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Crafting Creatures (by Kat Heckenbach)

June 29, 2015

My children’s fantasy is going to have a lot of creatures, most of them will have magical powers of one sort or another, but I guess I should still keep them in line with how they should behave in real life.

Faith & Fantasy Alliance

Legend unicorn

Science fiction and fantasy novels are filled with unusual creatures: unicorns, manticores, griffins, and aliens. Sometimes scary, sometimes cute, snake-like or slimy, humanoid or hairy, they populate our pages with strangeness. And it can be loads of fun to create them!

It’s a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly, though. Choosing traits for your beasties because they’re cool or horrifying is fine, but just as there is logic in the design of real-life creatures, there should be logic in the design of fictional ones as well.

Real-world animals have characteristics suited to their environments, diets, and interactions with other living things. Those factors, as well as many more than I could fit into a blog post, need to be considered when crafting your fictional creatures.

Think about the environment your creature inhabits. Is it cold or hot? Wet or dry? Lush with plant life, or barren and rocky? Look at…

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