How to Write Non-human Characters

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(Images are stock photos. Model is from here: http://mirish.deviantart.com/art/Vampire-stock-7-420819053)

First, I want to apologize for the lack of updates for Blood and Love. Again, life is a little hectic right now. However, I’ll try to update soon. I did want to delete my WordPress site, but I know a lot of people like the information here. I’m happy many of you can relate to my feelings. Being a writer isn’t easy – we all know that – and when feelings of failure seep in, they are hard to get rid of.

Now, onto the task at hand!

Many blog posts discuss characters, but I haven’t seen any on writing non-human characters. I don’t like to mention my stories anymore, but since I have experience in this area, I thought it would be an interesting topic. In my old stories – they should die – I wrote about merfolk, angels, and demons.

As you can tell, all three of those creatures were totally different. One of the hardest things about writing non-human characters is having them connect with the readers. Since the characters aren’t, well, human, it can be a challenge. However, depending on your plot and premise, it can be easy.

For example, let’s say your protagonist is a vampire. If we add additional details, we can say:

  • She is female (Female readers can relate to her)
  • She’s in love with the vampire king ( Readers who love romance can relate)
  • She ends up adopting a human child that her clan is opposed to (Readers will feel for her and admire her sacrifice)

Now, see what I did there? I took a non-human character and gave her traits human readers can relate to.

That isn’t to say I’ll write her to act human, but since I’m not a vampire, I can only go so far with her character. This brings me to my next point, research!!!

When writing characters that aren’t human, it’s important to gain as much knowledge as you can about them. When I started writing Love for an Angel, I read, watched movies, and watched documentaries on angels. I also did the same thing about demons. Hmm, researching about demons brought me to some dark places, but the realism would only strengthen the story.

Of course, after filling your brain with knowledge, decide if you want to put a twist on your paranormal or fantasy creatures. In Love for an Angel, I put my own twist on Lucifer’s fall. I wanted to explain and show how he ended up that way, instead of him just being “evil.” Towards the end of the story, I wanted readers to think huh, damn, that’s a new perspective. Alas, no one will read it now, but oh well.

For my last point, give your creatures traits unique to their race. A trait a human wouldn’t do. To give you another example, Assan – merman from Clash of Tides – has the power to control water. Not only can he control water, but he also has certain emotions humans don’t have. Since he lacks those feelings, it’s hard for him to understand Elena. He also follows certain beliefs in his society that Elena, a human, is not used to.

If you need some extra help in figuring out how to write non-human characters, I advise looking at these stories:

The Hobbit – You only follow non-human characters in the book and movies.

Interview with Vampire – Human,turned vampire, but still, it’s a good read about vampire society in that world.

Animal Farm – I agree this is a strange one for the list, but it’s animals! That’s far from human.

Again, sorry for disappearing on all of you, but I was considering deleting this blog. I hope today’s information was helpful!

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13 thoughts on “How to Write Non-human Characters

  1. I love writing about non-humans, so much fun. And of course some people like reading about people/things that are different and don’t have some of the things that humans have to deal with. But as you said, you want to be able to relate to the characters emotions on some similar levels too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I found that to be the hardest part of writing non-human characters. I needed to make them relatable to the readers while also making the characters interesting. I think the merfolk from Clash of Tides is the best job I’ve done so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah it’s hard. I actually really liked the creatures you created. The way the mermen could transform into scary water beasts was unique. And all the different plants. Its hard to recreate creatures in your own way, but harder to create your own. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aww thanks ❤

        It makes me happy that at least one person liked the way I wrote the mermen. LOL, Assan turning into something that freaked Elena out. Gosh, all of Assan’s forms allow him to do different things. The one form where he was fighting the berserker is the scariest.

        Yes! Coming up with new creatures that are realistic is hard. Do you have any creatures you created?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I currently don’t really have my own creatures, just my own adaption of ones. But I do have ideas for an upcoming story that has new creatures. So brainstorming about that is fun.

        Like

  2. Pingback: How to Write Non-human Characters — A.M.Bradley – I Suck at Writing

  3. My non-human characters are entirely new…. so I get to create from scratch rather than building upon existing lore. Made it a lot easier! Can’t imagine using creatures from existing lore(vampires, werewolves, mermaids) and having to tread where the giants have strode.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think writing about animals is fascinating – trying to imagine what an animal feels, senses and thinks – it’s ridiculous because it’s impossible to know but it’s a lot of fun trying to track things like fur, whiskers, vibration sensing paws…
    It’s different and a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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