Creating Paranormal Creatures by Rebekah Ganiere
It’s rather fortuitous that Paranormal Creatures is the topic for this month’s blog. I am currently teaching a class on Worldbuilding and Magic Systems and I just talked a bit about putting creatures into your world.
I love writing Paranormal, Fantasy, Steampunk and Sci-fi. And I love being able to populate my world with all different kinds of creatures. From Mermaids to Fae to Werewolves.
But where do you start?
There are a lot of different things you should think about when you’re preparing to write paranormal or fantasy creatures. There are tons of races and creatures to choose from. Werewolves, vampires, fae, elves, drow, dwarves, dragons, mermaids, humans, centaurs, cyclops, demons, angels, aliens, cyborgs, you name it! And each requires different dwellings, culture, resources depending on the mythos for the race.
Different species and races do different things to your world. From using up resources, to destroying the land around them, to bringing in higher technologies. For every race there are pros and cons of what they bring to economy, ecology and more.
So when you start writing you Paranormal world or your Fantasy world, or even your Alien world, here are some things to think about.
The best thing you can do when creating a new creature is do your research. Really think it out and figure out what is best for you and your world. Whether it be set in Manhattan 2016 or in a new fantasy world you just created. It’s up to you, but make sure that you really think of ways to pull in what people already expect from your species as well as what you can do to make them fun and different.
Readers have expectations. When they read vampires they expect a species that feeds on another species in some way. If you write shifters the readers are going to expect your shifters to turn into an animal at some point in the story. If you write zombies… well… brains. Or not brains as is the case with my book Dead Awakenings. My zombies (Deaders) can eat human or animal organs to live. So make sure you keep somewhat within what the readers expectations will be. Does that mean you can’t go outside the box? Heck no! My Deaders in Dead Awakenings are super powered and good looking without body parts falling off.
So, here are some things to think about when you’re starting out with paranormal creatures.
Are you writing vampires? Well there are a lot of things to think about with them. Do they die in sunlight? If not what kind of effects does it have on them? Can they drink only blood or can they eat as well? Are they undead, virus ridden, aliens? Are they human-like or total monsters?
What about Werewolves? Can they turn only at the moon? Or can they shift anytime they want? Do they go total wolf or half man half wolf? Are they in hiding or out in the open?
How about dragons? Dragons take up a lot of room and eat a ton of food. They reek havoc on your ecology. If you have mermaid in present day, how does water pollution affect them? Or commercial fishing?
Worldbuilding and creature creation can be a lot of fun. You can look up myths of the creatures and where they began. Pull from obscure references and make the creatures your own. You can try a new twist on them, or go very literal with how you see them. But one thing you want to do with all your creatures is make them fresh and new. The markets are flooded with Paranormal right now. But readers still love them!
What races do you have in your book? How do they differ from each other, or interact with each other? Are there resources unique to just one of the races? Is something one possesses deadly to another race?
About Rebekah Ganiere
Rebekah is an Award Winning Bestselling Author currently writing six series. Her trilogy The Society was released by Kensington in 2014 and her new series Shifter Rising is releasing in 2016 from Samhain Press. Her Fairytale Retelling series Fairelle is with Fallen Angel Press.
Rebekah is the President-Elect of the FF&P Chapter. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her teaching on SavvyAuthors.com or RWA. Rebekah cosplays with her kids and is a guest speaker and panelist at San Diego Comic Con, WonderCon and Salt Lake Comic Con and several other Comic Cons on the west coast as well as LTUE, RT, RWA, and AAD.