I am a staunch believer that all great tales need a great monster. But not all monsters are created equal. There are ones with blood-slicked claws and paws, others with dopey personalities, others with sentient craftiness. My favorites are the quirky ones who claim only a vivid personality.
(Beasties and monsters should be as nuanced as your main characters. Placeholder evil is just plain boring.)
To demonstrate what I mean, consider this image of Panda in repose:
Traditional Monster: *LET THIS BE A LESSON TO ALL YE HEROES. VENTURE INTO THE WOODS AND THOU SHALT FIND A SLUMBERING MONSTER*
Sympathetic Monster: “…what is that? It makes me feel…sad.”
Gastronomic Monster (this one is not real): “Is that a sentient rice cake?”
Quirky Monster: “There once was a dragon who dearly loved roses. So, he ate the king’s guards and set up his bed and there, for forever, he dozes.”
From these 4 examples, which monster sounds more interesting? The one who is evil for the sake of being evil and is obviously an archetypal hero test? Do you like the one with the potential for a tragic backstory? The one who makes you feel hungry? Or the delightfully macabre one? (It’s clear which one I lean to, but I won’t hold your monster preference against you).
What are your favorite monsters?