Welcome to the weekend.
Here are some fresh poems and plans on Rahaman Writing:
Big changes are happening to Rahaman Writing, though they may not be noticeable to non-subscribers. I plan on creating a page for every piece of writing. Buttons that lead to PDF files will soon be replaced.
I'm also making changes that will allow the site to feel less busy and more professional, while still retaining my trademark aesthetic:
Dark, yet alluring; like moonlit coastal woods in the night.
Creating and manipulating things is a great joy for me, as many of you are aware, but one of the most fun things for me to create is a fictional creature. In Issue #23 of this newsletter, I went over the basics of how to create a fantasy organism and used dragons as an example. Earlier in the week, I was discussing this topic with a writer friend about whether a good reference guide for creature creation existed. Neither of us could think of any, but since I consider myself qualified to give advice on this matter (professional writing + biology experience, to put it simply), I decided to make such a guide. Although relatively slowly and through my newsletter.
This week's tip is about how and why to consider one specific aspect of your fictional beasts. I will cover other aspects in the future, but let's just start with an organism's diet for now.
As before, let us use dragons as our example.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #19:
An organism's diet heavily affects their appearance and lifestyle. To begin fleshing out a creature that fits a niche, it can be useful to consider three main things:
1. What it eats
Dragons in most western mythology feed upon large mammals like cows, horses, or sheep. Such animals live in fields that can be scouted and approached easily from the skies; easy targets from above. Though dragons are usually depicted as living in the mountains, therefore it is imperative for them to have a way to travel great distances. Wings for flying make the most sense for frequent, long-distance travel.
Although teleporting, traveling underground, or other methods could also be valid if the dragon is given the means to do so.
2. How it catches what it eats
Dragons are usually aerial predators that swoop down onto prey with claws or fangs outstretched. Being an ambush hunter of the sky would mean that to catch their prey, dragons would have to outspeed and overpower them. Size would be an advantage here, but being too big makes flying awkward, so a balance will have to be reached for realism. Snaring cows or sheep will require large, powerful talons or equally formidable teeth and jaws. Plus, of course, the required muscle to kill and/or transport food back to their home.
The method can be as wild and odd as you desire, as long as the hunter catches the prey.
Roasting food with flame breath could be a legitamate hunting technique as well!
3. How it eats
The dragon would need to either break apart or swallow its food whole. Smaller dragons would need sharp teeth to carve off chunks of flesh, but big dragons might not need any at all if all they do is gulp down prey in one go.
Again, you can be as creative about this as you want, there are no rules besides "food goes inside".
After days at sea, the Bitterwind reaches Athos' home of Orosilla. He leads the Aetherian refugees up Mount Oros to the GLRU Chapter where he hopes the loremasters will let welcome them.
Arriving at Orosilla