Creature Feature #1

Hi Gang. Craig with you for my first post of the new year. I was lamenting a lack of ideas for Story Empire content, when one of my colleagues suggested something about creating monsters. I might be able to milk this for a few posts if I’m lucky. It gave me several ideas.

I’m going to focus more on the creation aspect here, because I use a lot of creatures that aren’t exactly monsters. One of my recent ones is a pet character called Noodles. This guy is a combination of Rottweiler and or pitbull, combined with a snapping turtle.

His creation was simple. I haunt Pinterest every day and something appeared that sparked my imagination. You can do the same thing. Noodles had to be a water creature somehow, so I created a pond in his yard that he can spend a lot of time in. Then I made him manic crazy, but capable of expressing other emotions on occasions. He’s a pet, so I don’t get totally deep into him. He reappears in an unpublished work where he gets to destroy a computer sever farm. All fun and games for him.

This combination of creatures can work for you, too. I simply mentioned owlcats in one of my fantasy stories as a way of expanding the wilderness. Characters heard them, but none showed up on the page. This lets readers know they aren’t in Kansas anymore.

If you’ve glanced at my recent posts, I try to avoid low hanging fruit. I’m not going to write any flying monkeys any time soon. Aliens are another place where you can stretch your imagination, but there are a lot of reptile men, bird men, etc.

Our ancestors did a lot of this, too. Refer to mythology and you’ll find sphinx characters, the cockatrice, Minotaurs, and even a flying snake or two.

Size is another thing you can play with. There are characters all the way from gigantic to pixie sized. You might be able to combine creatures, then resize them to come up with something unique.

Take a tour of mythology. Enter a few of those creations into Pinterest and flip through a couple of pages. You might find something that sparks your Muse to create something new and fresh.

Have you ever created some new creature you’re proud of? Maybe there’s one that fell flat for you. Let me hear from you. I’ll be over at the Planet of Poodle Girls trying to stop them from chewing up their overpriced pumps.

58 thoughts on “Creature Feature #1

  1. HI Craig, I enjoyed your description of Noodles. I also have monsters of a sort in my children’s picture books. My most recent was Jiggle Jelly, the sea monster from Haunted Halloween Holiday. Jiggle Jelly floats around the Meringue Pond with a rubber duck around his middle. He has no wings to fly so moves through the air when he travels by whipping his body from side to side to move forward. I look forward to reading about more of your monsters.

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    • Thanks so much for the reblog, Michael. It’s fun to expand the environment beyond what the characters see. You can also suggest night time, deserts, oceans, etc. by what you include in your monster makeup.


  3. Great post and subject, Craig 🙂 I love the creativity of the characters you come up! I’m afraid I’m not as creative in that department mine tend to be more mainstream. I might have to olay around with this a bit sometime, at least for a shortstory.

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  4. That was fun, Craig. Writing fantasy lets me play around with creatures – nightlings in my last book, and a gargoyle in the next (as one of my main characters). Like Noodles, they’re fun because the sky’s the limit as long as they serve the story. Great post.

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  5. Ooooh, Creature Feature? Count me in! Great intro, Craig, and I can’t wait to read more in the weeks ahead. I don’t write fantasy per se, but now and then something unusual pops up, like the Celtic myth of Ol’ Shuck as a harbinger of death. And one of my WIPs that I’m getting ready to return to work on does deal with another myth that I think will be fun. Haven’t decided yet whether the mythical creature will turn out to be real, or not, but I’m hoping to have good time with it, either way.

    Will be looking forward to reading Creature Feature #2! 😁

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  6. No creature creations for me. In some of my old urban fantasies, I needed creatures, but since I like myths, I used already imagined ones. I let the goddess Diana call on her hellhounds when she needed backup, and I had a fallen angel battle vampires. Yours are completely unique. That makes them fun. I loved Noodles.

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  7. A creature in the Cliftopolis Series: Below, Above, and Beyond caused adults to morph into “trollbies” (part troll and zombie). The the middle-school kids had to figure out how to restore sanity in their the small town. Fun writing for grade-schoolers, so no gore, but included a sassy robot and time travel.

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  8. I love the creatures you create, Craig. So far, I’ve put supernatural monsters into people but haven’t created creatures (as far as I can remember). In an early book, now unpublished, I played with creatures which represented the elements in the flesh. I so look forward to this series of posts. Thanks for sharing. Hugs 💕🙂

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  9. This subject is SO in your wheelhouse, Craig. In Jonah, I created fantasy creatures that had bodies like hogs, fangs that glowed red when they growled, and claws like eagles. Jonah had to find their one weakness in order to survive. I’m going to enjoy this series and am happy you decided to do it! I’m a big fan of your creatures and I love browsing through your Pinterest boards!

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  10. Though I’m not a fantasy writer, I am always intrigued by your characters, Craig. Your creativity amazes me. Who could have imagined a talking hat or root monsters but you? I’m looking forward to this series! 😊

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  11. You know I adore Noodles, and I vividly remember the owlcats. You always come up with unique and interesting creatures.

    I’ve created two creatures of urban legend, but nothing like you’re referring to. I suspect this will be a fun series of posts!

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  12. I’m with Jaye – I haven’t done anything with creative creatures because there are others who do it so much better than I could! I do remember owlcats from Lanternfish and thought at the time that it was a nice touch to just accept them without further description. I know I’m going to enjoy this series! 😀

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  13. Pingback: Creature Feature #1 | Legends of Windemere

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