OK, so I guess this is day two of my website not cooperating. I’ve busted out the Bluetooth keyboard because apparently Siri can’t be trusted. Still, this thing is tiny and I have ogre fingers, so I’ll be making this short.
Today I was listening to the Writing Excuses podcast and the episode was about creating alien characters. I was absolutely thrilled to hear Mary discuss the proper ways to create a species/civilization because it’s something I have preached before!
She said to never base them on an existing culture, because those cultures didn’t arise in a vacuum. Your race will lack context if you try to base your characters on Romans or Arabs or whoever. Instead, she said to either look at their surroundings and let that dictate how the culture would have to evolve, or to choose what you want the end product to look like, then deduce what kind of environment would produce that.
That’s the deductive character building I brought up several blog posts back. I was, frankly, thrilled to hear that I’d stumbled upon a writing technique with the backing of a famous author.
So, I’ll reiterate: either build your characters (and races) around their circumstances, or shape the circumstances to fit that characters you want.
Be Excellent to Each Other
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.