Tag Archives: Creatures
Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Like Should Pull You In, Chew You Up and Metaphorically Beat You to a Pulp Before it Spits You Out, Ready for the Next Ride
I just completed my fifth novel, “Dalon Con.” (The Essence of Time). This was a spin off of a character that appeared for a page or two in an earlier novel, “Eden’s Wake.” It is, also, my first adventure into the world of time travel. Now that “Dalon Con” has been sent to the editor, until the first round of editing is complete, I feel it is my job to begin the next novel that will join the ranks of my arsenal. My first problem with this plan of attack is finding sustainable subject matter so that readers maintain an interest from the first page to the last.
In actuality, this is easier than it sounds. It can be a simple process if you will not over complicate your search and just pay attention to your natural surroundings. For instance, how about a duck-billed platypus? If you take a platypus, reshape his bill, add fangs,and lengthen his legs, you can make this new creation take to the air by adding a pair of wings. A few more exotic changes like this along with well-known creatures or humans and you’ll have an excellent start to your sci-fi, fantasy, or action adventure manuscript. Don’t discount the simplicity that resides around you, it may become the fodder for your next tale, be it a short story or a series of full length novels.
Imagine comparing different trades to the world of writing. I, myself, was a carpenter beginning in my late teens, building houses and then moving to commercial construction. From there, I became a superintendent building everything from small businesses to office complexes. Never having considered this before, I can now see the similarities between constructing a building and a novel. First, a plan or a plot is necessary to begin both. Secondly, a carefully thought out process of constructing a solid foundation whether brick or paper is mandatory. This is true throughout the entire building progression until complete.
Of course, there are extenuating circumstances in both endeavors. Construction is wrought with change orders, as writing is wrought with changes of a different nature.
Working on government jobs, strict standards, including safety, must be adhered to. I was an easy person to work under until procedures I was responsible for were ignored. Depending on the day, after an offender had been warned previously, my demeanor was unpredictable. It could surface anywhere between a stern alert to threatening to remove the person from not only my job, but the face of the earth if they couldn’t follow my request. (All done in a sweet, calm, soothing voice, of course.)
In the construction of a novel, more liberties can be taken throughout its building process. For instance, a carefully constructed building maybe smashed to smithereens by a two hundred foot tall, furry, scaly, fanged creature with bad breath and heartburn. These two symptoms (brought on by an overabundance of ingested human body parts) caused such a nasty rampage.
Remember, my yelling at an uncooperative employee? This might have just as well ended in a similar fashion as the people munching creature (even though cannibalism is not a regular part of my diet.)
How about a writer verses a flight attendant? (Even though this is not actually a trade, it bears mentioning.) Flight attendants take a lot of flak from unhappy travelers-everything from terrorists to screaming babies and intoxicated knot heads. Either the coffee is too hot or the water isn’t cold. So and so won’t come out of the bathroom and such and such reclined their seat too far. I don’t like chicken. Why isn’t there a movie on this flight? I don’t have a magazine. BoBo can climb on the wing, why can’t I? It goes on and on and on and on. I’m surprised when the phrase “going postal” was coined it wasn’t instead “going attendant.”
This, again, is a suitable comparison to the writing world. Authors take a lot of flak when they’re not handing it out in their writing. I’ve been transported to the mountain top with a stellar review, only to be shredded into small strips of hamburger by another reviewer.
Within my novels I’m constantly looking for different creatures to create and at the same time unique ways to destroy my creations.
So you see writing does pair up with other trades and occupations. Now that I’ve written this I feel as though I’ve done a great service for the working community. Exactly what this service may be I have yet to establish, but it must be pretty important because I wrote it.
Hopefully by next week I’ll have it all figured out. If not, it’ll be another one for the ages.
I sat at my kitchen table peering blankly through the bay window as I had done countless mornings before. I yawned and took a sip of hot tea. “Mmm,” I said. Just the way I like it, Sweet with lots of lemon.I continued to drink attempting to chase the fog from my head compliments of the previous night’s sleep.
As I neared the end of my tea, I yawned one final time and then noticed something on my deck I hadn’t seen before, a strange pair of eyes staring at me. Its features were subtle, almost lucid and seemed to be pressed into its vibrant green, irregularly shaped paper-thin head.
I could see that its face, along with its now appearing spindly form, was caged but I could sense not of its own volition. It bore no animosity toward me for its imprisonment as far as I could tell but that could always change as I would soon find out.
The creature’s torso and limbs were a deep green, vine-like, with four slender fingers, each hand devoid of thumbs. There were no feet to speak of, the ends of the legs simply curling upward forming a spiral.
It wrapped both hands around its right leg and pulled. The extremity popped loose as if it had been rooted in some fashion. Repeating the process with the left leg, it easily slipped through bars that were proportionally useless in comparison being spread much too wide to contain the small being.
It began to make its way toward the window dragging its legs as if injured. With each step the small green creature became stronger. When it reached the window, it easily pulled itself up onto the window sill and peered inside.
Extending a single digit with a small green fingernail it first tapped the window and then, grinning widely, dug the nail deep into the glass. A sound similar to that of nails on a chalk board, only more unnerving, emanated from the ever-growing gouge.
The now dubbed, “Cutter,” extracted his finger and examined it carefully. Turning its attention toward me it let out a guttural cackle, furrowed the ridges above his eyes, which I took to be eyebrows, and began to furiously claw into the glass with all eight fingers.
Within seconds he was through the first pane of the double glazed sash and digging into the next. Shards of glass began to drop, bouncing off the kitchen floor as the Cutter pushed one arm into the room.
As the second-hand followed the first, a black blur slammed into the glass landing on the Cutter and snatching him away before he could wriggle through the opening he had created only moments before.
The crow pushed away and began to rise. Just as he cleared the railing, one of its legs fell from its body, trailing a small stream of blood. Then without warning, the crow disappeared in an explosion of black and crimson.
Out of the deluge, a small green figure floated slowly down, landing in the back yard. I could see the grass rustle as the Cutter made his way back to the house. It hopped onto the deck railing then down to the deck. It laughed maniacally as it slowly walked, stopping to observe the small pieces of glass still trickling from the open gash.
It pulled its body through, climbed onto the kitchen table, pausing for a split second and then lunged for my head.
I jerked back in anticipation of the strike, rousing myself from my daydream, or daymare, if there is such a word. I looked at the window and seeing there was no hole, I turned my attention to the terracotta pot on the back deck.
In the pot a basilplant, surrounded by a vegetable
cage used to support it as it grew, displayed a leaf that appeared to have a face imbedded on its surface. It seemed to smile as it swayed softly in the light breeze.
Wow! Just goes to show that a story can grow-up anywhere and at any time.