As part of her blog tour, I’m hosting fantasy author T.C. Southwell on my blog today! She’s going to be talking about creating original fantasy creatures in writing, so stay with us.
Also, don’t miss the chance to get one of her books for free! Read more about the offer at the end of the post. For now, I will leave the word to ms. Southwell!
Originality is something every author should strive for. Using the hackneyed, stereotypical creatures that have been around for centuries – unicorns, vampires, fairies, elves, dragons and ogres, etc. – detracts from a good fantasy tale, in my opinion. Sure, it’s easier to write about something everyone knows, so you don’t have to describe it in detail, but for readers, discovering new and exciting fantasy creatures enhances a story. While the tried and trusted has a fan following all of its own, it’s so much better to make the effort to be original, not only in your storyline, but also the creatures that populate your world.
Creating an original fantasy creature is a lot of fun! Imagine it before you invent it, and ensure you cover all your bases. Where does it live? What does it eat? How does it reproduce? How intelligent is it? Can it speak? Does it have its own language? Does it wear clothing? Learning all of those things is exciting for your readers. Don’t imagine that, just because some of those aspects aren’t directly relevant to your story, they’re not fascinating. Certainly, you can add originality to an existing mythical creature, but you’re still restricting yourself. Let your imagination go wild when thinking up something new and exciting, but try to also make it believable. Some fantasy may rely heavily on magic, but explaining away the unbelievable with ‘it’s magic’ can also become rather hackneyed. A magical creature that makes sense is more interesting.
Even better, perhaps, is a fantasy creature that isn’t magical. To help your readers to imagine it, draw parallels to whatever mundane or mythical creature it most resembles, if any. A bit of backstory on how it came to be, or what happened to this species in the past, will help to flesh out its overall nature. If it needs to fulfil a particular purpose in your story, create it with this in mind, but don’t tailor-make it, or it will be obvious that it only exists to fulfil the purpose you’ve assigned to it. If you really want to intrigue your readers, you can make it mysterious, and describe only certain facets of it, whilst leaving the rest up to their imaginations. Have your characters discuss or think about legends of it, perhaps, and, when it appears, allow only fleeting glimpses. This can be more titillating than describing it in detail, but both options offer a wealth of creative freedom. In fact, it’s limitless!
As a special blog tour promotion, T. C. Southwell’s book The Queen’s Blade II, Sacrifice is free during 6. – 8. August! Be sure to pick up a copy and remember that the first book in the series, The Queen’s Blade, is permanently free.
Coupon Code for The Queen’s Blade II, Sacrifice:EN88H
If you want to read more about T.C. Southwell, check out her website.
Otherwise, find her online here: