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The prehistoric creature mystery (1 Viewer)

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takadote26

Senior Member
In my short story I have an animal hunter called Brett who comes across a prehistoric creature in the 21st century that was generally thought to be extinct. The researchers of America sent him after the creature. The chase after the elusive creature sends Brett and his many assistants crashing their jeep into a nearby flock of sheep as the creature runs loose amongst them. Anyway, Brett loses his assistants and the creature soon prevails as it kills him. The twist is that the prehistoric creature is a shapeshifter and weeks afterwards, Brad the researcher comes across a strange lady just standing around in his laboratory. Brad and the mystery lady have a long scene together and she soon leaves him- along with a note that says "Be fine" and the lingering scent of mutton...

The problem is that others said that the twist is not clear enough, how should I clarify and fix the plot-holes that the creature and the girl are one and the same entity? And how do I make Brett's assistants disappear in order for hunter Brett to confront the creature alone? The style is meant to be in an EC horror comic's dark humour method.
 
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GiveAManAFish

Senior Member
The problem is that others said that the twist is not clear enough, how should I clarify and fix the plot-holes that the creature and the girl are one and the same entity? And how do I make Brett's assistants disappear in order for hunter Brett to confront the creature alone? The style is meant to be in an EC horror comic's dark humour method.

Ultraroel's suggestion is a good one, so keep it in mind, but I might suggest taking a moment to really piece together the shapeshifter's motivations in general. Why hunt Brett and the assistants in general? Why leave a note? Why specifically smell like mutton? Is that the shapeshifter's form otherwise? Or is mutton just the moment for Brett's brief life?

Once the creature has some specific reasoning and personality, even if it's never elucidated to the reader, it helps inform their actions and round out their character. From there, figuring out how the twist comes to light gets to be easier. Did the creature toy with Brett and the assistants before killing them, and subsequently, would it enjoy teasing phrasing to Brad prior to leaving the note and putting all of the sentences in sharp relief about how this was the thing that killed Brett? Is there a particular reason it chooses Brad rather than any other researcher? If Brett manages to score a hit on the creature, would an appropriately placed scar become visible in passing on the lady? If the creature is hunting Brett or the sheep for food, is does it tease "Well, I should go. I'm hungry again..." as it leaves?

Consider the big motivation for the creature, and then the way it behaves should present more options.
 

takadote26

Senior Member
If it helps, the beast is normally a huge wolverine-shaped animal with a head and jaw like a hyena, long keratin quills on its spotted coat, a lean muscular frame and purplish mane with long jagged fangs. It is related to sheep and cattle in its ancestry and is often spotted howling, roaring and growling, it kills Brad by snapping his neck before devouring the paralysed hunter whole. The assistants fled when the beast overcame their traps and equipment.

The beast in its shape-shifted form (humanoid girl) looks like a standard Egyptian lady, save for its blazing red eyes and greyed hair. It can speak simple guttural words and distracts Brad with her powerful pheromones, while he is about to call the police for the break in of his lab. Due to the confusion, Brad and the lady end up having a one night stand, but then by the end of the story, Brad after reading the note (examining the scent) of the lady in question, recalled that she smells a lot like mutton...

Is there anything I can fix in my summary of my horror stories? Fridge logic, head-scratchers?
 

Non Serviam

WF Veterans
The solution will be a symbolic object. Maybe the monster kills a pet dog and Brad notices its wrist watch is actually a collar that says "Rover". Be subtle. Readers are brighter than you think.
 

Jay Greenstein

Senior Member
If it helps, the beast is normally a huge wolverine-shaped animal with a head and jaw like a hyena, long keratin quills on its spotted coat, a lean muscular frame and purplish mane with long jagged fangs. It is related to sheep and cattle in its ancestry and is often spotted howling, roaring and growling, it kills Brad by snapping his neck before devouring the paralysed hunter whole. The assistants fled when the beast overcame their traps and equipment.
Shape shifters who change their shape in minutes or hours are marginally. Sci-fi. Those who have mass vanish, so that a three hundred pound beast becomes a 130 pound woman are fantasy—and require magic.

Next, postulating a "prehistoric" animal that can be a human or an animal, and chooses to behave like a beast while having human intellect is a real stretch. Yes, I know it's for a comic, but still...
 
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