You Know You’re a Writer When: Characteristics


I have some pearl bracelets that are stretchy. Instead of having them on string that’s knotted between each pearl, they’re throwing caution to the wind and rub together. I vaguely worry about that. I worry a little more about me stretching the elastic to its limit and the pearls scattering across the floor, but not worried enough to do anything about it. In fact, when I’m typing and the bracelets jangle in my way, I push them up my arm as if they were a sleeve. And that’s how I got these lovely marks:

Picture of my arm. Left side, by my wrist, shows the pearl bracelets. Further up my arm are bead-like indentations that circle my arm; four rows worth. The indents are a little red from pressure and the whole picture is a little yellow from not using flash.

Skin indentations from my pearl bracelets…in yellow

Coming home from work one day, I stared at the marks on my arms and thought what an interesting characteristic that would be for an alien. Instead of Martians being lizard men with scales, wouldn’t is be interesting if their skin simply had a slight pattern to it. How would that play when species met? Would an indent pattern like this be a welcome feature in an alien since, unlike scales, we humans don’t associate it with reptiles that creep us out? And for the species itself, would there be a uniform pattern? Or would the pattern be like a fingerprint? Or possibly even a status symbol?

Any of you creating alien beings? Where do you get your species characteristics?


4 thoughts on “You Know You’re a Writer When: Characteristics

  1. I like the pattern idea very much. I’m always focused on speech. Pictograms seem like the place to start. It makes the 9 foot snaggle tooth shaggy so much less the monster when he’s drawing in the sand with a stick.

    “Potato…someone get him a potato! I think that’s what he’s drawing,” called the mayor.

    “Could be,” the deputy agreed.

  2. Would the marks also be temporary, appearing and disappearing, say, when the alien beings would be in certain situations? Just like your bracelet marks? Sometimes, when you’ve been sleeping in a fixed position for a long time, you get these long marks on the skin. Or when you sit on a bamboo woven chair you get the pattern of the weave on the skin. Other options!

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