Imaginary Beings

When I teach my World Building classes, I break “imaginary beings” into these categories:

  • Humans with special or shape-shifting powers (vampires, wizards)
  • Normal Animals or Animals with special or shape-shifting powers (any kind of talking, hyper-intelligent animal as in the Warriors series)
  • Established Fantasy Beings (faeries, elves, dragons, unicorns)
  • Completely Imaginary Beings (shadowflies and thunderbugs from my White Forest series, hobbits, and many creatures from Harry Potter)
  • Artificial Beings: cyborgs and robots
  • Aliens
  • Gods/Angels/Spirit Realm

My White Forest beasts are a combination of known fantasy creatures (faeries, dragons) + combining elements to make new ones.
Activity 1: Creating Your Imaginary Beings

Using the list above have students (individually or with a partner) think up ONE creature for each category. Then, have students pick their four favorites and illustrate them in as much detail as possible.

After they’ve created the creatures, make them into characters for a possible story by giving them names, personalities, skills, and backstories. Write up character profiles for them in as much detail as possible.

For example: Gola the Drutan is 1,000 years old. As a Drutan, she grows more tree-like as she ages. She was born just before the Great World Cry. She lives alone in the Dark Forest but for her flying eyeballs and her familiar, a little hairless beast called Minq. She is wise, but suspicious. She’s connected to the Faeries from knowing them a long time ago, but she will not interfere with their destiny. She has great magical talents, in particular with herbal potions. Like every other Drutan, she has never met her parents… (etc, etc)


Activity 2: Trading Cards (printable sheet coming soon)

Students can create “trading cards” with their imaginary creatures on them. On the front they illustrate the creature and on the back they write a physical description as well as any special powers the creature may have. I like to laminate them afterwards for a slicker look.