Non-human characters in fantasy are intriguing as they are different from the norm. But they need to be more than fantastical.. they need to be believable – Jaq D. Hawkins is guest posting over on The Story Reading Ape today.
Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror writers have a few things in common, but I want to address just one: Non-human characters. Whether your character is an elf, an alien or the creature from the black lagoon, we, as humans, have a tendency to anthropomorphise these non-humans and that can rob them of their unique attributes that make them interesting characters for your story.
To make an interesting non-human, the writer has to break away from assumptions and values that would be applied to human characters. Aspects of a non-human character’s behaviour would be determined by environment, back story and level of development.
For example, in the movie Enemy Mine with Dennis Quaid and Lou Gossett, Jr., the alien creature has distinctive eating habits and survival mechanisms that differ from the human character, including reproducing asexually. Another, more diverse example is the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. The…
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