Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Creating Monsters:

No excellent fantasy is without its share of evil and monsters. There are so many magical creatures to choose from and any number of ways to change what one writer uses for good into evil, or vice versa. The short lists includes: elves, faeries, unicorns, dragons, goblins, and many more. I admit to being partial to some of these and using them as needed. But for a truly great monster I decided to create one, none other than the symberveen. I’ve shared a little with you already about the creatures. But how did I formulate the idea of a symberveen? And where did the name come from?

I knew I wanted a creature that posed a unique threat to my heroine, Missie. I considered what scared me? The greatest threat to mankind is a living, breathing, human who has power over others. We have met some of them in real life, those charismatic souls that use their God given talents to subdue and control others for their own purposes. We have seen them in our world’s history. (Hitler comes to mind.)

So I formulated a question. What if a charismatic and driven character has the power to control not only other humans, but monsters too? And if controlling the monster what kind of threat could that monster have besides murder and mayhem?

My villain uses mind control. He can actually reach into the minds of the symberveen and control them to do his bidding.

Then the other question that I asked was: What characteristics would the symberveen have that made them unique. For this I considered many legends and settled on Big Foot. According to some, Big Foot lives in small family units and in isolated locations. I had the base and now I needed to expand on it. I didn’t want them to look anything like Big Foot except that they are tall and fury. So the symberveen have bear-like faces and human like hands with claws.

Lastly I considered a name. It had to sound menacing. When I think of mind control, I think of anger, hostility, which to me translates into heat. That equals fire. You might say that someone experiencing another’s controlling personality would be simmering and ready to explode. Simmer then became symberveen. My logic may be chaotic to you, but it works for me.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

N. R. Williams


Peggy Frezon said...

Your villain name is perfect, just the right amount of mysteriousness and evilness. Way to go!

Monti said...

I love your logic and the way you explain this. Since I'm not a fan of fantasy, I don't know a lot about world building. However, a character based on "big foot" sounds fascinating.

Good luck,

BodieP said...

It was interesting to follow your reasoning in creating your monster's name. I noticed that you didn't want your creatures to be furry. Do you have a mind picture of them? And do you ever turn to art for inspiration?

Marian Allen said...

I'm wondering if you're going to do something with a symbereen who resists or resents the control over him/herself or a member of his/her family unit. Sounds like these critters wouldn't *have* to be evil without the mind control, which makes them even more interesting. Or are they naturally hostile to your main character's species, and your villain only directs that hostility? Interesting, as well.... Go, you!

Dani Greer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Helen said...

Sounds like you have an analytical approach to your world building. Thanks for sharing.

Dani, you made me laugh with your comment!

Straight From Hel

Anonymous said...

Charasmatic control over monsters! Boy-- bottle that guy!! LOL
Sylvia Dickey Smith

The Yard Bard said...

"Symberveen". I like it! Kinda rolls off the fangs... ;)


Charles Forgues said...

Thanks for sharing your thought processes. With very little adaptation, the technique could be used to develop a bad guy for a mystery/suspense.


N. R. Williams said...

Thank you all for your comments. Monster, I got it. One thing they share with Big Foot is that they are furry. I guess I'd better get more sleep to help with spelling issues.

Renwyk is one of those villains you are glad you've never met but can't resist the idea of interviewing him. Maybe I will.

Holly Jahangiri said...

What, it isn't monstre? Worldbuilding. Back in my day, that was just called "writing fiction." Seriously, this answers the inevitable question: "How on earth did you come up with the symberveen?" Not only writers, but readers, will be curious. Great blog!

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Holly.
It always amazes me when a learned scientist investigates humanities past history and makes a comment that we could not be that creative, there must have been some outside source influencing mankind. I believe the human race has always been creative.