dragon anatomy and text

Beasts in Fiction

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A beast takes many forms, as anything from a dragon to an endless job. Writing may feel like a beast, but only because, like Belle, we have yet to find the love interest behind the beast.

Beasts in Fiction – Creatures

I absolutely love fantasy, especially when it comes to magical creatures. Growing up I would collect and study books about creatures and fairies. One of the creatures that I have created are wood elves, similar to Tolkien type elves, but building off of a the interesting habit of “knocking on wood”.

You can create your own creatures by combining any two, think of mermaids, centaurs, griffins, etc. Intensifying a regular creature such as giving it a magic power. Superheroes, wizards/witches, sphinx, unicorns, to name a few. And, of course, you can go crazy with whatever you dream up solely from your imagination.

A few things to keep in mind, however, is that a creature should be just like any character, with strengths as well as weaknesses. If dragons have no predators, they should have a very long gestation period. Otherwise, they would completely wipe out any other species. Creatures need to be a part of an ecosystem, with a give and take relationship with where they live.

Beasts in Writing – Tasks

Writing a novel is a lofty goal. Writing anything can be a large undertaking if you want to do it well. The key to get past the monstrous task is to break it into smaller tasks through developing the story. The irony is that you have to take a small idea from a much bigger one, then it’s a lot easier to understand and write the story. You can’t eat an elephant in one bite, you have to eat it one bite at a time.

Every writer I have met has some aspect of writing that they do not enjoy. Some hate editing or revising, others dread the beginning, some even hate the actual writing. However, there are other aspects that make up for the disliked ones. Perhaps developing and worldbuilding are what makes it worth it, maybe you love explorative writing or perfecting with revisions and edits. The best part about writing is that there is no one way to do it. You can plot and develop and plan till the story is basically already written. Or you can do explorative writing through three or more drafts before you stop to brainstorm the plot holes.

Always learn to find the strengths that balance out the weaknesses in any difficult project.

Beasts in Ourselves – Habits

In college, my roommates decided that my spirit animal is a fox. I tend to be really quiet and out of the limelight. But I also have a very mischievous side which has gotten me into trouble a few times. Another of my internal beasts is a sloth. I have no problem taking a nap after a full night of sleep. And I tend to be slow at progress because I’m afraid of the possibilities of completion.

Strengths and weaknesses exist in both of my “inner beasts”. The habits that I employ are what I feel comfortable with, but don’t necessarily help me in any way. The continuous battle is to pit my strengths against my weaknesses and work to ensure that the strengths win.

Every creature and individual is unique and incredible, whether the creatures seems to be a monster or not. Learn more about the beast in you or in your fiction and work to bring out the best of it!

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