Blog Prompt #12 – Writing Canon Species

Blog Prompt #12 – Writing Canon Species

One of the most recognizable aspects of Star Trek is the proliferation of canon alien species. In the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Germany and France in particular, and probably in a lot of other parts of the world, you’d be hard-pressed to find an adult who had never, ever heard of a Vulcan.

Most people can probably even provide tidbits like the “live long and prosper” wish, or even perform the salute.

Blog Prompt #12 – Writing Canon Species

Surak doing the Vulcan salute

Star Trek, in particular the Original Series, is recognizable around the world, and one of the reasons is the indelible canon alien species.

Klingons are almost as well-known, although their devotion to honor is more of a TNG bit of canon and, as such, isn’t quite as well-known globally. Many people are also aware of the “resistance is futile” threat by the Borg but might not be 100% certain of what the Borg truly are.

Canon Species and Fan Fiction

For most fan fiction writers, even if canon characters are not within a story, often canon alien species can be. For species seen only seldom, this can be a chance to flesh them out.

And for better-known canon alien species, it can be an opportunity to give them a new spin.

Some Questions

Do you use canon species in your writing? Do you select a species for any particular purpose? E. g. do you add a Klingon during the TOS time period because of the inherent conflict, or a Trill into a DS9-era story because of respect for the character of Dax? When putting together your cast of characters, is species diversity at issue?

For canon alien species that are not well-known, how have you given more detail to their back stories and characteristics? For those that are better-known,  how have you made them your own?

Is there a canon species that you have not added to your fan fiction, but you are considering adding? How will you do that?

Bonus Questions!

Whose canon alien species characters do you like the most? Do you think the character is true to the species? If the character differs from established species canon, is the difference reasonable? If the character is of a species with only a sketchy background, does the author’s vision work within the limited framework established by canon? Can the author’s changes and coloring within the lines fit with how the species was originally drawn? Would you have taken that mysterious though canon species in a different direction? If so, how?

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