[TPoW #2] Some Basic Research

Linda Uhu | Jun 2, 2017
If you don't know, what this post is about, check out my introduction for my "The Process of Writing"-category here.
You may have to do a lot of research throughout your writing progress - especially, if you want to dive into the fantasy genre. Otherwise you may still want to research some of the settings, get inspiration for the looks of your characters and so on.
Today I want to focus on the basic research when writing a fantasy novel - which means I will do some digging into different cultures and mythologies and find out more about spirit animals and shape shifters. We will discuss world building and character design in a later post, because it would just be too much for this post.
In any case I would go around the topic of research like this:
  1. Ask Google
  2. Get further information from specific books
  3. write down and summarise the information you have gathered.
Of course I will take my own story as an example again.
So I first looked into "The Mythical Creatures Bible" by Brenda Rosen, which sadly didn't tell me much about the kind of shape shifters I was looking for. The only thing that came close, were the Obake from the Japanese culture. Still if you are looking for a guide through most of the mythical creatures existing in different mythologies, you should pick up this book - it gives a great first impression for most of them!
So, because I didn't really find anything useful to me in the book, I tuned to google. 
Sadly even here I did not really find what I was looking for...
I didn't dig too deep and maybe I will do that another time, but if I am being quite honest with you: I would love to design my own mythological creature, so I am all in!
The next thing I will need to do some research on, is spirit animals!

Spirit Animals:

Even this task seems to be harder than I thought. So now I am stuck with thinking about the different animals I want to include, and then doing some research on them and maybe even think about which special powers they could provide...

  • I decided, that I wanted no two shapeshifter-beings (I really should come up with a name) to be the same, even if they got the same animal-form, they are supposed to look different and their power will differ (which means, they could very well possess the same abilities, but there affinities will be different and therefor their powers won't be exactly the same)
  • As in most stories, I will make it, that the older the being, the stronger they get (which seems logical, because you should get wiser and stronger with time)

Now the animals (just some examples):

  • I need to include a raven - because I am kind of obsessed with them (don't know why, though)
    • intelligent, truthful, mysterious, kind of dark, secret keeper
  • Also I want to include a tiger
    • independent, strong, beautiful, confident, passionate, 
  • And a ferret
    • mischievous, curious, in-genuine