Creation of an Original Monster for a Book: Rules to Follow
How to Come Up with an Unusual Monster for Your Book that You Wouldn’t Be Ashamed of
In the context of a modern globalized society, rethinking the moral and aesthetic principles of life and values, there is a growing interest in everything “non-standard”, “veiled”, “whimsical”, and “terrible”. So, speculative fiction is now very popular among readers. Its main goal is to entertain the reader. The means of this genre is the feeling of fear. Through it, the authors manage to get the necessary response from readers.
Distinctive Features of Speculative Fiction
Like any other genre, speculative fiction has its own distinctive features that distinguish it from other literary trends. Among them are:
- The desire to evoke a sense of fear in the reader, which can be achieved in various ways. These include unexpected plot twists, the general oppressive atmosphere of the work, a description of psychological disorders or physical injuries, etc.;
- In speculative fiction, the authors present scenes of the struggle between good and evil. However, if in other genres this confrontation can be presented rather vaguely, then here it is well traced and sometimes reaches hyperbolization;
- Use of vocabulary that is intended to intimidate the reader. This effect can be achieved by using vocabulary with a negative connotation, appropriate adjectives, onomatopoeia, repetitions that cause a feeling of anxiety, etc.;
- The presence of an archetype or storylines on which the fright effect is built.
Monster as an Integral Part of Speculative Fiction
Most horror stories tell about the struggle with terrible monsters, without even exposing them as the main source of fear. A scary monster in speculative fiction is rarely the main character. But its presence in every work of this genre is almost mandatory.
Examples of the Use of Unusual Monsters in Fiction
As practice shows, monsters can be used not only in speculative fiction but also in many other types of fiction. Here are some of the most interesting examples:
- Giant squid (“20000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne). Captain Nemo’s submarine “Nautilus” in Jules Verne’s novel was equipped with the most advanced equipment. But when the submarine was in the tentacles of a giant squid monster, the crew fought him hand-to-hand (with axes, knives, and harpoons);
- Dancing clown Pennywise (“It” by Stephen King). The famous clown Pennywise, nicknamed “It”, was created by Stephen King. “It” has existed on Earth for millions of years, coming from the void that surrounds the universe. “It” took the form of whatever it wanted to intimidate people;
- Balrog (“The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien). Balrog is a gigantic demon that can wrap itself in unquenchable flames and darkness. He is armed with a flaming sword. He has steel claws and huge wings of darkness. The creature is very strong and intimidating.
9 Aspects Allowing Authors to Create Unusual Monsters
If you want to create a monster for your book, you probably need to know what allows authors to create unusual creatures:
- “How should I feel about this monster?” The fascination with monsters is of course not a mandatory aspect, but it’s great if the author likes to create monsters and admires inhuman, alien non-canon beauty. This allows creating original creatures not similar to any previously known;
- Realisticness. The monster should look realistic, be perceived as alive and real. This can only be achieved if the author takes the monster being created seriously and gives him an important role in a book. High realism can be achieved by working out the anatomy, movements of the creature, detailing its appearance;
- Seeing the world through the eyes of a monster. The author must understand the monster like no one else. The author must understand what motivates the monster to achieve the goal, so as not to lose the logic of actions;
- The appearance of a monster. To create a truly intimidating monster, it is necessary to understand what scares any person at the level of instincts. These are mutilated human bodies, congenital deformities, insects, parasites, serious illnesses, etc.;
- Monster behavior. It is important to think over the behavior of the monster in detail. If he roars, then of course it will be scary, but this may not be enough. It is necessary to determine the specifics of his behavior with other characters;
- Hidden but at the same time important character trait of the monster. To show the monster from the opposite side, it is important to demonstrate its positive quality. This, for example, may be caring for a cub. According to experienced authors, this allows diversifying the plot and drawing the attention of readers to the story;
- Communication opportunities. The author can give the monster the ability to communicate, or a certain set of gestures;
- Presentation style. When creating a monster scary, it is important to decide in advance on the style of presentation of the work. This will determine from which person to write the book and what literary means to use;
- Originality. It is recommended not to forget about originality. The good monster should not look like predecessors and have several distinctive features.
Where to Get Inspiration to Create a Monster: Valuable Tips
If you want to create an unusual monster for your book, then keep in mind that inspiration can be found anywhere, even where you do not expect to receive it. These are news headlines, books, TV shows, movies, our own life experiences, people’s primary fears, our own phobias, mythology, and so on. Ideas can come unexpectedly. It is important not to miss but to develop them before transferring to paper.
So, now you know where to get interesting ideas, how to make a monster, and what rules to follow. Put the tips you’ve learned into practice and surprise your readers with the monster you’ve created!
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The Horror Tree is a resource for horror authors which was created in 2011. The main goal when starting the site was to include all of the latest horror anthologies and publishers that are taking paying submissions. A resource useful for both new and experienced publishers alike looking for an outlet for their written material!