a good way to look at the universe in a new way. The latest tutorial, brought to you for Writing Improvement Month 2014 focuses on highlighting the different considerations and things can be done to make them come to life.
As the guide will show, the key to writing for alien species is in knowing the species well. Use the similarities to give them their humanity and the differences to set them apart from humans. There are physical variations from appearance right down to how strong each of their senses are, with some having senses that humans do not such as telepathy, empathy or fielding.
Aliens have their own interesting cultural backgrounds and ideals. Some of these are quite well known such as the Ferengi commercialism and love of making Latinum, the warrior race of Klingons who have a strong sense of honour, or the emotionless Vulcans who are known for their strong focus on logic.
These are some of the things that affect how a character perceives and behaves in the universe. Even if a character isn’t typical of the rest of their species to have a deep understanding of the species makes it easier to see and work out how, why they vary from the mould. It makes it possible to explore alien characters on a deeper level. Read the full tutorial to see how to write more convincing aliens.