Mythical Creatures and What to Keep in Mind when Writing One

Centaurs

  • Where are the organs?
  • What do they eat? And how does that affect what their teeth and digestive system are like? If they eat meat, do they cook their food?
  • How long is the gestation period for centaur babies?
  • Where do they live? Do they build houses?
  • What are their natural predators?
  • Are they a lawless society, or one with rules and regulations?
  • Centaurs are often depicted without clothing. Do yours wear clothing or not? What are their views on modesty? If they don’t wear clothing, are there other ways they view modesty?
  • What do they think of humans and any other races in your book?
  • Under what circumstances would they allow slower, smaller races to ride on their backs?

Banshees

  • What does their society look like? Is there a leader? What rules must they all live by?
  • Do they live forever? How can they die?
  • How are banshees created?
  • Are there actually male banshees?
  • Can banshees be seen by humans?

Dwarves

  • Where do they live?
  • How is their society organized (clans and kings are common; can you organize it differently)?
  • What do they eat?
  • How long do they live (they are usually more long-lived)?
  • Do they interact with humans?
  • Do they have special abilities or magic (dwarves are often portrayed as leery of magic but they don’t have to be)?
  • Are they a goodly race or an evil race? How is your character different from the what is known in general about their race?
  • Are they good smiths or do they create and sell cheap weapons for gold?
  • What do the females look like? Are they fighters, home keepers, miners, smiths? A mix?
  • What do they eat? Does your character like to cook?
  • How are your dwarves different from the stereotypical dwarf?

Selkies

  • What do their underwater communities look like?
  • Why would they become a human? Is is a rite of passage? Something they do for fun?
  • Do they hear the sea calling to them when they are human?
  • Can they fall in love with a human?
  • Can they choose to stay on land, or are they compelled to return to the sea?
  • Do they have to wait a length of time before they are able to shed their seal skin and become human a second time?
  • What is their temperament as a people? Peaceful? Beguilers? Victims?

Griffins

  • Are your griffins sentient or more like animals? If they are more like animals, who commands them? Or are they like pets that can be trained?
  • Can they speak?
  • How long do they live?
  • Are there griffin riders?
  • Do griffins have family units? Are babies born like mammals, or like birds (in an egg)?
  • What is their temperament like?
  • Do they have magic or abilities?
  • What do they eat?

Fauns

  • What language do they speak?
  • Are all of them hedonistic, or are groups of them more altruistic or refined?
  • Do any of them work?
  • How do they provide for themselves?
  • What do the females look like, and how are they different from the males?
  • How do other races view them?
  • Do they have any special abilities?

More Mythological Creatures

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