Character Development, Cryptozoology, For Kids, Short Story, Writerly Tips

So, you want to be a *magical zoologist?* FOR KIDS

Magic is more important than ever and needs to be preserved for the good of our civilization. According to environmentalscience.org, (trigger alert,) we are in danger of extinction and our world’s wildlife is increasingly stressed by human activity. Farming and other development have led to habitat loss. Animals are contending with toxic pollutants in their environments, and are facing threats from climate change.

Scientists say we’re in the 6th great planetary extinction phase, called the “Holocene Extinction.” Now that is scary sounding. You can read more about the Holocene Extinction here. This environmental dilemma has made zoologists more important than ever. They study the physiology of animals, their behavior, and how they interact with other species and their environments. Magical zoologists do the same thing, but sometimes in unchartered and dangerous terrain and with creatures that are often times still-to-be studied. Their (your,) knowledge is critical to preserving their important habitats and managing the wildlife’s adaptations to climate change.


What does a Magical Zoologist Do?

Zoology, including magical zoology is defined as the study of animals and their behavior. In magi-zoology, this includes cryptids. Zoologists may study a particular species or group of species, either in the wild or in captivity.


“Zoologists study animals and their interactions with ecosystems. They study their physical characteristics, diets, behaviors, and the impacts humans have on them.”


environmentalscience.org

Zoologists may be involved in a wide variety of duties in various environments. For example they may observe and study animals in their natural environments, or plan and conduct experiments involving animals in nature, in zoos, or in other controlled areas.

They may also collect biological specimens and measure physical characteristics. These studies are generally aimed at investigating animal behavior, migration, interactions with other species, and reproduction, as well as the pests, diseases, toxins, and habitat changes that affect them. They use the information they gather to monitor and estimate populations, address invasive species and other threats, control disease, manage hunting programs, and develop conservation plans. They also write reports and journal articles and give presentations to share their findings.

Their efforts are critical to protecting endangered species and other wildlife from the pressures of habitat loss, disease, invasive species, and climate change. Can you imagine how important it is to protect the magical wildlife population given our current ecological predicaments?

How Do I Become a MAGI- Zoologist?

Read the full wiki-how here.

  • Earn the proper credentials with a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Get involved in internships and research
  • Earn a Masters Degree
  • Consider earning your Ph.D.
  • Choose a specialty (Air, Land or Sea cryptids, monsters, ghosts, or aliens)
  • Volunteer
  • Read studies, stay current on research
  • Be prepared and willing to travel and work outdoors
  • Spend time networking

How much do Magi-Zoologists Make?

The Average Income of a Zoologist

According to Chegg Career Match, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average income of a Zoologist was $60,520 as of May 2016. The lowest-paid 10 percent of Zoologists earn less than $39,150 annually, while the highest-paid 10 percent earn more than $98,540 annually. The middle-of-the-pack Zoologist income is reported to be between $48,360 and $76,320, providing plenty of room for financial growth as your career progresses.

The two biggest factors contributing to the average Zoologist income are the field of employment and the location. A zoology career with the federal government is the most lucrative, paying an average income of $81,490. Scientific research, consulting services, and local units of governments round out the top-paying industries for Zoologists.

If you find this article fun, interesting and informative, let me know in the comment section below!

***Disclaimer*** This article isn’t meant to mislead children but to spark their imaginations and can be used as a writing prompt idea, arts and crafts or a fun rainy day activity for kids!

Character Development, Cryptozoology, For Kids, Short Story, Writerly Tips

So, you want to be a Cryptozoologist? FOR KIDS!

Cryptozoology is a field of science and subculture, which started in the 1950’s. According to Wikipedia, it aims to prove the existence of entities from the folkloric record, such as Bigfoot, the Chupacabra, or the Loch Ness Monster.
Cryptozoologists refer to these entities as cryptids. Because they don’t follow the scientific method, cryptozoology is considered a pseudoscience by the academic world: it is neither a branch of zoology nor folkloristics. It was originally founded by zoologists Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson.

Scholars have noted that the pseudoscience rejects mainstream approaches, and that cryptozoologists often express distaste and sometimes even hostility towards mainstream science. Scholars have studied cryptozoologists and their influence and have noted parallels in cryptozoology and other pseudo-sciences, like ghost hunting or ufology.

Use your love of Cryptozoology to become a writer of children’s books

Have you ever wanted to write about the creatures you read about in other books or about ones from your own imagination? Need some ideas? Need writing prompts or descriptions of exotic cryptids? Check out my mythological creature archive here.

It is a continuously growing list, so please come back and visit us often! Check below for a list of the top 50 cryptids from around the world by a real Cryptozoologist!

How do you become a REAL Cryptozoologist?

Let’s check out a few ways that you can become a Cryptozoologist first. Read the full wiki how- here.

  • Find out if Cryptozoology is right for you.
  • Choose a cryptid to specialize in.
  • Study as many fields as you can.
    Biology, zoology, psychology, anthropology, and conservation would be good places to start.
  • Learn survival skills.
  • Research, research, research.
  • Learn the folklore.
  • Study the geography of the cryptid.
  • Hunt for the cryptid.

Which CRYPTID to study?

It is important to note the various kinds of creatures considered to be a cryptid. Below is a list of “active,” cryptids according to a real life Cryptozoologist!
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists.  An honorary member of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, and several other international organizations, he is also a Life Member of the International Society of Cryptozoology. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursue of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969.

The Top 50 Cryptids From Around The World
By Loren Coleman
Ahool
Giant unknown bats are reported to reside in a region of western Java, plus similar reports under different names from Vietnam and the Philippines; possibly known as Orang-bati in Seram, Indonesia.
  Almas
Huge hairy Neanderthaloid or Homo erectus-like hominids sighted in various parts of Euroasia.
  Agogwe
The Agogwe are little, human-like, hairy, bipeds reported consistently from the forests of Eastern Africa.
  Andean Wolf
These unrecognized mountain dogs are seen in South America.
  Arabhar
These unconfirmed flying snakes are located in the Arabian Sea region.
  Barmanu
Reportedly strong, muscular, and hairy humanoids reported from the Shishi-kuh valley in Pakistan.
  Beast of Bodmin (or Bodmin Moor)
Locally named mystery felids found in the United Kingdom.
  Bergman’s Bear
Possible unknown species of giant bear once roamed Eastern Asia, and still may.
  Bili Ape
Giant chimpanzees appear to live in remote east Africa, where much evidence points to their existence, including photos, footprints and ground nests.
  Birds-of-Paradise
Six species from New Guinea and surrounding islands, and a distinctive Long-Tailed Black Bird-of-Paradise from Goodenough Island are of interest to cryptozoology.
  Black Panthers and Maned Mystery Cats
Sighting of large Black Panthers and seemingly “African Lions” with manes in the Midwest USA have law enforcement officials on the alert.
  Blue Mountain panthers
These unknown cats reportedly live in the Blue Mountains of the east coast of Australia in the state of New South Wales.
  Blue Tiger
These mystery felids are spotted in the Fujian Province, China, and are also filed under the name Black Tiger.
  Bobo
Sea monsters of the North Pacific Ocean are frequently reported off Monterey Bay since the 1940s, and have been given this local name.
  Buffalo Lion
East African maneless lions are said to be man-eaters, and may reflect some new genetic alignments, akin to the King Cheetah discoveries among cheetahs.
  Buru
Fifteen foot long bluish ­black giant lizards were seen often in the swamps, lakes and foothills of the Himalayas, up through the 1940s, although they may be extinct now.
  Caddy
These unknown Sea Serpents living off the coast of British Columbia are a popular figure in Canadian cryptozoology.
  Champ
Giant prehistoric-looking creatures lurk in Lake Champlain, a 109 mile lake that borders New York, Vermont, and Ontario.
  Chupacabras
Also called “Goatsuckers,” these bizarre Caribbean and South American cryptids are five feet tall biped creatures with short grey hair that have spiked hair and reported drain the blood through throat punctures of the livestock they kill.
  Ebu Gogo
Three feet tall, hairy little people with pot bellies and long arms sighted on the island of Flores, Indonesia. Tiny females are said to have long, pendulous breasts.
  Giant Anaconda
Reports have been made of 100 feet long snakes on the Rio Negro of the Amazon River basin.
  Giant Octopus
The Blue Holes of Bimini, offer many sightings of these unknown huge, many-tentacled animals.
  Giant Sloth
Weighing up to 3 tons, these supposedly extinct animals have been reported in South America in contemporary times.
  Globsters
Strange looking giant creatures (also called blobs) wash up on the beaches of the world, get the media and scientists excited, and sometimes turn out to be “unknowns.”
  Honey Island Swamp Monster
Reportedly these “Swamp Thing” monsters are seen in the Louisiana swamps.
  Jersey Devil
This regionalized name hides these creatures that have been haunting the New Jersey Pineland forest for over 260 years.
  Kongamato
The natives of the Jiundu region of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) have firsthand encounters with these strange flying bat-like creatures.
  Lake Storsjon Monster
Lake Seljord in the Telemark region of Norway has its own Lake Monsters swimming the waters here for centuries.
  Lau
Are certain African lakes the home to 40 feet long unknown catfishes or lungfishes?
  Loch Ness Monster
Nessie is the most famous Lake Monster in the world; they are said to inhabit this loch, an extremely deep Scottish lake.
  MacFarlane’s Bear
The carcass is at the Smithsonian, believed to be a possible hybrid between a grizzly and polar bear. Or an new unknown species.
  Mngwa
The Mngwa are cats described as being as large as donkeys, with marks like a tabby and living in Africa – but not a known species.
  Mokele-Mbembe
For over two hundred years there have been reports of living Sauropods (dinosaur) in the remote Congo area of Africa. They may being confused with accounts of other local cryptids, aquatic rhinos.
  Mongolian Death Worm
Locals in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia talk of these giant snakes, worms, or long thin lizards (also called Olgoi-khorkhoi or Allghoi-khorkhoi) as killing livestock and people with their breath.
  Mothman
A local name for giant owls (also called Bighoot) which has been sighted for over 100 years in West Virginia-Ohio area, and elsewhere in North America.
  Ogopogo
This is Canada’s most famous type of water monsters, inhabitants of Lake Okanagan in the south central interior of British Columbia.
  Orang-Pendak
These reportedly small biped small apes (also called Sedapa) live in the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo.
  Peruvian Mystery Jaguar
Unknown large cats with white background covered in solid irregular spots are seen in the rainforests of Peru.
  Skunk Ape
Also known by the label Myakka “Ape” and other local names (Booger, Swamp Ape), these chimpanzee- or orangutan-like primates have been sighted throughout central and south Florida.
  Steller’s Sea Cow
A once thought extinct species, these totally marine animals, looking like huge, wrinkled manatees, and are still being seen by Russian fisherman.
  Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine
Thought extinct, these wolf-like marsupials are still sighted on a regular basis in Western Australia, and perhaps New Guinea too.
  Tazelwurm
Classic small log-shaped reptilian cryptids from the European Alps are enigmatic animals, but have they gone extinct in historical times?
  Thunderbird
Large condor-like birds, perhaps Teratorns, roam the skies of North America, along regular migration routes.
  Tzuchinoko
Unknown species of snake sighted in the upper elevations of Korea and Japan.
  Ucu
The South American Bigfoot live mainly in the Andean foothills.
  Waitoreke
These strange unknown otter-like beasts are seen in New Zealand, and as yet undiscovered.
  Xing-Xing
This is a specific regional name, from southern China, for small unknown apes.
  Yeren
The Chinese Wildmen are reddish, semi-bipedal, and often encountered by locals and government officials along rural roads.
  Yeti
Yeti, unknown rock apes, are creatures reported as crossing the Himalayan plateaus and living in the valley forests. There is not just “one” Abominable Snowman, and they are no “white.”
  Yowie
These tall hairy unknown hominoids are sighted throughout several remote areas of Australia.
  For a complete source list, click here.


If you find this article fun, interesting and informative, let me know in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!

Character Development, Writerly Tips

Tell don’t show…wait what? When is this tool appropriate to keep your readers engaged?

woman holding book
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Showing and not telling your audience information is extremely important because you want to keep your reader interested? Why? Other than the obvious, the point is to get the reader interactively trying to constantly deduce what is happening, what is going to happen and how they feel about it. This is what engagement means here and it is the life blood to the writing craft. Engagement means reading…and reading means a whole host of things. Reading means learning, buying more books, self betterment, self awareness, feel good moments, and escapism. Reading means expanding the moments and thoughts which push wide open the curtains of your mind for a better day, week, month etc. It is important that in taking people on a journey, you know how to do it well. We are talking about show vs. tell and it’s inverse today, to completely understand this tool.

km-weiland-avatar
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K.M. Weiland is an award-winning and internationally published author of the bestselling Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel. She writes historical and speculative fiction and mentors other authors.

She wrote a blogpost called Three Places Where You Should Tell Instead of Show , 

Here she lists, Summarizing Information the readers already know, avoiding tedious information and similarly skipping “Filler,” events.

1. Summarizing Information Readers Already Know…

According to Weiland, in Reverse of the Medal, Patrick O’Brian neatly summarizes information to which readers are already aware. The relaying of these facts from one character to another is vital to the story, but O’Brian knows his readers have no need of hearing it twice—so he summarized. This is when telling is essential, to keep your reader engaged.

*An important thing to note here, is that the summary should still be done in an interesting way through dialogue. Avoid large chunks of exposition this way. Expository paragraphs are boring to read and when you are revising, if you find yourself skipping or avoiding reading large chunks of text, you may have an expository chunk of information. Liven it up and tell us the info through the characters by also revealing a bit more about the character when they are telling it. For example word choice is important here. If the character decides to say that someone was “Woke,” you may be inclined to see them in the present times and get a sense of their grasp of pop culture and perhaps deduce their age. The point? “Tell,”  us info while texturing and layering with word choice.

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2. Avoiding Tedious Information
K.M. Weiland says that O’Brian spares his readers the potentially tedious and non-vital scene of a ship auction by skipping directly to what’s important: the outcome of the sale.

This is an excellent point, because I don’t want to sit through a ship auction. This seems obvious, but I have written extremely boring scenes in my first drafts because I am telling myself the details, especially the emotional details of what happened. This will be cut later, and can be an important part of fleshing out a character. It’s ok to do this, if this is an example of your crafting your story, but be cognizant of what you are doing to keep things fresh, the story moving and the readers engaged.

3. Skipping “Filler” Events
A journey can be an important thing to witness and to experience with the characters if the character is overcoming something through the act of journeying, but K.M. Weiland makes the important distinction, again using O’Brian’s novel. She mentions that he excludes the unnecessary and often boring “filler” material by summarizing the characters’ journey from one location to another. Cut out the details of getting from point A to point B and just tell us what happened. If this information, the experience of the travel isn’t essential to the plot, cut it. Tell us through dialogue how the character got there and move on. Traveling is hard and tedious sometimes…save us experiencing the flight delays and the bad airline food if we don’t need to choke it down to move the story forward.

Show Vs. Tell, the bones of the writerly advice

book opened on top of white table beside closed red book and round blue foliage ceramic cup on top of saucer
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According to Jerry Jenkins who is the author of more than 190 books, and has sold more than 70 million copies, including the bestselling Left Behind series. He talks a little about the importance of showing rather than telling. When you tell rather than show, you simply inform your reader of information rather than allowing them to deduce anything, and this is key because engagement of the reader is the ultimate point.

You might report that a character is “tall,” or “angry,” or “cold,” or “tired.”

That’s telling.

Showing would paint a picture the reader could see in her mind’s eye.

If your character is tall, your reader can deduce that because you mention others looking up when they talk with him. Or he has to duck to get through a door. Or when posing for a photo, he has to bend his knees to keep his head in proximity of others.

Mr. Jenkins also says that rather than telling that your character is angry, show it by describing his face flushing, his throat tightening, his voice rising, his slamming a fist on the table. When you show, you don’t have to tell.

Cold? Don’t tell us; show us. Your character pulls her collar up, tightens her scarf, shoves her hands deep into her pockets, turns her face away from the biting wind.

Tired? He can yawn, groan, stretch. His eyes can look puffy. His shoulders could slump. Another character might say, “Didn’t you sleep last night? You look shot.”

man in red long sleeved shirt
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Show, Don’t Tell Examples according to Jerry Jenkins

Telling: When they embraced she could tell he had been smoking and was scared.

Showing: When she wrapped her arms around him, the sweet staleness of tobacco enveloped her, and he was shivering.

Telling: The temperature fell and the ice reflected the sun.

Showing: Bill’s nose burned in the frigid air, and he squinted against the sun

reflecting off the street.

Telling: Suzie was blind.

Showing: Suzie felt for the bench with a white cane.

Telling: It was late fall.

Showing: Leaves crunched beneath his feet.

Telling: She was a plumber and asked where the bathroom was.

Showing: She wore coveralls carried a plunger and metal toolbox, and wrenches of various sizes hung from a leather belt around her waist. “Point me to the head,” she said.

Telling: I had a great conversation with Tim over dinner and loved hearing his stories.

Showing: I barely touched my food, riveted by Tim. “Let me tell you another story,” he said.

If you find this article fun, interesting and informative, let me know in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!

 

Mythological Creature Archive, Writerly Tips

Character Development; pushing your beasts interior and exterior life to reach their fullest potential- 📚#mythicalcreaturearchive

 

 

woman reading a book
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There may be some of you out there at the beginning of your writerly journey, thinking, “I have so many questions,” this is natural, and is one of the things that makes us writerly in the first place. We question, we have wonder and we look for the answers.

In the beginning, of my own writing process, I found myself asking questions about traditional publishing for example and a simple Google search produced amazing, glittering, very special results. I was introduced to Jane Friedman.

2017-Jane-Friedman-e1503956931633
Photo Credit: https://www.janefriedman.com/about/

Jane writes for Publishers Weekly, has developed a writing resource for writers called The Business of Being a Writer, and gives talks, teaches classes and has this amazing and very helpful Blog. She’s smart, well informed and very successful. I recommend her work and trust what she says. Now, I want to talk a bit about Character Development today and I wanted to access the point that she makes below using John Thornton Williams advice. I love this, and I think it gives beautiful entry into HOW you get into the character’s personal space, in their head and enter into a working, 5 senses view of their life. If YOU can see and feel it developing, your readership will too.

Jane says, “One of the most important goals of any fiction writer is getting the reader to connect on an emotional level with the story’s characters, but how do you accomplish this without being clumsy—without saying, directly, “Joe felt so upset he wanted to die,” which takes you right into the heart of cliché? John Thornton Williams offers this suggestion:

     “[Take] into consideration how a certain character would experience a particular setting or image based on his/her emotional state. Something as simple as a car parked on the street surely looks different to a lottery winner than to someone who just got evicted. In other words, indirection of image is a way to take abstract emotions and project them onto something concrete. Doing so creates the potential to explore interiority at a greater depth than what’s afforded by mere exposition.””

photography of person holding bat with spike
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According to another invaluable resource about characterization, tvtropes.org,  character development is, by definition, the change in characterization of a Dynamic Character, who changes over the course of a narrative. At its core, it shows a character changing. Most narrative fiction in any media will feature some display of this.
tvtropes.org goes on to say that while the definition of “good” and “bad” character development is subjective, it’s generally agreed that good character development is believable and rounds out a well-written character. Bad character development leads to the feeling that someone is manipulating the events to their own whims, or even reduces the character’s believability.
There are many sub-tropes to discuss, some of which include:

  • The Coming-of-Age Story is centered around this afore mentioned trope in the context of growing up.
  • Darker and Edgier and Lighter and Softer can either deepen a character or round out unnecessary roughness. They can also turn them into a pile of mush or make them an unsympathetic jerk.
  • Badass Decay can soften a previously harsh character. Or it can ruin an awesome character.
  • Flanderization is when a character has a quirk or personality trait that slowly becomes their only defining characteristic.
  • The Heel–Face Turn, Face–Heel Turn and Morality Adjustment tropes rely on character development to make this a believable turn of events.
  • Hidden Depths has a character develop in unexpected directions. It can also describe a Flat Character turning into a Rounded Character.
  • Out-of-Character Moment may be a positive or negative example, generally steering a character in new directions without wholesale Character Derailment.
  • A Character Check can help steer a character who developed too far from their original character back into being themselves, or remind the audience that they still are the same person they used to be no matter how much they’ve changed. When combat factors into their development, then they Took a Level in Badass.
  • A Jerk-to-Nice-Guy Plot is a specific form of character development where the character learns a lesson and takes a level in kindness.

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These are hardly the only examples. The Evil Twin of Character Development is Character Derailment. Beware of this trope. To see the opposite of this trope, see Static Character. See also Flat Character and Rounded Character. Compare Hidden Depths, where something is revealed that was true all along, but would not have been visible before.

Check out this character development list, The Ultimate Character Questionnaire, by http://www.novel-software.com. It goes a bit more in depth, in the personality development section than I have seen in general character development lists. Check it out here. Good luck guys. I hope you create some amazing characters!

 

If you find this article fun, interesting and informative. If you decide to use this exercise -let me know how it went in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!