1. Otavious Grayson
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    Otavious Grayson New Member

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    Ideas for aliens?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Otavious Grayson, Apr 9, 2011.

    Ive been working on a novel for the past 6 or 7 months and its about half way done. Its a sci-fi titled The Evacuation of Earth. Its about the goverment secretly recruiting a special team of the most intelligent people to go in search of a new planet for them to repopulate the human race, due to the effects of globel warming. But upon arrival to the new planet they discover that it already has life living on it. I know its sounds like a story that has been done to death. But I feel like the way ive added a realistic twist by using the roswell incident and the moon landing as tools to drive the story forward.

    My problem is i'm struggling to get a picture of what this "other world" and its inhabitants will be like. If someone could give me some advice that would be great.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Read, read, and read.

    Think about form and function. How does the alien's structure impact its survival in its environment, and how would that environment drive evolution? Camoflage protects prey from predators, whereas bright colors and the like can serve as a warning. The markings on the hood of a cobra resemble eyes, to make predators wary of attacking the snake's more vulnerable side.

    Arms and legs may be all the fashion on this planet, but they are not the only configuration for locomotion and tool use.

    Use your imagination. A good writer must have one and exercise it regularly.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find it useful to work my story and let my alien races come out of them. I started off with just humans and another group of humans then as I wrote discovered my story needed people who lived a long time, then I needed elemental magic etc I needed seperate races for a racism story etc
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    are you awake, cog?

    isn't this section for suggestions and feedback re the site, not works in progress?... or is it me who's still not fully awake? [distinct possibility, as i've only been up for a few minutes and haven't had my morning's green tea yet!] ;-)
     
  5. AltonReed
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    AltonReed Active Member

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    Wrong section I think...

    The best thing with Aliens are that they can be ANYTHING!

    How do you want the alien civilisation to be like? If they need to be intelligent, then a humanoid body (Two arms, two legs, and standing upright) with any head you want could look great. Why not give them an animal's head?
     
  6. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    How would they use tools if they don't have proper arms? Prehensile tongues have been done, but they're still cool.

    Do your aliens have eyes? Do they see in our spectrum? I've read that cats see different colors than we do.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Okay, I didn't notice where it was posted, but now I have moved it to a more suitable place. Thanks Maia.
     
  8. Mr. Blue Dot
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    Mr. Blue Dot Member

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    Maybe make them tripedal instead of bipedal. Maybe they are plants. Maybe animals grow out of the ground like trees on our planet. Maybe they are two creatures in one, a symbiont and a host and each has a unique personality separate from the other.

    Let your imagination run wild, you can create an entire ecosystem if you think about it long enough.
     
  9. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Hey :) Your story sounds cool!

    Honestly, I don't get very interested in the typical "gray alien" or green alien humanoids with the saucer spaceships...that's so overdone that it ceases to be creepy or weird or anything....I also wouldn't go with the "human body, animal head" thing because, think about, they'd have their own separate life forms and not just hodgepodge ripoffs of ones on Earth.
     
  10. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    I was thinking of making some of my creatures tripedal, but I think logically it sort of falls apart, unless one is just for balancing or something. It's a cool concept, but picturing how it would move, it just seems to clumsy and awkward. Evolutionarily, it just seems odd.

    Maybe you're picturing something I'm not though.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Read Larry Niven's Ringworld. Pierson's Puppeteers are intelligent tripedal aliens with two heads. But the more you read about them, the more it makes perfect sense.
     
  12. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    Maybe if you look at things that humans can't do, and work off the human frame to create something really alien, like the ability to turn their heads 360 degrees, and have arms without bones so they can bend and twist in every direction, looking really creepy and unnerving.

    I know humanoid aliens have been done, but remember that if it's not humanoid you have to come up with all their technology to work with their form. If they're intelligent and advanced, that is.
     
  13. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    I'll look into that, thanks. I can actually see it if they were sort of like an office chair, with the ability to swivel around their spine (or whatever they have in place of a spine) and move in any direction equally fast.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Also, don't assume they need to be about the same size as humans. There are engineering considerations (loading factors, surface area to volume, heat exchange), but for different conditions, you can have vastly different optimal sizes.

    Even on this one planet, there is a considerable size range among species.

    On TV and in movies, our subconscious expectations have been shaped by the need to put actors in makeup and have the aliens fit well in the camera frame and on the sets.
     
  15. KRS2273
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    KRS2273 New Member

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    You can easily make them into something totally strange and alien; have them be with different concepts of morals, ethics, and values. If you want to do the Roswell connection you can have the aliens capture different species in order to advance themselves with no regard if they are sapient or not. Or have concepts that are terrifying to humans which can set the stage for a conflict.
     
  16. Mr. Blue Dot
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    Mr. Blue Dot Member

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    A tripod would have to move one leg at a time, that way they always have two points of contact with the ground. It's actually not terribly complicated and could be an advantage in traversing certain places, like mountains.

    edit: you can search for videos of tripod creatures for reference. Half life 2 Striders, and hunters are two examples you can look at.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Humans walk on two legs. They don't need to keep support on two points at all time. There is such a thing as dynamic stability, so you could have smooth, rapid tripedal locomotion without having to keep two feet on the ground at all times.

    Even a three legged dog can get around very quickly, although it is not symmetric in its leg placement.
     
  18. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Dreadlocks when was the last time you read about stoned ailens ?
    If you will rasta-ailens
     
  19. Alex A.
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    Alex A. Member

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    kill the hive mind behind the aliens
     
  20. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    Peter Hamilton's Pandora's Star had some interesting alien species in it. The weird Silfen that never answered a question directly and shunned technology [but still used wormholes?], or the multi-limbed, rhino sized Raeil, who are very ancient and have cthulu-like heads.

    Look at some deep ocean documentaries. Those show some freaky creatures that look that way because they have to adapt to their harsh environment.

    Anything different is always welcome, and you can get ideas from Earth's nature. Elephants look pretty unusual once you think about it. They grab things and intricately control touch with their nose, of all things.
     
  21. WalrusM3
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    WalrusM3 New Member

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    When coming up with something like a race, best to maybe let them take control. But that get the picture and description to reflect their personality. By that if their cunning and sharp, make them pointy and eagle like, it their warriors or brutes making them strong and solid or if their really intelligent make where ever the main controls of their body functions really big.

    It's cliché solution, but hey it works don't it?
     
  22. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    When I was in the fifth grade, the teacher assigned a writing project called "The Plant That ate Twinkies."

    I had a whole story about an Audrey 2 style alien plant that craved sugar. Guess what I'm saying is, it'd be nice to see a plant-based alien life form with genuine intelligence that doesn't want to kill everything as a rule.
     
  23. Safinr
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    Safinr New Member

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    I agree with some of the posts that were added earlier about the fact that your creatures should tie in with the existing world that you have described. I would assume, that since these people were sent off to find a planet suitable for evacuation of earth, then the conditions of the current planet should be similar to the ones that we have here. If not then possibly something that we can adapt to using minimal technological forms of support.
    I'd envision a planet that has the same environment as earth, so you don't really have to worry about what the aliens look like, just make them similar to the common man.
    Alternatively you can develop a story to reveal that the planet that they found is in-fact earth's sister planet but in a neighboring solar system, which is also very similar to our solar system. This can allude to string theory, and that they have not actually traveled through space, but instead they were able to go into a parallel dimension.
    Just my brainstorming.
     
  24. daydreams
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    daydreams Member

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    I have been toying with lifeforms which use gaspockets, for example on one world the first flying creatures did not evolve from landliving creatures but directly from those living in the ocean, evolving larger gaspockets almost like balloons, which eventually made it possible for them to actually hover in the air too.
     
  25. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    Google the Blue Moon, or search for it on Youtube sometime. If you haven't seen that yet, I think you'd like it.
     

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