on Fiction University:
The creatures that inhabit our novels should make sense and feel as real as our worlds.
In speculative fiction, we’re not just writing stories—we’re creating worlds. And no matter if those worlds are alternate realms, possible futures, distant planets, or secret portals hidden at the back of the closet, at some point, your characters are likely to run into some of the creatures who inhabit it.
Because yes, your world has creatures! (If it doesn’t, that’s a statement—even in outer space, four different kinds of microbes have been discovered so far.)
The creatures who inhabit the worlds you write make them feel all the more real and multidimensional. Done well, they can also offer a lot to inform your world and fill out its details.
Let’s break down approaches and considerations to imagine these beings into life.