Fantasy Humor Satire Science Fiction Strange aliens

Tips for writing about humans: Delivering what readers on the home world want

By Phillip T. Stephens · Jan 26, 2019
1,000 words · 4-minute reading time

Writing tips

Story art by Phillip T. Stephens.  

From the author: Are you new to the planet? Inspired to describe humans to readers on your homeworld? This article was discovered on the mother ship during my latest abduction experience.


During my last abduction, I managed to break free from my restraints and sneak away from the implant station. I successfully hid in their library for two hours before they found me and returned me for multiple implants.[1]

During that time, however, I managed to sneak out the following article. It took two years to find someone with the skills to translate alien into English, and I had to clean up a few sentences that remained difficult to read. But the results proved informative. I offer to readers the first documented writing from another world.

Writing about humans

Humans have no detectable thought process. We’ve studied thousands of specimens, inserted probes into their posterior brain cavities, and have yet to record a single electrical impulse. As a result, we can only describe humans in terms of bizarre behavior and physiologies that prove the old adage, “evolution always gets the best laughs.” This makes writing about humans more difficult than writing about home, or intergalactic travel.

Humans have no thought detectable process. We’ve studied thousands of specimens, inserted probes into their posterior brain cavities, and have yet to record a single electrical impulse.

In spite of the difficulties, writers such as Gx$8bl, xvB+%m, and RG#lbT@ connect with millions of readers on almost gerstly.[2] Even though their writing styles vary as widely as their looks and sense of fashion,[3] aspiring young writers would do well to emulate their prose and material.

Here are a few tips for writers who want to break into the “human interest” market:

Popular human topics.
The search for human intelligence

Even though we’ve never found signs of intelligence in humans, writers (and their readers) love to speculate on the reasons why. Theories include humans being linked wirelessly to an underground network we haven’t found, a hive mind, and (the most laughable which is why it’s so popular) their brains aren’t between their hips like normal species but elsewhere in their bodies. The bestselling comedy “Head Probe” speculates human brains are in their heads, where every other intergalactic species expels gas.

Human pastimes

While human behavior is odd and erratic, they do exhibit patterns — a fascination with round or oblong objects (including the oblong bags female humans sprout from their chests), gathering in groups where they blow smoke from their anuses and pour liquid into them, making random sounds and even pretending to defend the planet from invaders.

In the last few zerotons,[4] humans have become less active, spending most of their time on soft spongy boxes while staring at the light emitted from rectangles. While less engaging than writing about activity, this new behavior has sparked endless speculation.

In the last few zerotons, humans have become less active, spending most of their time on staring at the light emitted from rectangles.

Another subject that fascinates readers is how humans reproduce without the proper laboratories and equipment.

If you want to cash in on recent trends, write about whether humans feel pain. We know they don’t, but the newest trend in writing, called fiction, frames data for readers as though they do.

Other activities readers enjoy learning about include:

  • transporting themselves in boxes
  • the ritual of stuffing animals and vegetables into their heads
  • group gatherings in different sized containers
  • digging holes to store inanimate humans instead of disintegrating them for efficiency and space
  • the apparent compulsion to consume their planet’s resources without replacing them
  • the need to kill each other.

One popular human activity is making mock intergalactic ships and pretending to be explorers like us. Readers have connected 17x10 times to more than seven thousand articles on human mock space travel. This indicates the topic still has plenty of play for new writers.

The most popular topic, at least with readers, is speculating about the human’s ability to reach our planet, possibly to invade and colonize. Readers enjoy descriptions of different crafts humans might design (including the ubiquitous flying box popularized four zetrons ago in the story Us vs. Flying Boxes), their weapons, their desire to cannibalize our species and their ability to infest and destroy entire geographic regions.

The most popular topic, at least with readers, is speculating about the human’s ability to reach our planet, possibly to invade and colonize.
Describing humans

Since humans have no discernible mental life, accurate descriptions are difficult to write. However, the wide variety of physical attributes fascinates readers. You can write about the weblike substance that covers their bodies, protuberances such as the oblong objects on the males’ chests and the fact that males’ bellies double in size around the time new humans mysteriously appear, or the need to drape themselves with artificial materials.

As mentioned earlier, human invasion stories continue to rank highest in reader interest, and many writers have stoked fears of a real human invasion. Our previous emperor, many readers might recall, wanted to erect a barrier around the planet to prevent human invasion of what he called “illegal aliens,” and even planned to send the bill to the planet earth.

Our previous emperor wanted to erect a barrier around the planet to prevent humans from arriving, and even send the bill to the planet earth.

Fortunately for writers and readers, there is little chance of humans making it past their moon, much less invading our galaxy. They would have to stop killing each other and begin to cooperate before anything like that could happen.

[1] I occasionally write about my alien encounters and other aspects of alien culture on my blog Medium.

[2] A gerst, the equivalent of our day, is calculated by the frequency with which the orbits of the three alien moons converge in the northern horizon, or 9.698275 hours, with a leap gerst occurring on the seventeenth convergence.

[3] An estimated deviation of 0.000032000001.

[4] A zetron is approximately 13.675 human years.

Experimental intergallactic craft image courtesy of NASA.

This story originally appeared in The Creative Cafe.


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Phillip T. Stephens

Living metaphor.

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