So I took the 20K word fragment I’m trying to resurrect into a book proposal and ran it through the hamsters. The consensus was that what I had worked, which is a good thing since I wrote it over 10 years ago. However, everyone had the same problem, which is a uniquely SFnal one.
I have a environment without a human POV, everything is from the perspective of my aliens. Because of this I have, writ large, the problem you have in a 1st person story of describing the protagonist. When you’re writing from the POV of an alien species, they generally aren’t going to conveniently think of their morphology for the reader’s benefit. Also, the old trick of passing a character in front of a mirror isn’t going to work, because these guys do not have eyes as such. They have overdeveloped echolocation and some limited sense of heat/IR radiation. It is literally impossible for these creatures to perceive themselves as human would. But I’m trying to give a human reader a mental image of what they “look” like, from within that alien POV.
Oh, then we have pronouns in English used for a species where gender is a completely social construct independent of biology. . .
Fun ways to my my job difficult.