Brown lived at an apartment complex towards the outskirts of the city with
decently thick walls, kudzu creeping up the side, and a door whose lock was
picked with relative ease.
Will stepped into the apartment and lingered on the landing, he supposed he
could have asked for a key, maybe explained the situation to someone who would
take pity and just let him in. He was tired of having to explain himself,
though. He was tired of completely understanding and recognizing the absolute expression
of dismay, followed by pity. If there was one thing he’d choke on in the end,
it was the pity that people gave him, now that they knew about his fucking
What have you done to your eyes, Will?
apartment was clean, mildly Spartan in furnishings with a distinct organization
that showed his living alone rather than with a roommate to save on money. It
was a one bedroom apartment with a plain blue bedspread, one bathroom with a
plain blue curtain, and one photo in the living room of a man in profile
showing one blue eye.
tutorial? My advise is – use references! All those hands were drawn
from the references, photos and life. There’s also loads of useful
tutorials on drawing hands that explain how hands work. It’s your job
to understand the anatomy and find a way of constructing hands that’s
easy for you. And thank you! :)
#two very different relationships for shaw yet both so important #they both loved her so much but in different ways (one platonically and the other romantically) and its big because for someone that always thought something was wrong with her and no one would ever take the time to GET her #she ended up gaining two people that legit would’ve died for her and vice versa #they BOTH understood her and never judged her and loved her exactly the way she was #not to mention root and reese’s love for her even helped THEM bond in a way that made them start to care about each other #i just have a lot of feelings about these three tbh
When you’re creating a race of people for your new world, you need a culture to give those people and their way of life some context. The culture helps determine how the characters act, dress, eat, solve problems, among so many other things. You can (and sometimes, should) have multiple cultures in your world, depending on how large your focus area is. Cultures affect each other, but also serve in a narrative sense to draw contrast in-world and to draw parallels to the reader’s world.
So here are some thoughts, big and small, that are meant to help inspire you as you create amazing cultures. (And remember that you’re thinking about the following questions in the context of the general population, not your main character(s).) You can simply answer these questions in short-answer form, or you can write a short story to flesh out one or two or three questions at once. If you do that, submit them to me! I’d love to feature them on the blog.
How old do people believe their race is? How old are they really?
How prevalent are religions to the common person?
What is/are the origin stories of the main religion(s)?
What do most people think should be the highest priority:
How do culturally shared priorities shape interactions?
What is the common greeting? Does it vary by age, class, rank, or sect?
How is gender viewed by the majority? Why?
What are common myths/legends of your people and how heavily do they influence the modern day?
How trustful are people of outsiders?
How welcoming are people, in general, of strangers into their homes?
How well do people of various factions (class, race, religion, etc.) get along in society?
How far has technology advanced, and how has it been implemented into their daily lives?
If magic exists, what do they believe is its origin? Its source?
If there is division between magic/non-magic, how do the two treat each other and why? How long has it been that way?
What sort of relationship do they have with their ruler?
How content is the average person?
How do people make their living and how big a part of their life is their career (if applicable)?
Do they have “weekends” and if so, what sets them apart from “weekdays”?
How do they treat their close friends?
How do they treat their enemies?
How do they handle small conflict, between individuals or small groups?
How do they handle larger conflicts?
How are they prepared for any potential war? Do they have some sort of military or militia in place?
How many wars have they, as a society, fought over the course of their lives/history? How much of an impact does that have on their cultural identity? (i.e. WW2′s impact on patriotism in America, and how it’s yet to go away.)
What virtues do they value in individuals? What virtues do they say they value? If those are different, why?
How do they dress? Does it vary greatly by gender, or not? Is their focus on clothing very practical, religious, sentimental, or simply driven by the latest arbitrary fashion? How do the above answers reflect on the culture on a deeper level?
How do they treat their elderly?
How do they treat their children?
At what age does a baby become a child, a child a young adult, a young adult an adult, an adult an elder?
How much regulation does the day-to-day life of the average citizen entail? Or, how involved is the government in micro affairs?
How are these people seen throughout their known world? How do other cultures view this culture?
Questions for developing the biology of a new species or race
Something to remember when developing your new species or races: always remember that your unique race/alien race should not distract from the narrative. It is always fun to experience new and different peoples that can be so similar to humanity while being so different. But you don’t want to create a main species that is so utterly alien that it distracts from your narrative. The details of your race should enhance your story, not needlessly complicate it.
So! With that in mind…
Starting from scratch:
What about them says “other”?
How are their environmental conditions reflected in their biology?
What texture/color is their skin or outer layer? Why?
Do they have hair? If so, where and what color(s)? What texture(s)?
How many biological sexes are there? How many genders?
How many cones do their eyes have?
How many limbs do they have? How are they used?
How many fingers/toes do they have? How has this altered their number system?
Were they the only race on their home planet that evolved to “intelligent?”
For further development:
How would it describe its setting?
Do they have physical traits specific to their class or caste?
What traits do others of their species find attractive? Why?
Do they use special tools to enhance or repair damaged/failing physical traits or senses (glasses/contacts, prosthetics, wheelchairs)?
What unifying characteristics set them apart from humans? What do they have in common?
What dietary needs do they have?
Do they use special ornamentation (clothing, jewelry, tattoos) to show rank, occupation, heritage, etc.?
How do they relate to temperature or climate?
Do they have joints or tendons that move in a way that would seem unnatural to humans?
What is their sexual biology like? Is it analogous to ours, or something entirely different?
What recreational activities are healthy/positive for their biology?
How does their body respond to various types of excitement or emotion?
Creative exercises for species/racial development:
If someone were write a wanted poster for a criminal of this race, what features would the notice highlight? Why?
What are (or hypothetically would be) the most popular plastic surgeries among people of this species?
What is their average morning routine? How do their care for themselves, physically, on a daily basis?
Write a short story in which someone of your new species/race attempts to put on a set of human clothes or visa versa.
What is the most popular sport and how is it played? How do the species’ unique traits play into the game, if at all?
“We were having breakfast in Nassau. George came in; he was still in his pajamas, had just awakened. I wasn’t taking pictures at breakfast, or not intending to, and he looked so totally undefended, and different from any time I’d seen him that I said, ‘George, I gotta take a picture.’” - Henry Grossman, CBS This Morning, 23 March 2013