7 Tips to Using Giant Monsters in Your Story

Rampage the Movie!

You think it’s easy to add a giant to your story?  Just slap it down, make it declare a rhyming threat, and then call it a day?  Well, that could work to some extent, but let’s try to be a little more creative here.  After all, this monster is more than a character.  It’s practically a setting once the action starts.  So, what are some ways to make it work when you only have words?

  1. Keep describing the destruction!  Every move should come with something.  Steps need to shake the earth and crush whatever is in the way.  Buildings should topple.  Flying giants can create winds that tear trees out of the ground.  These are beings that cannot enter a city or forest without smashing their surroundings.  They don’t typically tiptoe around trees and buildings.  Well, some might if it’s for a comedy.
  2. Adjectives are your friend even though many writers find them to be evil.  You don’t have to go overboard, but use them to clarify that this creature is of an immense and intimidating size.  Big might not get the point across.  A rhino is big.  A truck is big.  A pro wrestler is big.  These things are supposed to be gigantic, enormous, towering, and whatever else your thesaurus suggests.
  3. Characters who are of normal size cannot survive a hit by these things.  Maybe a gust of wind or a sneeze, but a human fighter cannot take a giant’s punch head on.  This means, they have to dodge and hide.  It’s a different type of fight because it doubles as a puzzle or chase.  How can you kill such a massive enemy?  How can you escape something that can see for miles?  Done right this is a scene filled with action, tension, and surprises.
  4. If you’re having giant monsters fight each other then remember that at least one won’t care about their surroundings. This goes back to #1, but authors may focus on the battle and forget about what happens to the area.  Don’t think you’re in the clear if you use the wilderness too.  Mountains and forests can be broken just like buildings.
  5. Yes, it’s funny to have giant monster pass gas and call it a poison attack.  Just think before you go that route.
  6. Consider how your giant creature is going to look if it’s humanoid.  Specifically, do they wear clothes?  This brings up some questions.  You may have to explain how they’re able to find enough material for even just a loincloth.  Either they’re harvesting thousands of small animals (extinction event) or there are enormous beasts that they use.  If you go for naked then be prepared to be asked about genitalia by at least one reader.
  7. Giant monsters don’t necessarily mean savage and uncivilized.  They may have a language or a culture that can be shown if you wish to make them more than a temporary challenge.  It doesn’t have to be in their first appearance, but it can be down the road.  This will help your monsters stand out and open more doors for their use if you wish to expand the world.  That or make readers angry that such a cultured being was killed earlier.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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15 Responses to 7 Tips to Using Giant Monsters in Your Story

  1. This is great! I have a “giants” story on the back burner, so these tips will help me avoid mistakes and increase realism. I recently read a fantasy/sci-fi tale that could have benefitted from using your advice! Much appreciated.

    Like

  2. There’s a lot to consider if they do more than a casual appearance. Pumpkins would be no more than berries to them. A herd of cattle might be required to make a meal.

    Like

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