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What is your favorite magical creature and WHY?
Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:40 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

I just posted this question as a poll on the Book Country Facebook (facebook.com/BookCountry), but I wanted to start a proper discussion here about why fantasy writers select particular magical creatures (e.g., vampires, angels, fairies, etc.). If you are a fantasy writer who has dragons in your book, why did you go with dragons and not with, let's say, fairies? Is it a question of personal preference, or do certain creatures lend themselves to certain themes better? 

In other words, do the magical creatures you incorporate into your fiction serve a deeper literary purpose?
Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:40 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

Luna Watson
Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 11:03 AM
Joined: 2/8/2013
Posts: 14

I have a friend with gorgouse long dark brown that comes down to her waist and she has amazing green-blue eyes and she always wears glittery eye line so it just makes them pop and she has freckles EVERY WHERE. But she is absoultly beautiful. I used to tell her she was my mermaid. She just reminded me of a mermaid. Her hair her eyes her freckles are her cleaver disguise of her scales. Meaning it all as a joke I never really put much thought into it until one night she had called me up set over her family and other issues of a male fashion abdit all started to flow in. I haven't found very many fantasy romances based around mermaids aside from Disenys Little Mermaid. I thought it would be different and creative and possibliy intresting to write a fantasy romance of a Mermaid. I haven't started it affraid it would follow to closely along the lines of the Little Mermaid. It's a working thought

Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:11 AM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

That's a cool idea, Luna! Maybe checking out sources/books other than The Little Mermaid would help you come up with new and interesting ways to write about the undersea creatures. What do you have in mind? Do you want to write a young adult or an adult book?
Luna Watson
Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:06 AM
Joined: 2/8/2013
Posts: 14

    I'm going for adult book. I have a general out line for it but like I said it seems real close to sounding like the little mermaid. Running away from her underwater home to live like a "normal" human person.  The small fish village she comes across she automaticly falls in love with it and plans to settle her routes there. But her inraged mother/father (not sure as to which one yet) devistates her village with floods hurricans and fish famine in attempt to force her home. During on of these disasters she happens across a rough looking, ungreatul, but irresistably attractive man caught up in some kind of trouble that she can not just walk away from and forces her to use her water element gifts to help him out of his predicument. There would be an attraction they would both fight but will lose and give in to it and he finds himself feeling intitled to help her as she did him. 
    I've been toying with that out line for a little bit. Needs some work but I think I will take your advice and do some research and see if I can find anything else on mermaids and see if that can help get a more solid base. I do have a Paranormal romance book and the first story includes a mermaid in it but she is not the main character but a selkie was. 
    Thank for your help. I would really appreciate your feedback and any constructive criticism you can give me.
Perry Tercel
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 6:10 PM
Luna-do you have a time setting? I get a feeling for a modern-day type little mermaid saving the young man, from himself and his own destruction, and showing her father her own maturity. (suggestion only) I wouldn't be so concerned about repeating the little mermaid story as long as you have a fresh hook. (Think of how many different versions of Cinderella!!!) Anyway, I agree more focus should be on those fantasy characters that are, either, avoided or misunderstood.
Maya Starling
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:32 AM
Joined: 4/24/2013
Posts: 45

I have a dragon in my book. The reason I picked a dragon was because I think they're underestimated and mostly used either as a villain or meant for a chosen dragon rider.

I played with the old fairytale where the knight saves the maiden from the dragon and decided that the girl should get the dragon and prince be evil.

So, I think the dragon's are misunderstood, and need to be presented as more.

Oh.. I love pixies too! 

Perry Tercel
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 3:11 AM
Unicorns became the central characters in most of my books. Writing Bible-based books made me a bit concerned, but then I learned where the unicorn actually originated. The unicorn started as a (possible) mistranslated word from the ancient Hebrew. Then, I found it was used as a symbol of Christ during the middle ages.
I have always liked them, but I'd not thought of using them until I saw how they are always represented.
Most books -and movies- portray them as untouchable creatures of purity and light, but with little power. They are happy, carefree creatures, but totally mindless. As to their healing and other abilities- which have not been expounded on to any degree- I was disappointed with how they are 'tossed away' as My Little Ponies or unsuspecting nourishment for evil demonic witches. (I do not subscribe to those who would portray them as evil, immoral, or vicious monsters; howbeit, to each his own.)
My unicorns have chutzpah to the nth! power! My unicorns have minds, hearts, souls, and lives. My unicorns are completely traditional, too -what anyone would expect from a pure, undefiled, minister of the light- but I want people to live through them; to love with them; to battle; to cry; to win: To feel their purpose!
And when all is said and done.... I just have fun seeing where they take me to in their stories. Thank You!
C M Rosens
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 3:53 PM
Joined: 5/8/2013
Posts: 25

I have a twist on vampires - they are living, not undead, and drink blood to maintain health and age.

I also have fallen angels with limited powers, and a whole Faerie Realm so I can play about with every kind of faerie I can get my research-greedy hands on.

I do have dragons too, but they appear later on.

I also mess around with werewolves, and figured that because of the pack mentality and the fact they wouldn't be welcome elsewhere, they have their own territory/country. They also have their own shamans to assist with the Change... Yay. Shamans.

I'm basically in love with mythology! If I could find a way of putting in any and every kind of mythological creature, even as a throw-away reference, I will, can and do! ... But it doesn't always work... so then I have to take it out. Sad times.

Alexander Hollins
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 4:56 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

I do have a book "using" dragons, but in this case they are long dead. I used them because of the association of using parts of a dragon to make items of power, and the innate magical power of them. 
Toni Smalley
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:56 PM
Well, one of my big project is a fantasy trilogy about the descendants of the Tuatha De Dannan, a race of superior intelligence and ultimately arrogance. I've called them the Nyeena and they are fairies which exist in the Elida Realm parallel to the modern day human realm. Many of you fantasy nerds probably know then that the cute, little pink tutu glittery winged people are not the actual fairies from Irish folklore. So, my fairies look like normal people, who have developed powers of the mind created by the influence of the other realm to which they were driven by the Milesians, the ancestors of the humans.

I centered this series around them, because when I first visited Ireland, I fell in love and was enthralled by traveling storytellers warning me not to go out at night lest I be stolen by the trooping fairies or killed if I stomp on their precious little fairy rings. So, besides my intrigue on the subject, I wanted a superior race that the humans could hate and vice versa, but are forced to work with to secure their borders from the big bad, and it allowed me to incorporate a forbidden love subplot between a fairy and a human.

I like these fairies, because they are human in many ways, but aren't entirely human. It is fun to explore how these differences clash between the humans and Nyeena. It creates for great conflict and humor, because they loathe each other for varying reasons.

I do have sub-races of fairies that live within the shadows of the Nyeena, and I did this because short little leprechauns with bad attitudes and an overworked, stressed out Banshee are just plain funny.

I'm not big into dragons, and though dragons are super cool, I don't like centering a story around them, because I yearn for human connections and emotional depth in my stories, so that is why I choose fantastical beings I can instill human emotions within. Yes, I know, you can make a dragon talk, and have deep needy feelings, but you can't have a human and a dragon making babies. So, I suppose that is my criteria. If they can't procreate, I'm not much into it....omg, lol that sounds so weird.  
Luna Watson
Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 11:24 AM
Joined: 2/8/2013
Posts: 14

Perry, I do have a time line of just moderen day. But Resently there has been a documentary on animal plant (Yeah i know just bare with me) on proving the exsistance of mermaids. They have found some soild evdience that there is mermaids out there but there is a reason that they haven't been found. Obviously they are inteligent creatures. There is a theroy that mermaids are actually ansesters of the homospeimens that had lived near water and had evolved into what we call mermaids. I was so wrapped up in that documentary and my head is just realing with ideas!
Maya, I agree with you 100%. I think all creatures mythical and human have their good and evil. I don't believe one creature is meant for evil and one meant for good.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 11:24 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

Toni, you obviously don't read the same books I do!  I've seen countless fictions where dragons are shapeshifters and breed with humans (and others), as well as ones where they are just so darn magical that they can mystically breed with other creatures, holy spirit with mary style. 
Danielle Bowers
Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 12:00 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 280

I like fantasy creatures that are written with enough realism that they could plausibly exist.  Dragons that have habits like real animals...they don't like to fly in the rain, for example.  Or they won't leave a clutch of eggs until they hatch.  Unicorns that migrate like elk and can't survive without a certain protein in their diet.  Make me believe they exist. 

Toni Smalley
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 3:56 AM
@Alexander: Nope, I have not read any books like that, lol But, that is different, when a dragon is a shapeshifter and can become a human.

The immaculate conception? You might have me there. Sounds freaky though lol.

The only inbreeding I'm aware of is the dragon and donkey in Shrek.

Please, list some books, and I'll add them to my list. There are so many books, and so little time! 
Stacy B
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 3:23 AM
Joined: 6/12/2013
Posts: 3

I have always liked the mystic of a dragon.  I just posted a book where a little orphaned dragon is one of the main characters.  It serves no literary purpose.  It was just a lot of fun creating his character and watching him grow, not in size but in personality.
David Pearce
Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 5:24 PM
Joined: 4/7/2013
Posts: 26

I always enjoyed reading about shapeshifters.  Jim Butcher used the idea of a skinwalker as a villain in one of his books, taken from Native American mythos.  It worked really well because the main character, Harry Dresden, needed to stretch the limits of his abilities to overcome it. 

Other magical creatures that I enjoyed reading about were the Trollocs in Robert Jordan's novels.  After reading about goblins, orcs, and trolls for so long they grew kind of boring.  But a race of beings twisted from human beings into creatures with the features of certain animals?  It was a nice change.

And don't forget about demons.  They always bring a level of excitement to any book, particularly if they are given something more than brawn. 

Alexander Hollins
Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013 12:13 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

Well, D and D in general has it as a concept, there are several races that are basically the interbreeding of Dragons and hominids.  

The Eye In the Stone has a "dragon cat", dragons being described as spirits who like getting it on with animals and people. 

There's a few others with it, I'll have to dig through memory. 


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