As November flows past, I am busy with National Novel Writing Month. My novel project is called “The Mounzz of Autumn” and for it I am creating alien creatures.
Personally I am a practical person. I live in this world and have trouble imagining a different one.
I am not alone in this. When I read science fiction or fantasy, I often recognize where the creatures, the customs and more came from.
The challenge is in creating a world and creating alien creatures that are different enough to take a reader out of this world. Where do I start?
I start with the story. As I write, I find the people and the creatures begin to take shape.
For the Planet Autumn books, and Mounzz is the second one, I started with an original creature. It comes in many colors. It is a grazer so it eats grass and lives in a meadow. It is a herd animal.
What does a mounzz look like? The original story idea was based on “Troubles with Tribbles” from the original Star Trek series. That gives me soft and furry.
A high school friend gave me a knick knack of an imaginary creature that lives on my computer tower. It is humped with a long snout.
Recently I read a book by Stephen J. Gould called “Urchin In a Storm” and found urchin was the British term for a hedgehog. I looked up hedgehogs.
And I have a good idea what a mounzz looks like now.
However I am not done creating alien creatures as any world must surely have more than one animal living on it. Another one is the sylvan.
What is a sylvan? It is something like a wood rat with some attributes of a squirrel.
Then there is the artyfox. The Planet Autumn may not be Earth, but it needs predators to help keep the mounzz population in check.
Once I got started, creating alien creatures turned out to be rather fun.