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A Guide to Creating Fantasy Animals

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Sat May 31, 2014 6:43 pm
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OliveDreams says...

A Guide to Creating Fantasy Animals.

I find it astonishing that we all have the ability to create something completely brand new out of thin air. 

By using just a touch of imagination we can conjure up the unbelievable and one of my favourite things to discover in books, is when authors introduce fantasy animals!

So how do they do it?

I’ll give you a few tips and some examples from my all time favourite fantasy animal creators; Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell who wrote and illustrated The Edge Chronicles.

1. The Correct Tools For The Job.

You’re shiny, new animals needs the skills to be able to get the job done. Whether this be long journeys, hunting or hiding - you’re animal needs to have all the physical attributes to make them awesome at what they do.

Even if you’re ‘fresh from the page’ creature is blind, remember that his other senses need to be super heightened to get by. Long, slippery nose? Huge, bat like ears?

Camouflage can be played around with here. As can invisibility and hypnotisation! Ah - the possibilities are endless.

Example; The Wig-Wig


*shiver* These tiny, orange balls of fluff hunt in packs & devour every scrap of their meals. They portray themselves as cute and friendly creatures until they show their smile.

2. Making a House a Home

Remember that it needs to make some kind of sense why your animals lives where it lives. You wouldn’t really see a polar bear lying on a sun scorched beach etc.

Yes, it’s fantasy and yes, it’s supposed to be fun, new and creative but don’t blow our minds completely.

Example; The Dwarf Rotsucker


This winged, bat-like creature hunts in the tallest tree tops. Swooping down into the forest to spit a tar-like bile over it’s prey. Yum.

3. Mean Yet Cuddly

Want to make your reader’s heart melt? I would always go for the animal that no one in their right mind would think could be soppy mess...UNTIL they’re shown a little love and attention.

Kill them off in the end and you’ll really be breaking hearts all over the world. Loyalty can be such a huge emotion to play around with when it comes to animals.

Example; The Banderbear


Just look at that guy. Huge, powerful and with tusks that could take your eye out! But fix his bad toothache and he’s a friend for life.

4. Share The Prey Around


A gigantic hole a lot of us fall into, is making too many predators and not enough prey for our fantasy worlds to turn!

Yes, it’s much more exciting creating creatures with daggers for teeth & lethal poisonous tongues BUT...that monster gotta eat.

There. Needs. To. Be. A. Food. Chain.

Don’t forget to throw some tame, vulnerable fluffies in there.

Example; A Hammelhorn


Huge, shaggy, grazing animals that kind of lull about in the fields. Used for meat, fur and pulling heavy loads! Look at her though! Your boring, everyday animals can still be amazingly creative.

HAVE FUN! & I beg of you to check out The Edge Chronicles. You won't regret it fantasy lovers.
"There is a dead spot in the night, that coldest, blackest time when the world has forgotten evening and dawn is not yet a promise."

Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux (One must imagine Sisyphus happy).
— Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus