July 30, 2014

Making Up Your Own Creature: a guest post and giveaway by Donna Galanti, author of "A Human Element" and "A Hidden Element"

Making Up Your Own Creature
by Donna Galanti

Creatures are everywhere in books. Vampires. Werewolves. Faeries. Goblins. BigFoot (some argue he is real and I’m leaning towards a yes on that). And then there are made up creatures we encounter with fantastical names. These are fun to create and encounter.

In A Human Element I created a creature-man, X-10, who was part human and part…something else (no spoilers here!). He grows up a science experiment unloved, enraged, and hideous to look at.

Where do you start when looking to develop a creature? Here are some basics to help you get started with ideas. And just for fun take a quiz to find out what kind of mythical creature you are! (I’m a vampire). Here also is a mythical creature guide to use as a reference if using known creatures in your writing.

And here’s a handy starting list to begin developing your creature: Name : Life Span : Weight : Height : Number of Young it can have : Diet : Origin : Enemies : Lives : Appearance : Abilities/Powers : Personality : Weaknesses

Features of my creature, X-10:
6 ft. 5 in. tall
Milky white translucent skin
Yellow eyes
Bulbous limbs
Flattened nose
Neanderthal forehead
Steam shovel mouth
Nail-less with pod like fingers and toes
Since he is only half-human I wanted to give him an unfinished, primitive appearance to him. Even more fun was to create his powers which he used to spread death and pain.

Excerpt of X-10’s features up close:
X-10's nostrils flared, widening his flattened nose further across his face, stretching from ear to ear. He breathed deep with his recent success and felt power surging through his massive, muscled body. His veins pulsed and throbbed pushing up through his milky white skin. The blue veins cut across his naked body, carving ropes across his translucent skin in a clumsy, child's drawing. He flexed his pod hands and feet congratulating himself on his victory.

Powers of X-10:
A seeker, can seek people out with his mind powers
In-human strength
Can kill with his “mind’s eye” from afar
Telepathy and telekinesis

Can a creature with such vile tendencies even be redeemed? That’s a question raised in A Human Element

Excerpt where X-10 uses his powers:
The woman squealed and laughed as Jimmy went back to his work. X-10 stepped toward the tent, standing right outside it. In one fluid movement, he reached his hand in and grabbed Jimmy by the neck. He pulled out the man, shrieking, with his pants dangled around his ankles. The woman screamed.

"Should have finished sooner, Jimmy." X-10 broke his neck in one snap with his hands and threw him in the brush.

The naked woman rushed to the door but X-10 shoved her back in. He bent down inside the tent. The woman stared at him and screamed at his gruesome figure. X-10 grinned at her and snapped her neck as he had done to Jimmy. He never knew her name. Too bad.

He left her there spread out and ripped the tent apart looking for food. He found none inside, but did locate their food bag hanging fifty feet away in a tree. He ripped it down and gorged on nuts, candy bars, crackers, and cheese. He washed it down with their water and looked at the mess he made.

He felt satiated now and full of energy, and so he mustered his powers to dig one deep grave. It needed to be wide enough to fit both of the lovers and their gear. He sat and moved his hands to work logs and rocks to dig. In a short time it was done. He placed the tent and their other belongings in first, and then draped them over it side by side.

"So the lovers can be together in death too." He laughed long and hard.

After dumping the bodies in the grave he covered them up and continued along the trail. It could take the authorities weeks to find their graves, if they ever did, across thousands of acres of national park.

"All in a night's work," X-10 quipped to himself and raced along the trail, a candescent monster dashing under the moon toward its prey.

Do you create your own creatures in your writing, gaming, or art? How do you go about developing a new creature or monster?

About A Human Element:

Evil comes in many forms…
One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.

Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together.

But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.

**Get your evil on with this re-release by Imajin Books! Newly edited, new scenes, new cover! Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element, releases 8/28!**

Praise for A Human Element:
“Be afraid. Be very afraid. And be utterly absorbed by this riveting debut that had me reading till the wee hours of the night. A thriller star is born.” –M.J. Rose, International bestselling author
“An elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart.  Highly recommended.” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author
“Lyrical and creepy, A Human Element tugs on our heartstrings and plucks the gut-strings of horror. This debut thriller author is a true storyteller, highly reminiscent of Dean Koontz.” –Dakota Banks, Award winning author

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element, A Hidden Element (August 2014), the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer.

Purchase A Human Element here: http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO

Rafflecopter A Human Element Release Giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. Gef, thanks so much for having me on today! I love creating characters from the dark side - and X-10 was super fun! I have new scenes in this new edition that may make the reader empathize with him more - but ultimately the question is whether he can be redeemed or not! Is he too vile or can love turn him around? Hmmm. I had even more fun creating a new villainous character in book 2, A Hidden Element, out 8/28!