Ok. I’m tired of the typical vampire, werewolf and fairy.I’m also tired of the occidental-centrism in mythology. Hence, this list.
I tried to included as many cultural variants as I could find and think of. (Unfortunately, I was restricted by language. Some Russian creatures looked very interesting but I don’t speak Russian…) Please, add creatures from your culture when reblogguing (if not already present). It took me a while to gather all those sites but I know it could be more expansive. I intend on periodically editing this list.
Of note: I did not include specific legendary creatures (Merlin, Pegasus, ect), gods/goddesses/deities and heroes.
The Ancient Dragon (Egypt, Babylon and Sumer)
Of the Cockatrice (creature with the body of a dragon)
Alphabetical List of Dragons Across Myths (Great way to start)
- Little creatures (without wings)
- Creatures with wings (except dragons)
Bendith Y Mamau (Welsh fairies)
Peri (Persian fairies)
Yü Nü (Chinese fairies)
Garuda (Bird-like creature in Hindu and Buddhist myths)
Bean Nighe (a Scottish fairy; the equivalent of a banshee in Celtic mythology)
- Spirited Creatures
Jinn (Genies in Arabic folklore)
Oni (demons in Japanese folklore)
Demons in the Americas (list)
European Demons (list)
Middle-East and Asia Demons (list)
Judeo-Christian Demons (list)
Mahaha (a demon in Inuit mythology)
Flying Head (a demon in Iroquois mythology)
Toyol (a dead baby ghost in Malay folklore)
Yuki-onna (a ghost in Japanese folklore)
The Pontianak (a ghost in Malay mythology)
Funayurei (a ghost in Japanese folklore)
Zagaz (ghosts in Moroccan folklore)
- Horse-like mythical creatures
The Kelpie (Could have also fitted in the sea creatures category)
Hippocamps (sea horses in Greek mythology)
Horse-like creatures (a list)
Ceffyl Dwfr (fairy-like water horse creatures in Cymric mythology)
- Undead creatures
Asanbosam and Sasabonsam (Vampires from West Africa)
- Shape-shifters and half-human creatures (except mermaids)
Satyrs (half-man, half-goat)
Sirens in Greek Mythology (half-woman and half-bird creatures)
The Kumiho (half fox and half woman creatures)
Scorpion Men (warriors from Babylonian mythology)
Domovoi (a shape-shifter in Russian folklore)
Aatxe (Basque mythology; red bull that can shift in a human)
Yech (Native American folklore)
Ijiraat (shapeshifters in Inuit mythology)
- Sea creatures
The Kraken (a sea monster)
Nuckelavee (a Scottish elf who mainly lives in the sea)
Lamiak (sea nymphs in Basque mythology)
Bunyip (sea monster in Aboriginal mythology)
Apkallu/abgal (Sumerian mermen)
The Encantado (water spirits in Ancient Amazon River mythology)
Zin (water spirit in Nigerian folklore)
Qallupilluk (sea creatures in Inuit mythology)
- Monsters That Don’t Fit in Any Other Category
Myrmidons (ant warriors)
Giants: The Mystery and the Myth (50 min long documentary)
Inupasugjuk (giants in Inuit mythology)
Fomorians (an Irish divine race of giants)
The Orthus (two-headed serpent-tailed dog)
Rakshasa (humanoids in Hindu and Buddhist mythology)
Yakshas (warriors in Hindu mythology)
Taqriaqsuit (“Shadow people” in Inuit mythology)
- References on Folklore and Mythology Across the Globe
- References on writing a myth or mythical creatures
(I have stumbled upon web sites that believed some of these mythical creatures exist today… Especially dragons, in fact. I just had to share the love and scepticism.)
This is perfect for my latest project ^~^
I need this to finish fleshing out my urban fantasy beyond Europe. Thanks!
Follow these tips and I swear you’ll win NaNo this year
Pull up your novel before you open the internet
Maybe you’re like me and usually you have five tabs open on Chrome at all times and it’s the first thing you see when you open your laptop. Exit out of the entire browser. Yes, even if you’ve had those same tabs open for a year. DO IT. CLOSE THE TABS. EVEN IF YOU HAVE A WEIRD SENTIMENTAL ATTACHMENT TO THEM. Actually, especially if you have a weird sentimental attachment to them.
Don’t venture onto twitter or tumblr or facebook until you’ve written a page or more.
When you get stuck on a scene, just start writing
I know that feel. You’re in the middle of a scene and you have no idea where it goes next. Or you just finished a scene and you’re completely lost as to what scene follows it.
Just start making words. Write a goofy little scene that has nothing to do with the main plot. Start with a random line of dialogue and just go from there. Make a pop culture reference even if your novel is set in a fantasy world. Read back over the last paragraph or two and just put down the first thing that comes to mind.
JUST DO IT. DON’T THINK. PUT THE WORDS DOWN AND LOGIC WILL FOLLOW. HOPEFULLY. If not you can edit that part out in December.
Take breaks, but only every third time you feel like taking a break
I feel like taking a break as soon as there’s a lull in the scene I’m in, but if you just keep pushing through the scene will pick right back up again. And what you tell yourself will be just a little break will often turn into at least thirty minutes where you make a long text post giving writing advice about NaNoWriMo *laughs to self*
Similarly, only take breaks at an interesting part in your story
If you leave your story off at a lull, it will be that much harder to get back into the flow of the story. But if you leave off at a really interesting spot, you’ll be eager to get back to the story and the flow will come to you more naturally.
You may find yourself thinking I’m at an interesting part in my story, maybe I’ll take a break now … oooorrrr I could keep writing this interesting part and just take a break when I get to the next interesting part
And next thing you know you’ve written an entire chapter. Go you. Eat some candy.
Do writer yoga
If you feel your inspiration slipping and the words aren’t coming and your butt is falling asleep because you’ve been in that same position for an hour now, move. Write on the floor. Lay on your back and prop your head up with pillows and write with your computer on your stomach. Do actual yoga for a minute. Crawl under your bed and write.
Change up your body and it might shake something loose in your head.
Tell people you’re doing NaNo so you have the possible shame of not finishing to motivate you to write more
This doesn’t need an explanation.
Use this guide to help you plan out and be inspired for your novel
Seriously if you do all that stuff there’s no way you won’t win NaNo this year.
It’s that time of year again! November rolls around, and normal, everyday men and women hunch over bits of writing with a thirst for ink and misery, thus choosing to step into the arena to tangle with the NaNoWriMo beast. Here, then, are 25 thoughts regarding this month-long pilgrimage into the mouth of the novel — peruse, digest, then discuss.
1. Writing Requires Writing!
The oft-repeated refrain, “Writers write,” is as true a sentiment as one can find, and yet so many self-declared writers seem to ignore it just the same. National Novel Writing Month — NaNoWriMo, demands that writings let go of their inner editor, and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!). It says your a writer, so get to writing!
2. Writing Requires Finishing!
Most writers seem to have one thing in common; they have a difficulty to finish. Many a writer has started a poem, or a short story, or script, or maybe even a novel, and left it hanging in the middle.But that’s one of the great things about NaNo, you have scheduled word counts that help you along the way! NaNoWriMo lays down the law: you have a goal and that goal is to finish
3. Discipline With a Capitol “Get Shit DONE!”
The way you survive NaNoWriMo is the same way any novelist survives: by planting yourself to the office chair every day and putting the words to print no matter what. Have a test tomorrow? Better write. Got a headache? Better write. Kid won’t stop crying? Better write. Tired as fuck from a hard day of work/school? Better write.
4. The Magic Number is 1,666
Depending on what site your getting your information from, you should either be writing 1,667 words a day, or 1,666. I myself tend to write 1,666. Ahh. The Devil’s vintage. Ahem. Anyway. To hit 50,000 words in one month, you must write at least 1,666 words per day over the 30 day period. I write about 1000 words in an hour, so you’re probably looking at two to three hours worth of work per day. If you choose to not work weekends, you’ll probably need to hit around 2300 words per day. If you’re only working weekends, then ~6000 per day.
5. The Problem With 50,000 Words:
Be advised: 50,000 words does not a novel make. It may technically count, but publishers don’t want to hear it. Even in the young adult market I’d say that most novels hover around 60,000 words. You go to a publisher with 50k in hand and call it a novel, they’re going to laugh at you.
6. The True Nature of Finishing:
Ah, yes, NaNoWriMo. Writing 50,000 words is your technical goal — completing a novel in those 50,000 words is not. You can turn in an unfinished novel and be good to go. The only concern there is that 50,000 words serves only as a milestone and come December it again becomes oh-so-easy to settle in with the “I’ve Written Part Of A Novel” crowd. Always remember: the only way through is through.
7. Draft Zero.
It helps to look at your NaNoWriMo novel as the zero draft — it has a beginning, it has an ending, it has a whole lot of something in the middle. But the zero draft isn’t done cooking. A proper first draft awaits. A first draft that will see more meat slapped onto those exposed bones, taking your word count into more realistic territory.
8. Quantity Over Quality.
Put differently, the end result of any written novel is quality. You’re looking for that thing to shine like a stiletto and be just as sharp. NaNoWriMo doesn’t ask for or judge quality as part of its end goal. Quantity must be spun into quality. You’ve got all the sticks. Now build yourself a house.
9. Beware “Win Conditions”
If you complete NaNoWriMo, you have absolute rein over bragging rights. If you don’t, I do not have permission to feel like a loser. You’ve tried to accomplish the incredible task of writing a novel, and that already proves that you’ve done more than others. Which leads me to:
10. Not All Writers Are The Same:
NaNoWriMo assumes a single way of writing a novel. Part of this equation — “smash brain against keyboard until story bleeds out” — is fairly universal. The rest is not. For every novelist comes a new path cut through the jungle. Some novelists write 1,000 words a day. Some 5,000 words a day. Some spend more time on planning, others spend a year or more writing. Be advised that NaNoWriMo is not a guaranteed solution, nor is your “failure to thrive” in that program in any way meaningful. I tried it years back and found it just didn’t fit for me. (And yet I remain!) It is not a bellwether of your ability or talent.
11. November Is A Crazy Month:
November. The month of Thanksgiving. The month where people start shopping for Christmas. Not a great month to pick to get stuff done. Just be aware that November presents its own unique challenges to novelists of any stripe, much less those doing a combat landing during NaNoWriMo. Know this going in.
12. The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good:
NaNoWriMo gets one lesson right: writing can at times be like a sprint and you can’t hover over every day’s worth of writing, picking ticks and mites from its hair — you will always find more ticks, more mites. The desire for perfection is like a pit of wet coal silt: it will grab your boots like iron hands and never let you go.
13. You Have Total Permission to Temporarily Suck:
The point is, you’re not aiming to be a bad writer, but you must allow yourself permission to embrace imperfection. You’re not trying to write irreparable fiction, you’re trying to make a go at a flawed story whose bones are good but whose components may need rebuilding. Imperfect is not the same as impossible.
Take October. Name it “National Story Planning Month.” Whatever you’re going to do in November, you don’t have to go in blind. You’ve no requirement, after all, to suddenly leap out of bed on November 1st, crack open your head with an ice ax, and let the story come pouring from the cleft. Spontaneous generation is a myth in science as it is in creative spheres. Plan. Prep. Take a month.
December then becomes “National Edit Your Shit Month.” Or, if you need a month away from it, maybe you come back to it in January — but the point is, always come back to it. If you want to do this novel writing thing then you must come to terms with the fact that rewriting is part of a novel’s life-cycle. Repeat the mantra: Writing is when I make the words.
In 2009, NaNo had 167,150 participants, and 32,178 “winners.” That’s a pretty good rate, just shy of 20% completion. The numbers get a bit more telling when you look at the number of published novels that have come out of the entire ten-year program, and that number appears to be below 200 books. Out of the 500,000 or so total participants of NaNo over the years, that’s a very minor 0.04%. This isn’t an indictment against NaNoWriMo but is, however, an illustrative number just the same: it’s harder than the Devil’s dangle-rod in a cobalt-tungsten condom to get published these days.
17. Why Some Authors Dismiss NaNoWriMo:
Professional authors — perhaps unfairly — sometimes look at the program with a dismissive sniff or a condescending eye roll. Look at it from their perspective: NaNo participants might seem on par with tourists. Professional authors live here all year.
18. Why Some Agents and Editors Despise NaNoWriMo:
If the story holds true, agents and editors receive a flush of slush from NaNoWriMo in the months following November. A heaping midden pile of bad prose which, for the record, only serves to block the door for everybody else with its stinky robustness. You may say, “But I’m not going to do that.” Of course you’re not, but somebody probably is.
19. Fuck The Police:
NaNoWriMo has a lot of rules: you’re supposed to “start fresh,” you’re not really meant to work on non-fiction, blah blah blah. This is all just made-up stuff. It’s not government mandated. Do what you like. Even better: do what the story needs. Hell with the rules. Fuck the police. Write. Write endlessly. Don’t be constrained by this program. It’s just a springboard: use it to launch your way to awesomeness. Anything you don’t like about it, toss it out the window. The only thing that matters is you and your writing.
20. November Is Just The Beginning:
f you get to the end of the month with a manuscript — finished or not — in hand, celebrate. Do a little dance. Eat a microwaved pizza, do a shot of tequila, take off your pants and burn them in the fireplace. And then think, “Tomorrow, I’ve got more to do.” Because this is just the start. I don’t mean that to sound punishing — if it sounds punishing, you shouldn’t be a writer. It should be fucking liberating. It should fill your heart with a flutter of eager wings: “Holy shit! I can do this tomorrow, too! I can do this in December and January and any day of the goddamn week I so choose.” Don’t stop on November 30th. You want to do this thing, do this thing. Your energy and effort can turn NaNoWriMo from a month-long gimmick to a life-long love and possibly even a career. Let this foster in you a love of storytelling made real through discipline — and don’t let that love or that discipline wither on the vine come December 1st.
I made these as a way to compile all the geographical vocabulary that I thought was useful and interesting for writers. Some descriptors share categories, and some are simplified, but for the most part everything is in its proper place. Not all the words are as useable as others, and some might take tricky wording to pull off, but I hope these prove useful to all you writers out there!
(save the images to zoom in on the pics)
Obviously there’s a lot of overlap between the three, despite their differences, which is why this is all one post. In fact, some of the articles have one of those words in their title but the content of the article belongs in one of the other categories.
I think the links about the antagonist’s journey are some of the most interesting on this list.
Heroes and Anti-Heroes – What’s the difference?
Anti-heroes in Science Fiction Movies
5 Types of Anti-Heroes
You Need More Scoundrels in Your Life: How to Write a Han Solo Hero in Six Easy Steps!
Han Versus Luke – Who’s the Better Hero?
Defining and Developing Your Anti-Hero, excerpt from Bullies, Bastards & Bitches by Jessica Page Morrell
4 Ways to Make Your Antihero Deliciously Irresistible
When Being Bad is Good: Creating a Great Antagonist
Being Evil: Plotting From the Antagonist’s Perspective
10 Traits of a Strong Antagonist
12 Tips On How To Write Antagonists Your Readers Will Love To Hate
Types of antagonist
Seven Types of Antagonists
Ten Tips for a Terrific Antagonist
10 Essential Tips for Writing Antagonists
How To Write The Bad Guy
3 Traits Your Hero and Villain Should Share
Guide to Writing a Villain
A Guide to Villainous Motivations
Guide to Writing a Villain
Creating an Interesting Bad Guy
The Sympathetic Villain
Exploring The Dark Side: The Anti-Hero’s Journey – despite the title, this article is about villains, not antiheroes as the term is usually understood
The Antagonist’s Epiphany
How to Create a Credible Villain in Fiction
How to Avoid Creating a Weak Villain
5 Characteristics of an Epic Villain
Writing a Great Villain
14 Motives for Becoming a Supervillain
Writing Villains Vs. Writing Heroes
Villains Are People Too, But…
A Short Defence of Villains by Agnes Repplier
Villains: because a good bad guy is the author’s best friend.
The Other in Fiction: Creating Wonderfully Wicked Villains
Three-Dimensional Villains: Finding Your Character’s Shadow
10 Traits of Highly-Effective Villains
Writing Tips #79:How To Write Better Villains
Villains by Vicki Hinze
The Sixteen Villain Archetypes
The Antagonist’s Journey
Exploring The Dark Side: The Anti-Hero’s Journey
The Villain’s Journey
Does the Villain’s Journey Mirror the Hero’s Journey?
Forget the Hero’s Journey. Women want an Antagonist’s Tale
Return to the Antagonist’s Tale
1. How will you deal with it?
2. They’re one entity.
3. They’re doing their jobs.
4. You need to be honest.
5. It’s already began.
6. Do you have an overview?
7. You’ll need to complete it.
8. I don’t care about your interference.
9. Let’s add some fuel to the fire.
10. You need to talk to him!
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