WorldCon 2011 Report: Day Two – Writing Non-Human Characters

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Writing Non-Human CharactersTwo of the key elements to consider are biology/evolution and environment.

Many alien characters that audiences identify with are not always representative of their species, giving audiences characters that they can relate to. Examples were given from Star Trek (Spock) and Ringworld (Nessus and Speaker).

There are several ways to approach getting an alien viewpoint. Understand their needs and motivations, based on their situation and surroundings.

Slightly off-topic, there was some discussion about whether starting the story action in media res or at the start was preferable. The panel seemed equally divided on the topic.

This session was good, but I found it more interesting to hear how the writers thought about and approached the issue rather than learning much in the ways of new techniques for handling it.