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Old May 28 2009, 11:09 PM   #4
D. M. Domini
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chicagoland
Gender: F
Fan of: Afra Lyon, and Robinton!
Now Reading: Sabriel by Garth Nix
Default Re: Accomodating Non-humans

It's all about observation. To write good human characters, you have to observe something of human nature, and then weave those observations into your writing. To write good non-human characters, such as cats, dogs, horses, birds, etc. you have to observe them, and learn something of their body language. Ever see a cat do something stupid, scare itself silly, run off ten paces, and then sit down calmly to wash, as if it's bluffing--"No, I wasn't really scared. What made you think that?" To write good alien creatures...well, it helps if you know a little something of biology. That way you can treat it like an animal in that it's non-human with non-human bodies and mannerisms, but still give it the *traits* and mannerisms of a living being that wishes to go on living, and wishes to have its wants and needs fulfilled.

As an example--all living things have body language, sounds, and reactions when they become afraid. What does your non-human thingie do in this situation? What parts of their body might be involved? What sounds do they make? On earth, for example, many things hiss as a response to a threat. Some things growl. Others yelp. Some, like humans, scream.

It might be interesting to have something from the POV of an alien, and have it seriously freaked out by a human screaming (much like we might be scared of a hiss or a growl).
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Read my Pern and Talent fanfic on Archive of our Own.

Fanfic WIPs: The Day Benden Went to War (Pern/Talent); Slosh (Pern); Weyrbred Lads (Pern); When You Fall Asleep /Between/... (Pern)

Completed Fics: Flight (Pern), Flight v2 (Pern), Golden Glow (Pern)

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