Mythical Creatures and What to Keep in Mind when Writing One

If you write fantasy, you may include one or more mythical creatures in your story. If you do, here are some things to keep in mind when writing these creatures.


The top half of a centaur is a human, and the bottom half, from waist down, is a horse. Depending on what you read, centaurs are either primal and mischievous beings, or intelligent and haughty beings. Regardless, they are usually displayed as a proud race of excellent archers and, or course, runners.
Here are some things to keep in mind when writing a centaur:

  • Where are the organs?


These are female spirits that wail loudly before someone dies and are often seen as harbingers of death. Think of these questions when writing about banshees:

  • What does their society look like? Is there a leader? What rules must they all live by?


Dwarves are short, strong-bodied creatures who live underground and often love mining gold. They are often weapon and armor smiths who create wondrous weapons and armor. Many believe, though, that dwarves have been overused and overwritten, so it may be best to steer clear of dwarves if possible.

If you do include dwarves in your story, keep these questions in mind:

  • Where do they live?


Selkies are shapeshifters that live as seals in the water and as humans on the land. When selkies shift into humans, they shed their seal skin. When they want to return to the sea, they put on their seal skin and cannot become human again for a period of time (seven years is common), or they never become human again because the call of the sea is stronger.

Here are some things to keep in mind when writing a selkie:

  • What do their underwater communities look like?


Griffins have a lion’s body and an eagle’s head and wings. In myth, griffins guard treasures and scare away thieves.

Keep these questions in mind when writing 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?


Fauns have the legs, feet, tail, and horns of a goat. They are well known for their amorous advances toward women and are usually displayed as playful, festive, and impulsive.

  • What language do they speak?

More Mythological Creatures

Here are some more mythological creatures to get your imagination going. What kind of considerations would you need to keep in mind when writing one of these?

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Originally published at on January 21, 2021.