Creating Creatures with Balance

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Penguin chicksFine tuning with world building takes time, and although not everything needs to be perfect there are a few things that need to fit in. I am talking about the unusual creatures that will inhabit the fictional fantasy world. After all, these creatures no matter how big do not stand alone. They need to eat and in turn something needs to eat them. This may not be discussed during the story but it helps if the writer knows this. Then if you happen to create dragons, you will know what they eat and what they need to avoid.

Is Your Creature Too Big and Scary?

Sometimes the largest creature can be brought down by the smallest, so it is worth thinking about. No beast is invincible, and this applies to fantasy as well. A creature may give the appearance of being difficult to destroy but underneath all that there should be a weakness. Something it fears and needs to run from. Because in a world that has developed over time there will be something else that has developed to devour it.

Eat, Sleep, and Grow

These are three simple thoughts that need an answer when creating a beast to fit into your fantasy world. Does your creature rest or does it need plenty of sleep? How often does it eat and how much? How fast or slow does it grow? Is it more vulnerable as an infant or juvenile? I love creating a world with dragons that have a strange sense of humour, and prefer to live in colonies to protect their young. In this world there are also giant millipedes, and enormous crabs that live in the dirt. As well as giant cats who eat dragons and others yet to be discovered.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

One thing I love about writing fantasy is being able to have fun, and creating creatures provides a fantastic outlet for that. Let your imagination run, and then work out where it will fit in. This will not take much time but it will add to the story. It will help provide an established background in which creatures have developed over time. Rather than having the sense of ‘just arrived’ with the added feeling of awkwardness. Creatures can add a great deal of depth to a story so have fun.