What sounds cooler?

by Marissa

Question: In the end I know it's my decision but I just need opinions and Yahoo didn't really give much help. So I'm thinking about creating a book where aliens invade earth. Do you think it would be cooler if the aliens looked human or if they were a form of energy and took over humans bodies? either way they would have some notable difference like their eye color and they have powers. They have to be human in some way or another for the story to work out but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be alien monster type creatures also. I say that because some people say don't do human aliens because that's been done before but there wouldn't just be human like aliens. So what's your opinion? Which type of alien sounds cooler? Aliens that invade peoples bodies? or aliens that look human?

Answer: Let's face it, both types of aliens have been done many times. Both can be found in episodes of the original Star Trek series. But, long before science fiction started being written, there were stories like these, usually involving fairies or supernatural beings rather than aliens.

For instance, there have long been folk stories about children stolen at birth and replaced with fairy babies. I suspect the idea came about because of children being born with disabilities (such as Asperger's or Down Syndrome) or resulting from adultery so that they were different from everyone else in the family. Sometimes the switches were attributed to gypsies. Nonetheless, these tales were forerunners of the science fiction classic, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers and other countless SF stories.

Similarly, There are folk stories about demonic possession, which are forerunners of stories where an alien takes over someone's body. (Perhaps they were originally based on multiple-personality disorder or amnesia or some other mental illness). Nonetheless, they set the stage for such body-possession stories as The Matrix or Quantum Leap.

I'm not trying to discourage you here. The world may never get tired of these stories. Your challenge is to put a fresh face on a traditional idea. Can you find a different explanation of how the possession takes place or why certain aliens appear human?

Alternatively, you can choose to use a traditional idea but incorporate it into a very different story. In other words, do something with the aliens that readers haven't seen before--something that will surprise and intrigue them.

Best of luck.

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