See you next time

That's it for this lesson!

We've looked at how to introduce an alien creature into your story—a common aspect of the science-fantasy genre. We set up some first impressions with the protagonist's first look, looked at the details of the alien's physical features, and embellished on the features that mark it out as being an out-of-this-world alien. 

It's unlikely that you'll run into an alien from another planet while out and about, but did you know that the word 'alien' can be used to mean strangeexotic, or foreign?

As we saw in this lesson, what makes something an alien is the way it is different or unfamiliar to your main character. So anything could be an 'alien', given the right setting.

Think about how you might turn a human into an alien creature (the example with Jola, used throughout this course, does exactly that). Or, if you're looking for some quick inspiration, there are plenty of animals that look like aliens already!

Next time you come across an alien creature in a story, take note of how the author describes its physical features—particularly which features get highlighted—and also see how evocative and judgmental language get used to tell you how to feel about the alien. 

Phoenix is a novel by S .F. Said, with amazing illustrations by Dave McKean.

Lucky thinks he’s an ordinary Human boy… until he starts dreaming that the stars are singing to him, and he wakes up to find an uncontrollable power rising inside him. Lucky is forced to leave his home planet—Phoenix— on the run and in search of his father, who he hopes can give him answers.

The galaxy’s at war, there are deadly enemies among both Aliens and Humans, Lucky befriends an Alien starship crew and an Alien warrior girl who’s got neon needles in her hair… Oh, and he needs to find a way to save the galaxy. No big deal!

Where are the inspiration images from?

The first image is by Bruce Brenneise, whose work we've also featured in previous lessons. 

The second image is by Italian freelance illustrator and concept artist, Mirco Paganessi. He's contributed to various tabletop role-playing games, including Numenera (Monte Cook Games), which is where this image comes from. 

See you next time!