Have you ever written a story about some epic dragon that fights a knight and steals treasure, and then you share it with someone and they say oh, that’s so stupid. Dragons are cliché!
Well here are ten tips on how to make fantasy creatures NOT cliché!
Tip #1: Add a Twist
Dragon’s don’t always have to steal treasure, or sea monsters not always need to attack ships. Be creative and try to think of something else they can do! Dragons could live in the castle with knight’s, or they could simply be fighting creatures.
Tip #2: Make Up Your Own
If you think that everything about a dragon or a sea monster or a centaur or whatever you are having in your story is cliché, then just don’t add them. Make up your own creature and find some awesome thing to have unique to them. This way you can give it it’s own name, ability, everything about it, and a bunch of cool stuff!
Tip #3: Back stories
Give them back stories. Everything generally needs a back story, right? So maybe make a back story that the dragon’s were once trapped underneath the earth but when a mountain giant crashed into a volcano and it exploded, the dragon’s were free to fly out with the lava and escape. It really gives it something more! Even though they are just dragons, the readers now know how they began and they will feel more ready to see a dragon and not think it cliché.
Tip #4: Special Abilities
If you don’t want to have a dragon breath fire because that’s totally cliché, then you can easily change it to a lot of different things! They could spit acid, blow ice, exhale balls of energy, or nothing at all!
Tip #5: How They are Used
Instead of making people ride dragons, or make trolls go out and fight, what if you made the dragon’s just work animals, and trolls the leaders of armies?
Tip #6: Intelligence Levels
Instead of making dragons or other creatures able to talk or interact with humans easily, what if you made them more like dogs, where they have to train the dragon’s to do things. That’s sort of what I did in my short story, Dragon Ways.
Tip #7: Limit Abilities
You don’t have to make dragon’s fly, or you don’t need to make sea monsters able to breath underwater. Make the dragon’s only able to glide, or fly for short periods of time, or make the sea monsters only able to swim under water for five minutes before they have to come up for air again.
Tip #8: Appearance
Usually when you think of a dragon, you think of a majestic creature, intelligent, with great claws and mighty wings, shiny scales that are as hard as the greatest chain mail ever made. What if you changed that? Make dragon’s miserable little creatures, with filthy mud gray scales, large, pitiful eyes, and a stump for a tail. That would change the appearance quite a bit!
Let’s try a troll for another example. Instead of a ring in their noses, a scar across one eye, and wearing nothing but some cloth around their waist and some armor, don’t make them battle scarred, give them normal clothes, and maybe even make them rather intelligent!
Tip #9: Interactions With Characters
Lot’s of times dragons fly about in the air, a common sight to see, amazing and powerful, and willing to let soldiers ride them into battle. Or they are evil, cunning, obey only themselves, and steal treasure. Why not make them miserable creatures, (like I said up above in tip #8) and make them hide in caves and only come out when they have too. Also don’t make them good or bad. You could make them always neutral when there is a war going on.
Tip #10: All Around Epicness
Even though most of the time all the creatures are powerful, you don’t have to make them that way, and the more miserable creatures, like trolls, stupid and clumsy, don’t have to be. Just change up everything about the fantasy creature a little bit, and you’ll get an entirely different outcome!