Writing an Alien Race… #amwriting #scifi

I’ve been trying really hard to make believable alien species with my most recent book I’m writing, Shifting Cargo.  This has proved a lot harder than I initially thought.  It’s amazing how much we rely on those little gestures for understanding each other.

As I’m writing, I find myself constantly having to second guess every little thing.

  • Would an alien frown?
  • Would an alien shrug?
  • How would an alien greet someone?
  • How would an alien show respect?  And could someone take that body language the wrong way?

I’m having to pay attention to every little idiom (fortunately, working with people where English was a second language for years helped with this) as I have already had to try to curb my tendency toward phrases with no direct translation.  When I use idioms, I have to make my alien catch it, question it.  I wrote a post recently on how language and culture connect, so I guess this has been on my mind recently.

I guess I have a tendency toward realism to the extreme when writing.  I remember one reader commenting in Mila’s Shift how it didn’t make sense that her roommate took an immediate dislike to her without any reason.  When I looked back at the scene, it reminded me of countless instances where someone snapped at me or took a dislike to me without any impetus on my part, most likely due to their own inner landscape coloring their perceptions.

We have examples of this even driving down the road.  Someone else is furious at us for cutting them off, but we’re just thinking they shouldn’t drive like a maniac.  Or maybe we’re the ones furious because we had the right of way because we were to the right of them, but really the other person thinks they arrived a moment before we did at the four way stop and thus they had the right of way.

Discover more from Danielle Forrest | Sci-Fi Romance Author

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