Got advised on Worldbuilding’s Sandbox to post here, so here I am.
I don’t even know if the word “alien” applies here because to the eyes of the characters, those animals and plants won’t be alien at all.
I’m thinking about creating an unique flora/fauna for the world I designed, but can’t find a way to describe the plants/animals without being boring.
Think: a fantasy writer who uses Earth flora/fauna can just say “wolf” and every reader will know what he’s talking about. Maybe if there are fantastical creatures alongside common animals he can describe them, but them only, and it will not bore the reader.
Now, think about creating everything from scratch. The people of my world know what the animal I need to describe is. After all, the flying scaled green creature who produces a frightening and powerful screech is as common for them as a cow is for us. There is no way to describe it to the reader in the eyes of the character without sounding too expositional.
There are people who can shapeshift into animals in the story. Their entire society values, religion and symbology are deeply connected to animals. It’ll be quite a trick to explain that.
I do not plan to go berserk. The fictional plants/animals will most likely follow the structure of Earth biology in the sense that they will be divided into trees, grasses, reptiles, mammals, etc.
I won’t write a biology book. Only the animals and plants important to the story will be described.
This is not a story of Earth humans interacting with an alien world. The story is set on the fictional world and narrated in the eyes of that world’s natives.
Movies and games have it way easier since they can simply show and not tell.
With all that in mind, how can I describe the plants and animals unique to the world I created without sounding forcibly expositional? Maybe this won’t work as a book after all?