Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Creature Creation

My wonderful sister Danny is attending the Muse Online Writing Conference this week, and has shared a few of her notes with me. Karina Fabian discussed creating creatures for your book. Here's some of the juiciest tidbits!

Before you create your creature...

  1. Know the story you're going to write. (Character/theme/plot/setting)
  2. What kind of creature do you want? A vampire, a ghoul, an out-right monster?

Flesh out your creature with research.

Why research?

  • To learn the original myths
  • To see modern conventions
  • To know what's been done already
  • To discover myths from other cultures

What you should consider when creating your creature:

  • What rules are hard and fast?
  • Are you going with or against convention?
  • What is the root cause? (Such as vampirism)
  • Is there an unexpected quality that changes the creature?

Have you ever created a creature for a book, or taken a new spin on a common convention? What creatures have you found in reading that you liked?


  1. My books are filled with creatures. A lot of them are things most people have heard of before, like shapeshifters. I really enjoyed giving them a different twist, a different set of magical skills, and a completely different origin story, though. For example, my werewolves don't bite people to pass on the ability, they are born that way.

    Taking something people are used to or familiar with and putting an entirely new spin on it is one of my favorite things in writing and in reading.

  2. I've been thinking a lot about writing a fantasy after I finish this spy book that's kicking my trash. I'll have to put a lot more thought into it..especially the whole creating a new species thing. You always give great advice. I'm so glad to be back around to read your posts, Charlie!

  3. Great post! I created a race for a Star Wars book I was writing... before Dave Farland stomped that dream with a healthy dose of reality. It was a result of a Sith Alchemy experiment. I was setting him up to be the big antagonist and had a lot of fun making that species.