Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Creating Creatures

This morning we're turning My Pet Blog over to the talented hands of author and blogger Cherie Reich as part of her Reborn blog tour.

Take it away, Cherie!




Creating Creatures

Finding the creatures to populate your magical world isn’t easy. Do you go with the stables of fantasy literature, do you find the obscure mythological creatures, or do you create your own? 

For Reborn, I did all three.

We have our more well-known creatures. These are ones that are easily recognizable to most people. We can find ways to twist what they are, but saying their name still conjures an image of what you’re talking about.


Dragons

On the horizon, two gigantic winged serpents came into view and flew over the field. They dropped heavy boulders upon our warriors. 

"What are those things?" I'd only seen them in my most horrific visions.

"Dragons."


Centaurs

At nearly eight feet tall, this creature towered over us. His reddish-brown hair—from this long hair on top of his head to his horse-like lower body—gleamed in the afternoon's sunlight. His tail swished casually. The early  spring air still held a slight chill to it, but he didn't seem to notice, despite his human-like torso being as unclothed as his horse-half. Did centaurs even wear clothes? He held a bow in his hand, a quiver full of arrows strapped to his back.


Our lesser known creatures. For these, we need to go into a little more detail. Perhaps we can even give them a unique backstory for how they are created or modify the original one from old myths.


Perytons

As we drew closer to the mouth of the river, the perytons' greenish-blue feathers sparkled like gemstones in the sunlight. One creature swooped closer. I gasped at their deer-like yet winged bodies. A man-shaped silhouette kissed the cliffs.

Karshiptas

Our karshipta, a talking falcon-like bird, could deliver messages.

Woodwoses

They shifted through the shadows. I had read about them, but the writers hadn't given a description. Woodwoes had helped Amora in the past, so perhaps they wouldn't hurt us. Of course, my head injury gave me pause. I squinted into the dark. Some of the woodwoses wore clothes like Sylvie. Other had a cluster of woven leaves from the waist to thighs. The attire reminded me of odd short pants. Were those woodwoses male? Beyond their wardrobe, it was hard to tell. They all had beards!

And sometimes we have to create our own creatures. We can pull them from myths and legends or transform something from our mind to create something that is a little more unique to our stories.

Mephinas

A strange creature with a woman's body and two heads—one male and one female—entered. I blinked and leaned forward in my chair. Although I knew of mephinas, I hadn't seen one before. According to legend, the winged god Mephets and love goddess Inashara created the mephinas when they joined together. The gods and Royals used the sacred mephinas as messengers. Their heads spoke in unison, "Presenting Prince Vespar and his contingent from the City of Apentha."

What kind of fantasy creatures do you like? Have you created a new creature before?



To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.


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About The Author:

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.

34 comments:

  1. Some amazing creatures you've used for you story. The Mephinas one could create some interesting scenarios.

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    1. Thank you, Alex! And the mephinas would be interesting to explore further at some point. I might have to see where I can work them in more. :)

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  2. I've never heard of woodwoes. I'm going to go look them up now.

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    1. Woodwoses are interesting creatures. I was excited when I found out about them through my mythology research.

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  3. Fun! I love dragons, of course. But I think it would be fun to write a fantasy novel with completely new creatures.

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    1. I think it would be fun to write a fantasy with completely new creatures too, although it'd be very challenging too.

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  4. The Mephinas are so interesting and as usual I'm so impressed with your creativity. And you also had me at dragons. :D

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  5. Thank you so much for hosting me during my blog tour, M.J.!

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    1. You're welcome. Come back any time!

      Oh, and unicorns, pegasus, and dragons are my favorites. =)

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  6. One of my favourite aspects of Reborn was the variety of fantastical creatures in the world. I love that you used both real mythological creatures and your own creations!

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    1. Thank you, Emma! Figuring out which creatures to use was a lot of fun.

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  7. Very interesting creatures! I've created a few new creatures on my world. There are traditional fantasy creatures on my world, they just haven't appeared yet. :)

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    1. It's fun to create new creatures, Loni, as well as use traditional ones too. :)

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  8. I'm a big fan of dragons. I also enjoy phoenixes. I don't think there's a fantasy creature I don't like in certain contexts.

    Sounds like a great book.

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    1. Me too, Liz! I love fantasy creatures of all kinds!

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  9. Cherie creates wonderful creatures. I really enjoyed them all. The woodwoses were my favorites. They were so odd. Odd can be so transporting.

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    1. Aww, thank you, Mary! The woodwoses are definitely odd creatures. I enjoyed writing them.

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  10. Man, fantasy writers get to have so much fun!! I love the combination of well-known, little-known, and invented creatures. Congratulations, Cherie!

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    1. We do get to have a lot of fun. Thanks, Liz!

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  11. I love the fact you created some brand new creatures.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia! It was a lot of fun figuring them out.

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  12. I've never created a creature before. That has to be challenging!

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    1. It wasn't too easy, especially coming up with the name of it and how it would work.

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  13. Dragons, griffons and centaurs are my favorites.

    Haven't really invented anything new for my stories, but it sounds fun. :-)

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    1. And I have all three in The Fate Challenges. *grins*

      It was fun, Misha, although it helped using an old myth to modify how I wanted the creatures to be. So I wasn't starting completely from scratch.

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  14. Reborn is really good! That was random, but it's true.

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  15. i love these creatures - dragons and centaurs are classic faves, but the others sound very cool and your descriptions really paint a picture!

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    1. Thank you, Tara! It was fun finding lesser known creatures to incorporate in my work.

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  16. How cool that you included such a wide variety of creatures in Reborn, Cherie! I'm very impressed that you managed to make some up, too. I can only imagine how tricky it would be to do that!

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    1. It helped having a base of a myth that I wanted to use to create the creature I did, Heather. I'd like to create more creatures in future fantasies, although it's fun to play with the more well-known and lesser-known ones too.

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  17. Great thoughts, Cherie.

    MJ! I just saw the announcement for your debut, and I'm about as stoked as they come, woman. Yay!!!! (I totally need to have you over for a Writerly Wednesday.)

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