J. K. Rowling is very skilled at creating unique magical creatures, from dementors to nifflers. The creatures she has created have, in many cases, become a part of the larger mythology in the world.
Much of my writing is in the fantasy and urban fantasy genres. This means that, on many occasions, I need to create some fantasy creatures. I can also use creatures from legend and myth, such as unicorns and griffins, but sometimes, I need to create a creature that is completely unique and unheard of before.
In doing this, I've come up with some tips which might help you create your own fantasy creatures, if you ever get stuck for ideas.
1. Research creatures from available mythology. Looking through the creatures that are already a part of legend and myth can help inspire new ideas for creatures.
2. Take creatures from legend and myth and add something or take something away from them to make them unique. A unicorn covered in scales with dragon wings is very different from a traditional unicorn. A unique attribute can set your creature apart.
3. Take normal every day animals and give them unique attributes. A golden retriever with wings might make local ducks nervous, but if your ducks have sharp razor-like teeth and as large as a horse, they might not be as easy for the retrievers to prey upon.
3. Give your creatures unique abilities. Your creature might look like a typical horse, but the difference is that it breathes fire and can turn invisible. Sometimes you need something other than a change in appearance to make your creature different.
4. Use your imagination and create something completely from scratch. This can be the more difficult option for creating your creature but also the most rewarding. Stretch your imaginative limits.
5. Name your character something that is easy to pronounce. You don't want your reader to be tripping over how to say the name of your creature every time they read the word.
Hope these tips help!
Today's give-away is a copy of Writing Monsters: How to Create Believably Terrifying Creatures to Enhance your Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction by Philip Athans. If you are a signed-up member of the challenge, then leave a comment on this post and you will be entered into the drawing. Winner will be chosen by a random number generator on April 30th.