1. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    Name for Made-Up Creatures?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Zerotonin, Jul 13, 2018 at 5:12 PM.

    So, I've been toying with a novel idea for a few weeks now and I'm finally deciding to sit down and write it. One problem I've run into early is the naming of the fictional creatures within the story.

    Obviously, you need some information.

    The story is based on Earth, but some sort of inter-dimensional entity has plunged the world into literal darkness. This means the sun's light doesn't reach Earth anymore, but its warmth and photosynthetic affects still occur. After all, where's the fun in conquering a planet that died of freezing and starvation?

    Artificial lights, such as flashlights, still work, but draw the entity's minions like flies to shit, so they're used sparsely (this becomes a huge dilemma for our protagonist and his squad when they're forced to run from one of the creatures and get turned around, not knowing where they are in the city).

    The issue I'm running into is: What do I call these creatures? The entity takes animals and, sometimes, people that it can get its hands on and mutates them, creating these monstrosities. No one knows what they look like, as anyone who has seen one in light didn't exactly live to tell the tale, but there's tons of rumors circulating. They don't have any specialized vision, so they're just as blind in the dark as people (except for one variant which is introduced later on).

    Characteristics that are typical amongst them all are sharp claws, jagged razor-like teeth, huge mouths with jaws that can unhinge, and an ear-piercing shriek whenever they see someone, alerting any others nearby.
     
  2. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Are you trying to come up with their actual name, or a name that humans use to refer to them?

    If the former, it could be anything. Try this web site for creating phonotactically valid non-words:

    http://www.cogsci.mq.edu.au/research/resources/nwdb/nwdb.html

    If the latter, then the name would most likely be based on either the creatures' physical appearance, or their behaviour (like "walkers" in The Walking Dead).
     
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  3. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Also, the word that came to mind from your description was "stabs". Both due to their physical characteristics (the claws and teeth) and the noise they make.

    Turn the lights off before the Stabs get here...
     
  4. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Senior Member

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    Do a little digging into mythological creatures. Maybe you can modify one of their names. Your description makes me think of vampires a bit. Maybe take that and run with it? When making up names for my beasts, I did a lot of research into similar animals. I looked at the animals Latin names and came up with names from that. (For example, my bear-like beast is an Ursai). Or go to one of those random name generating sites.
     
  5. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    I only really need a name that people would call these things. I was thinking of something along the line of "Shadows" but that seems kind of pretentious. I'll start digging through lore to see if there's ever been any creatures like this.
     
  6. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    "Shadows" is a bit of a cliché. Also, it doesn't sound violent enough considering what these things do.
     
  7. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    The Gash
     
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  8. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    I'm sure there are better ideas, but the first thing I thought of was "shriekers."

    Then I thought of "shrikes." Real life shrikes are evil little birdies that like to impale their prey on spikes and leave them out for a while. I know that doesn't sound much like your creatures; I just thought I'd share it because disturbing nature facts are fun.
     
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  9. CerebralEcstasy

    CerebralEcstasy Member

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    I thought shriekers too...
     
  10. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    3rded. Shriekers or Screamers was what came to my mind.
     
  11. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    I like Shriekers, though I may shorten it to just be Shrieks. Sounds more menacing to me for some reason.
     
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  12. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    I can see that. Shriekers sounds like a video game monster. Shrieks sounds more like something from folklore.
     
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  13. Jenissej

    Jenissej Active Member

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    Make that one more. Shriekers is what I thought of first, too. People would probably take some essential, obvious trait to call them by. Maybe even multiple variations of a name.
    Maybe someone, like some government authority, gave them an official name and people abbreviated it. Say, if they're called "Corrupted Beings", they could be called "Corries", "Ruppers" or "Rippers" (ok these are silly but you get the point :p )
    Also, anything short and snappy enough to serve as a curse word. People would course by them a lot, me thinks.

    Other thank Shrieks, the description makes me think of "Bats", "Lurkers/Lurks" (and the monsters from Pitch Black, so "Riddick". :D)
     
  14. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    The only problem with them having an official name is that, with the complete suddenness and circumstances surrounding the "invasion," there wouldn't have been any time for anyone to come up with anything official to call them.

    @Jenissej They say most of your brain shuts down in cryo-sleep... All but the primitive side, the animal side...

    I love that movie!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 7:25 PM
  15. Jenissej

    Jenissej Active Member

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    Hmm maybe not something scientific or textbook-like but surely there would still be authorities and news media around at first? They'd need to explain the situation to the masses and I'd think they would want to use a name that doesn't scream "murderous killer mutants from hell" to try and keep the masses from panicking. Emphasis on try, most likely.

    Me too. :D
    I like your concept. Hopefully, you'll let us know when you've got something of it to read. And hopefully, there'll be a Pitch Black reference in it. ;)
     
  16. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    Well, the issue is that there really wouldn't be any time for people to figure out what was going on in the beginning. There's literally no natural light, and using even the slightest amount of artificial light will result in nearly instantaneous hunting by the Shrieks, as the entity that's controlling them can sense the light.

    This would make recording television or radio nearly impossible, as all electronics give off at least a little light.
     
  17. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Just something to consider, it’s difficult to accept that there would be no time whatsoever at the beginning for information to spread. Hundreds of millions of people would need to die nearly instantaneously for this to be plausible.

    When this attack begins, do these things just converge on all parts of the globe at once? The scope of that is nearly unfathomable. Then, if that is the case, where did they come from so suddenly in such numbers?

    I know your thread isn’t about this, and I apologize if you have these questions answered in your brain in a plausible way, but I’m genuinely intrigued by your premise. :D
     
  18. Jenissej

    Jenissej Active Member

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    I see. Yeah, I'd expect a lot of people to die too, before they get this figured out. And for people in different places to come up with different names, since long-distance communication is pretty much ruled out then.
     
  19. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    Very good questions. As I have these questions answered in my head, as you said, it's impossible for anyone else to know what I was thinking. Hell, half the time, I don't know what I'm thinking.

    The entity that caused the blackout has been doing this for a very, very, very long time in innumerable different universes. Through this, it's built up a gigantic army that can span the globe pretty quickly and, because it has access to travel between universes, it can drop off "troops" practically everywhere at once. However, the minions, due to the immense strain put on them by the transformation process, burn out very quickly, a week at most. Due to this, after the initial strike, it puts most of its creatures in a stasis-like state in its own reality to keep them alive for the next invasion, and replenishes any it lost with that planet's inhabitants. The entity also sent out a massive EMP-like surge to destroy all technology, therefore getting rid of any electrical lights (at the time).

    Anyone who survived was either incredibly intelligent to find the connections between light and these things' arrival, or lucky that they weren't anywhere overly-populated and they had no lights.
     
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