1. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Resources for creature creation?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Flashfire07, Dec 5, 2011.

    I'm currently in the research phase of writing a small series of fantasy stories and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for books, websites or oher resources I can use to find inspiration for creatures to fill my story with?
     
  2. FoxPaw
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    FoxPaw Senior Member

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    Spore video game creature creator. XD
    You can download a free creator software on their site here: http://www.spore.com/

    I use this to create up with some alien/creature ideas.
     
  3. Slinkywizard
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    Slinkywizard Member

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    Creatures, for me, have to be reverse-engineered. What do you want them to engender? Fear, love, kindness, disgust?

    I would first write down a bunch of emotions I want the creature to convey. It's never as simple as being 'just plain terrifying', you have to look deeper than that, to find things that will play on the basest fears of your characters (if fear is what you're aiming for). If you don't know what those are, take another step back to character and find out.

    Let's say fear is what you want your creature to engender, and let's say your protag has an injured right leg, is terrified of spiders and tends to vomit when he sees or hears others vomit. To engender fear, we then need a fast-moving (because of protag's leg he can't move fast), spider-like vomit-monster.

    This is a very crude example and you can get a lot more subtle with it, but creature design, for me, is really just narrative mathematics.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I get my inspiration for occupants of my world primarily from D&D.
    I make the creatures mine though.

    I don't use the D&D specific creatures, as they are probably tm or copyrighted. (Nilbog is the first to jump to mind.)

    No one wants to read about a dungeon adventure or cliche creatures, so make the creatures yours. Figure out why they are like they are.

    For example in my world, Unicorns are nauseated being close to adulterated(non-virgin) people, being touched by one would make them sick. The more people that are not virgin the more powerful the nausea, needless to say they can't go into town. They are almost invisible to evil minded people, as they can not see(nor believe) something so good in the world. Also my unicorns can talk with humans only if they are touching them, mental comunication not verbal.
    traditional unicorn, made more real by knowing why.
     
  5. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I like this thought.

    Often times I use ordinary creatures but give them a twist. Like have you ever seen a picture of the inside of a birds mouth. If you were to describe that well, birds would sound horroribly terrifying.
     
  6. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    I've picked clean all the 3.5 ed D&D books I have, there are some good creatures there but as you mentioned many of them are iconic D&D monsters and thus can't be used without violating copyright. Thanks for the suggestion though. I've found a small amount of inspiration from reading about insects, arachnids and annelids.

    Useful for visualisation but not very good for inspiration I find. I'm more after books on creatures, strange science websites etc etc. This site http://rpg-creatures.blogspot.com/2010/03/flowers-from-sky.html has been useful but I'd rather not have game based creatures as I'm soley looking for inspiration here, I don't plan to copy anything directly, just jog my craetivity a bit.
     

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