30 (Ish) Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating Your Own Fantasy Species | Tips from a Book Editor

Updated: Jun 13

30 (Ish) Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating Your Own Fantasy Species or Race

Professional UK book editor & lover of fantasy offers exclusive advice for writers who want to create their own fictional species or race!

Creating a brand new species for your fantasy novel is f*cking difficult, but if you're not keen on writing yet another tale about elves, dwarfs and orcs, a unique race you can call your own may be the best path for you!

So many fantasy writers dream about creating their own race, but like I said at the beginning, it's bloody tough and takes a lot of time and effort.

However, for my fantasy novel, I've created an entire race of sentient reptilian creatures who inhabit my imaginary world, which has taken me years to do, but doing so has given me the tools to be able to do it again in the future.

My reptilian race have been close to my heart since I created them as a teenager, so I'm not going to reveal any details about them, or even their name, but I thought it would be helpful to provide a list of questions to think about for when you're creating your own fictional species.

It can be so easy to just focus on their appearance, but there's so much more to the creation process than their looks, so scroll down for my list of questions!

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  1. What classification of animal or creature do they resemble? (e.g., mammal, reptile, amphibian, fish, bird, etc.)

  2. How would you describe their appearance? What's their skin like? How tall are they? Are they slim or stocky? Do they have hair or fur? Do they have scales or wings?

  3. How do they move about? Do they have two legs like us or are they different?

  4. How do they speak? Do they have their own language? What's their voice like?

  5. Where do they live? What's their habitat?

  6. Are they the dominant race in their habitat? Are they an apex predator like us or are they hunted?

  7. Is their race well-respected in their society or are they often discriminated against for who they are?

  8. What's the general nature of their race? Quiet and peaceful like Hobbits and Elves, playful and close-knit like Dwarfs or evil and barbaric like Orcs?

  9. Do they wear clothing or is it acceptable for them to live without clothes?

  10. Are they solitary beings or do they prefer to live in groups?

  11. Are they religious? If so, do