Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Invent your own mythological creature!

Road Trip Wednesday! I haven't participated in one of these "Blog Carnivals" yet, so I decided what a perfect induction this prompt would be (look at title of post *points up*). Anyway, I enjoy reading the posts on YA Highway, so here's my first contribution!

Thankfully, as an individual who has a rather active imagination (so active that at times I can't tell the difference between my dreams and real life), I've already given the topic of mythological creatures a great deal of thought.

In general, I would have to say that my favorite creatures of mythology come from Narnia. Because who doesn't love a faun or a cute little minotaur child? They're just so darlin'.

Creating my own is a centaur-of-another-color however. How does one go about creating a creature that NO ONE has ever thought about before?
Here are my steps in creating mythological creatures that are actually plausible:

1) List some of the well-known ones and their attributes. It helps to know what already exists, so you can eliminate those possibilities.
Ex: (to remain consistent) Minotaur - half bull, half man, likes to charge at stuff, super strong, often given a bad rep

2) List some of your favorite animals, since most mythical creatures are some combo of human/animal or animal/animal.
Ex: wolf, horse, turkey

3) List some of your least favorite animals.
Ex: squirrel, cockroach, jack/rat terrier named Belle

4) Decide if you want your creature to be a villain or a hero. Me? I like both, but for the purposes of this post I'm going to go with villain.

5) Make monster!

What should result from this little exercise is a creature of such horror inducing proportions that as soon as you see the picture I drew, you will faint or scream like a Bieber fan confronted with Bieber's new 'do.

And without further ado, I give you...
The Jack Rat-tler! Otherwise known as the Canis cum libra, which means something like "dog with scales."

I know. Fearsome isn't it? Jack Rat-tlers are quite common in regions where there are many squirrels and tiny children to harass. These lesser known creatures of myth like to sneak around houses in the dead of night and leave little "presents" for the owners to find in the morning.

Some of the species can be tamed and have been found to be useful for guarding purposes, but even when tame, the Jack Rat-tlers can turn on their masters at the smallest sign of weakness.The ancient peoples of North America used Jack Rat-tlers in their manhood ceremonies back in the time before time.

These days, Jack Rat-tlers are in decline and have been hunted to near extinction. Although, as you can see, I managed to sketch this one while Belle was contemplating whether or not my refusal to scratch her scaly belly was an insult punishable by force.

It is for these reasons that Jack Rat-tlers are not very well-liked, particularly by those wishing to keep their homes clean and their neighbors happy. If you ever find yourself confronted with a Jack Rat-tler obstacle, this girl advises you to retreat slowly without making any sudden movements. They are liable to strike when provoked or they perceive provocation.

Well, now that you've met the Jack Rat-tler, go create your own mythological creatures!
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  1. I love it! And, yeah, that's not a creature I'd like to cross. Just look at her eyes! I love how you came up with that. Please use that in an actual story!

  2. Haha, I know! That's a great idea, thanks! I've always had nightmares about snakelike dogs, so it wasn't hard to come up with the concept. Although I did have some difficulty getting my scanner to play nice...

  3. Love the title of your blog. :)

    Your creature is oddly adorable with his little rattling tail, and your process for creating him rocks. Something to refer back to if I'm ever in need of an original mythical beast.

  4. Dog with scales! Too awesome! I love that you gave it a name and all. Welcome to Road Trip Wednesday!

  5. Wow! I am kind of hung up on the turkey-roach combination. it skitters! it clucks!

  6. Your creature looks both awesome and terrifying. Great drawing, too!

  7. This is great. I love that you included a drawing.


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