How to Create Your Own Fantasy Creature

In the fantasy genre, we often come across all kinds of magical creatures. Probably the best example in literature that I’m aware of is the Harry Potter books, since there’re hundreds of fantastic beasts in that world. There’s so many of them, in fact, that I can’t name them all.

One thing I can do, however, is say that if you’re writing fantasy, one way to avoid being cliché is to avoid using only the generic fantastical creatures. Today, I’m going to discuss how to create creatures that are truly unique to your world. But before we get into that, we must first understand that there are two types of creatures: sentient and non-sentient.

Sentient creatures are easily more complex than non-sentient creatures. Sentient creatures likely have their own societies or tribes, and because of this, they are in some way going to have their own culture. For instance, Lord of the Rings has different cultures for each of its races. The elves tend to live in the woods and are more deeply tied to magic and things like that, while the dwarves are in their caves digging for gold or other riches. The point is, if you’re creating a fantasy race, you have to give them something that defines them. Also, make sure they have features that are unique from humans. If a humanoid creature has blue hair and red eyes, I’m going to assume they aren’t human.

Non-sentient creatures, on the other hand, are basically your big, bad monster. What you need to consider, however, is what are they most like in the real world? Do they live in the mountains or the water? How are they born? In my novel, I created a creature that is basically a shade-like dragon that is born when a necromancer revives the corpse of a dragon. In a nutshell, it is important to remember how the creature is born and how it behaves in order to fully comprehend everything about your fantasy critter.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2018

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Setting

In writing, one of the key elements to making a story great is determining where your story takes place. The location, the culture, and the people in that culture are key when figuring out what happens in your story.

The setting is, in a lot of ways, the most important thing in your story. In a lot of ways, it impacts your characters more than even the plot itself. Without setting, what is to determine how your characters feel about religion and politics? Setting can also define how the characters in question dress. Do they wear cloaks? A turban?

I say all of this because knowing where your story is set is an important thing for you to know even before you write the first word. If you’re setting your story in the real world, it’s key to figure out where. If it’s fantasy, do you have two parallel worlds set in the same place like Harry Potter, or do you have a single world set apart from our own like in Lord of the Rings? In both those cases, some world building is required, but in Harry Potter, some knowledge of the real world is also required.

When it comes to world building, you make everything up from the culture to the religion. But if you incorporate real world settings in the mix, research is mandatory.  The bottom line is that if you want a setting for your world, you need to know everything you can about that setting before you even type the first word.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

The Future of Kingslayer

As everyone has probably noticed, I’ve been juggling several ideas for books for awhile now. One thing that I will say is that I’ve been guilty of this thing called “Shiny New Idea Syndrome.” Basically, when I have a brand spanking new idea, I want to see where it takes me.

But nonetheless, I’ve mentioned on Twitter and on here that I’m working on an anthology with stories tied to my novel Kingslayer (the working title being The Kingslayer Anthology), as well as an epistolary novel that centers around the main villain’s first cousin, Vensyr D’Artanian. Both of these projects are things I still want to work on, but it should be noted that with how my brain works and operates, I have to jump from one project to another on a semi-regular basis.

Rest assured, both of these projects will be finished, though it’s unlikely they’ll be out before 2019. But just know that I am a very ambitious writer, which is part of the reason it takes so long; sometimes, I bite off way more than I can chew.

Now to expand on what the future of the “Kingslayer Universe” might look like. I’m done writing typical prose novels in that universe. That is to say, I’ve got two epistolary novels (not just one) that I’d like to see in print. Epistolary, meaning written in the form of letters, journal entries, and other written documents. I did say I was ambitious, didn’t I? To my knowledge, high fantasy and epistolary don’t typically mix. Well, I’ve chosen to try it, but not until I get my anthology out.

So this is what it’s going to look like. As you know, Kingslayer is already out. My next project that I’ll probably release is the anthology; then I’ll release my two epistolary novels (books that cover much of the same events from totally different perspectives) at the exact same time. At least, it’s my goal to do that.

We’ll see if this all turns out the way I hope it will. Just know that once all these books are out, the Kingslayer series will have four very different books.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Description for Non-Characters

In the real world, we see things. It could be anything: cars, houses, trees, the sun, the moon, birds in the sky, or dogs on the ground. For us writers, it is imperative to find a way to describe those things.

This is different than describing characters, since eye color/hair color and slightly less important features cannot be used to describe the thing. For example, a car is not a person. It has a color to its paint job, which is similar to eye/hair color, but it goes far deeper than that. What is the make and model of the car? What kind of tires are on the car? Are there dents on the frame?

You get what I’m saying? The point is, there are a lot of things to point out if you’re going to do your job properly. The most important thing to remember, however, is that there is a such thing as too much description. The car example may work if it’s from the POV of someone who knows about cars, but that same person may not be as savvy on the various sub-genres of fantasy fiction.

A book lover would know those things like the back of their hand, but a car salesman would go in and see books about magic, knights, wizards, and elves, while a book lover knows there’s a lot more to it than that.

In a nutshell, your POV character (or your narrator) will describe things to the reader as they know things. Always keep that in mind.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Brief Update

Before I begin, know that I’ll be posting a blog on some things I’ve learned so far this semester later on today. Now that that’s out of the way, let me update everyone on everything I’ve been working on lately.

No one knows this yet (except perhaps my mother), but I am currently drafting a prologue to better tie up all the plot threads in my first book, Kingslayer. The second thing I’d like to discuss is an anthology of flash fiction that I’m getting ready to write. That seems, as of now, to be the next thing I publish. Each story will be fantasy, in various different sub-genres (starting off with a short space fantasy with a grand idea).

At the moment, a sequel to Kingslayer is not possible. There’s a lot of reasons for this, I think, but the major reason is that I got burnt out from working on the same project for so long. Therefore, I’m moving to shorter fiction for awhile. I need a couple more books under my belt anyway, so short fiction seems to be the way to go. Anyway, that’s it for now.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Changes to Kingslayer, a novel by Napoleon Lovecraft

This is a brief update for my novel Kingslayer. As discussed in past blogs and tweets, I have created bonus content for the readers (a flash fiction narrative and one appendix), to expand more on things that are going on in the text that you don’t see due to the first person narrative.

I have also created a new cover that I think looks more professional. I’ll be republishing the book with new content and a new cover within the week.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017

Something I’ve Learned In College

It’s time for a confession. I’m not a fan of creative writing programs in college, unless you’re just looking for a piece of paper to help you make some extra green. The truth is, I haven’t exactly kept any of this a secret while I’ve been using this blog. However, I’ve discovered something useful when it comes to playwriting and screenwriting classes.

They help me outline fiction.

Some may not think this is possible but it is. Currently, I’m taking a playwriting class, and my professor has provided his students with an outline of how the play works and all that jazz. There are three parts to a play (a beginning, middle, and end), and between each part there is some kind of transition between them. This has helped me transition my stories from brief idea that can be summed up on three pages, to a 30-page outline using the beginning-middle-end format for each scene, to a script format to get all the dialogue down with brief description ideas, to a fully-written novel.

I think the evolution between brief idea to full novel speaks for itself. Needless to say, I’m incorporating this into my process, and am attempting to use it to plan a sequel for Kingslayer as well as planning an anthology for shorter fantasy fiction. This plan seems to be working out pretty well so far.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to reblog and follow. See you guys next time.

–N.L., 2017