The #MonstrousMayChallenge 2021
Want to make a monster?
This is the full write-up for the #MonstrousMayChallenge — for every day of the month of May 2021, there’ll be a new prompt all to do with creating monsters and monster-centric stories!
You can either go directly off of the prompts themselves, or if you want a little more inspiration, you can come check this post for more in-depth exploration of the idea in question.
Feel free to pick and mix the prompts you like best, to skip any prompts that don’t suit you, or to swap in prompts of your own if you like — every 3rd day is a specific category of “classic” monsters, and they’re not for everybody!
For each entry in response to the prompts, regardless of what platform you post to, make sure to tag the #MonstrousMayChallenge! In the meantime, just spread the word and tell your friends to get them ready for May!
“Monsters are the patron saints of imperfection.” — Guillermo del Toro (x)
The emphasis on all of the prompts below are on monster-centric and monster-POV stories. Monstrous romances and monstrous erotica are both welcome and encouraged, just as much as platonic monstrosity is, and please feel free to join in regardless of your medium, whether you draw, write, animate, or create in another way entirely!
Just a note as to what expect — this challenge is intended for those who love monsters, who identify with monsters, who feel for the monsters, and all the prompts are written with that expectation in mind.
One small note: throughout these prompts there are references to folklore and ideas from different cultures and backgrounds. When exploring ideas from cultures that aren’t your own, remember that not every representation of spirits or monsters can be divorced from its original context, and take care to do your research to ensure you aren’t harming others by furthering harmful stereotypes or appropriating ideas of cultural importance.
We’re all here to have fun, which means that using a love of monsters as a vehicle for racism (whether that’s outright or by upholding colonial and imperial ideas, appropriating from other cultures, or fetishising other races and cultures) is not what we want to see in the course of this challenge, and isn’t welcome here.
Note the above especially in regards to the Alonquian W*nd*go.
Saturday 1st May 2021 — What is a monster?
Here’s a warm-up challenge to start the month off:
For you, what is a monster? What makes a monster monstrous? What delights you, excites you, scares you, horrifies you about a monster? What fills you with affection for monster?
When you first hear the word monster, what springs first to mind?
This is a free space — talk about, write about, draw, animate, sing about, the monster(s) you love best, and why you love them!
Sunday 2nd May 2021 — How To Talk To Your Monster
How does your monster communicate?
Do they have a mouth, lips, a tongue, like humans do? Do they communicate verbally at all? Do they communicate via telepathy, via their tentacles, or their limbs? Do they speak, but at a pitch or volume or speed inaudible or incomprehensible to human ears? How is this gap bridged?
Does your monster understand humans but struggle to make itself understood? Does your monster want to be understood?
Alternate: How does your monster communicate with other, different monsters?
Monday 3rd May 2021 — The Vampire
The vampire is a walking corpse that sustains itself by feeding off the the blood of the living.
There are a thousand variations on the myth — a corpse that rises from its grave at night only to mindlessly glut itself on the prey it can find becomes a reclusive gentleman who lives in isolation in a brooding, gothic castle overlooking a Transylvanian woodland (Dracula); a sparkly immortal Mormon who likes to climb into young women’s windows to watch them while they sleep (Twilight); a rich aristocrat so intent on preserving his properties and his privilege that he clings onto immortality at all costs (Interview with the Vampire); an extremely sexy vampire in sunglasses who’s devoted to killing other vampires (Blade), and so on and so forth.
Explore your own take on the vampire:
- Is your vampire actually dead? Do they just appear dead, or sleep in coffins?
- What makes a vampire? A curse? A ritual? Transmission of vampiric disease — via the exchange of blood or via sex? Are they born that way? Do dhampirs (half-vampires) exist? Do vampires become vampires by choice? Is there a contract or an agreement?
- Does your vampire drink blood? Cerebral fluid? Consume human flesh? Do they sap energy from others in non-literal ways — for example, do they feed off of emotions or energy, or seek to devour a soul?
- If they survive off of the above, do they also eat or drink other things? Are they capable of doing so without becoming ill?
- Is your vampire sensitive to sunlight? Bright light in general? Do they physically react to it? Do they burn, or crumble to dust? How do they cope with this — do they only come out at night, do they wear leathers and carry a parasol, do they use a medicated suncream?
- Can vampires become ill? Sick? What weakens a vampire? What kills them?
- Does your vampire have any other powers? Can they fly, hypnotise people, transform into gas or another animal?
- What happens if a non-human becomes a vampire?
Alternate: A non-vampire monster becomes absolutely obsessed with vampires. They love them to pieces! Why? How do they get their vampire fix?
Some inspiration, if you want it:
- Article: An 18th-century guide to hunting vampires from National Geographic
- Article: The Great New England Vampire Panic from the Smithsonian Magazine
- Video Essay: The Sexy Vampire Trope, Explained, from The Take
Tuesday 4th May 2021 — Iconic Settings
Imagine an iconic setting within the horror genre or without — your Transylvanian castles, your unending deserts of shifting sands, your haunted houses and their infinitely winding corridors, your unholy spires atop distant peaks, your deep and dismal caves, your roiling seas…
What monsters lurk within these settings? How do they feel about their environs? What happens if you transplant a monster from one such setting into its opposite, or combine a few of them together?
What happens if these settings are invaded, lost, destroyed, expanded, changed?
Alternate: Imagine any iconic setting you like, but instead of the monster lurking within, the setting is the monster.
The seas themselves are sentient; the caves are toothy maws of impossible beasts; the mountains themselves have eyes; the castles and houses and ancient tombs and temples are, themselves, imbued with a spirit… Is it hungry? Angry? Lonely?
Wednesday 5th May 2021 — Feeding Time
What does your monster eat?
Is it predator or prey? To a human understanding, does it look like what it is? If it eats meat, does it prefer to eat it dead or alive? If it’s not from this planet or dimension, does it struggle to find new things to eat? What does it look like when your monster eats? Is it private about eating? Does it look scary when it feeds?
Does it eat at all? Does your monster get its energy from the sun, from electricity, from magic, from something else entirely?
Alternate: From a monstrous POV, a human’s dietary habits seem monstrous and strange. Why?
Thursday 6th May 2021 — The Lycanthrope
The werewolf is a person who turns into a wolf, typically at the time of the full moon. Lycanthropy is the name of the condition of being a werewolf, or someone who turns into some other animal.
The variations on the werewolf are infinite — the core is often people bitten by strange beasts and left forever cursed with their regular transformation (for example, in The Wolf Man); but a curse is also possible, such as when kings are turned into wolves as punishment for their hubris (as with King Lycaon in Metamorphoses); or of course, a curse inherited, such as when young men who come into their inherited lycanthropy and suddenly have a whole host of new puberty concerns (Teen Wolf).
And it needn’t be a wolf at all — there are all manner of shapeshifters between one myth and the next, and as much as there are werewolves there might be werelions, werebears, werebats, et cetera, et cetera.
For your lycanthrope, why not explore:
- What animal or creature does your lycanthrope turn into? A wolf, a bear, a lion, a snake, a bird? Something magical — a phoenix, a unicorn, a griffin, a dragon?
- Once transformed, can your lycanthrope be distinguished from the normal edition of the beast? What are the differences, for example, between a werewolf and a wolf?
- Can your lycanthrope transform at will? Is it influenced by their emotion? Is it kept to a regular schedule? Can that schedule be interrupted? For example, if it’s a monthly cycle like someone’s menstruation, can they go for periods without transforming or with “spotty” transformations? If it’s with the phases of the moon, does hiding from the moon help? What happens if you send them to another planet?
- Is the transformation painful? Physically or mentally taxing?Are there any health problems associated with lycanthropy?
- When transformed, how conscious and aware of themselves is you lycanthrope? Do they know they’re transformed? Do they remember what they were?
Alternate: Sometimes, another monster turns into a human.
Friday 7th May 2021 — Adverse Weather Conditions
What weather is your monster happiest in? What weather is your monster least happy in?
Is your monster native to an area that’s extremely hot and humid? Very cold and dry? Is your monster used to heavy rains, droughts and little water, sandstorms, electrical storms, blizzards? If your monster lives in space or underwater, how are they affected by solar flares or tropical storms, shifts in tides and gravitational flows?
How has your monster evolved or developed to handle these weather conditions — or, is there anything your monster hasn’t evolved for, and struggles with?
Alternate: Your monster is a house-monster, and will not be going outside. They would like a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa and a nice comfortable bed, please and thank you.
Saturday 8th May 2021 — The Monster In Love
Your monster’s in love — what do they do about it?
Does your monster have any particular mating rituals or ways in which they show their affection? Does your monster mate for life, does your monster date, does your monster romance singular or multiple partners? Does your monster yearn, do they pine? Do they bring gifts, do they do special dances, do say particular words or have mating calls?
Is their love reciprocated — is it even understood?
When one monster loves another monster, what does it look like? What does it look like when a monster is in love with a human? When a human falls in love with a monster?
Alternate: Your monster has never been in love, and is baffled — perhaps even disgusted — by the prospect. Do they do research? Demand an explanation?
Sunday 9th May 2021 — The Undead
The undead covers a lot of things under a similar umbrella, and it’s up to you whether they count as monsters or not — ghosts, ghouls, poltergeists, spirits, revenants, draugr, reanimated corpses like zombies, arguably vampires… To infinity, and beyond.
We can be talking spirits without bodies or with new bodies, corpses with new spirits in them, corpses controlled by necromancers or the like, and so on.
So, for this prompt:
- For your undead monster, are they conscious, sentient? Do they control their own body? Do they remember when they were alive, if they were dead and then reanimated?
- If they have a physical form, can someone tell they’re undead? Are they rotting, corpse-like, desiccated, all bones, all flesh, all muscle? Are they missing parts? Do they have any extra ones? Do they look the same way they used to? If they don’t have a physical form, can you see them at all? Can you see them only sometimes?
- What sustains this undead monster? Do they feed off of anything, or are they just sustained by the air itself, by magic, by some sort of magical object or curse?
- Was your undead monster once a human? Once a werewolf? Once a faerie, once a dragon, once some other creature entirely?
Alternate: Your monster is a necromancer, and they are not undead, but control and raise, in some way or another, the undead.
Monday 10th May 2021 — “… and add a monster.”
Take absolutely any iconic work you like, whether it’s a classic piece of literature, a poem, a piece of mythology or folklore, a fairy tale, a fable, a shanty or a campfire song — anything that’s in the public domain and might be well-recognised — and add a monster.
Have Sherlock Holmes meeting a vampire, reimagine Jean Valjean as a minotaur, give Mr Darcy a deep and affectionate longing for his local werewolf.
You don’t have to keep to the same characters or plots — rewrite an existing plot with monsters (Rapunzel or Cinderella, for example), have two plots crossover (what happens when the monsters in two myths team up to defeat the hero out to kill them?), add monsters or change the monsters in the narrative, or if it already has a monster, add another.
Alternate: Take a public domain domain monster and give them a break. Send Dracula on holiday, give the poor result of Frankenstein’s experiments a spa day, etc.
Tuesday 11th May 2021 — A Baby Monster
How do the monsters breed?
Do they lay eggs? Give birth to live young? Do something else entirely? Are monsters active parents? What happens when monsters interbreed, or breed with humans?
Is the breeding… fun? 😉
I know not everyone likes writing babies or kids, and equally that some people have come into this challenge specifically for the monsterfucking, so there’ll be two streams of main prompts — one focusing on the breeding for you child-free monsterfuckers, and another focusing more on monstrous baby development once an egg is laid or a baby is born, etc.
Feel free to do both if you want to do both, as one does lead into the other!
Questions about breeding and monstrous pregnancy:
- Does your monster fertilise eggs for the purposes of a live pregnancy, do they lay eggs, do they clone themselves, do they breed in some other way?
- If your monster has genitalia, what do they look like? Are they analogous to human genitalia? Are they particularly big or particularly small compared to the analogous human parts, if so? How compatible is your monster’s genitalia with a human’s genitalia — or another monster’s?
- If there is a size difference between monster and partner, what comes of this? Are there any chemical differences between monster and partner — for example, does the monster’s touch impart a high or some kind of contact aphrodisiac?
- Are any attempts at breeding viable? If the monster’s partner is filled with eggs, what happens the longer they carry them? If the partner does carry the eggs or the babies to the point of birth and laying, what happens? Is it a painful process? Will they survive it? Does the partner know they’re pregnant at all?
- And the pregnancy/egg-carrying questions: how does the partner’s biology change to accommodate the pregnancy? Do they have any strange or unexpected cravings? Does their biology change in any unexpected questions?
Questions about monstrous child development:
- How is the monstrous baby first conceived? Is it an egg laid, is it an egg fertilised, an egg fertilised and then carried, as the result of a live pregnancy, something else entirely? If they’re laid eggs, do they go through a larval stage or other similar development?
- Are monstrous babies born alone, or in groups? Do they have a high viability rate? Do the monstrous babies eat one another? Do they eat their egg casing or their placenta, if applicable? If not, what do they eat — do they drink milk or blood, do they need their food pre-chewed by their parents, can they look for food themselves?
- Are monstrous parents very active in caring for their offspring? Are monstrous babies born able to take care of themselves, able to have a sort of independence, or do they need to be cared for for a period first?
- How fast or slow is a monster’s development? How long does it take for them to become fully grown? How much do they grow, and how does their body develop and change as they run through their lifecycle? Do they shed their skin or any body parts, do they change a lot materially?
Alternate: What does monstrous contraception look like? Do they have a concept of it? If they don’t, how do they feel about it being explained to them?
Wednesday 12th May 2021 — The Alien
What makes an alien?
Are they from another planet, another dimension? How similar are they to anything found on Earth? How did they get here?
Are they intelligent, sentient? Do they know they’re on a foreign planet or in a foreign dimension? How fit are they to survive on Earth? How do they respond to the animals, the new sounds, the new world, around them? What technology do they have? Do they appear to be aliens as people imagine them? Do they pilot aircraft as people think they do?
Alternate: A human (or another species from Earth) is the alien on another planet or another dimension populated with “monsters”.
Thursday 13th May 2021 — The Domesticated Monster
Let’s look at the monster domesticated.
The likes of Pokémon, fantastical creatures as beasts of burden or as steeds — unicorns and pegasi and giant spiders and dragons, for example — or other tamed monsters that have learned to live with humans, and live side-by-side with them.
Are monsters actively bred for a result, or do they domesticate themselves as cats and dogs did? Do they perform tasks or assist humans? Do they give milk or eggs or honey or silk or meat? At what point in their domestication are they? Are they happy? Are they well-treated?
Alternate: A monster gets a pet of their own — is it a fantastical species, or is it a dog, cat, bird, etc? Is it even a human?
Friday 14th May 2021 — Clothing Your Monster
Does your monster wear clothes or armour?
What sort of clothes or armour do they wear? Is it grown, made, bought, traded for? Do they wear any other kind of jewelry or decoration? Do they always wear it, or only for some occasion? What do they think of human clothes? Do they want to try wearing any themselves, or taking human fabrics for monstrous clothes?
Alternate: If your monster does not wear clothes, what do they think of human clothes? How do they feel about the fact that humans wear them? Do they have a full understanding of the separation between clothes and flesh?
Saturday 15th May 2021 — The Mermaid
A mermaid is a half-human, half-fish.
You can take this very literally, as in The Little Mermaid, with someone who has a human upper half and fishy bottom half (or the other way around…😏), you can think more along the lines of the fish-person we see in Abe Sapien from Hellboy or (also) in Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water, or you can look at different variations on mermaids — the seal-like selkie who can remove their pelt to walk on land; the siren that calls to sailors so they dash themselves upon the rocks; naiads and other spirits of the water; the rusalke of the water, and so on.
Questions for your merfolk:
- Do they belong in freshwater, saltwater, brackish water? Do they stay in the seas, in deep lakes, in ponds?
- Do they regularly come to the surface, or do they live very deep below? What sort of temperatures are they used to, and how much sunlight? If they live in cold water or deep below the surface, are they very large and blubbery to ensure they can cope with the pressure and the cold?
- Are your merfolk bioluminscent? Fish-like, cetacean-like, cephalapod-esque? If they do look similar to humans, with a human face or human body parts, do they look or feel like human flesh underneath the skin, or is it just for appearance?
- What and how do your merfolk eat? Do they eat fish, meat, seaweed, plankton?
- How do your merfolk feel about humans? About fish and other marine life? About animals on land? Other monsters?
- Can your merfolk step onto land? Do they want to? Are they curious about what they find there? Do the humans nearby know about them, care about them?
- Do merfolk live alone, in groups or as families? Are they migratory? How far do they travel, and for what reasons? Do they build towns and cities? How do they feel humans compare to them?
Alternate: A completely different non-merfolk-esque monster lives at the very bottom of the sea. What is it? How do humans come upon it? How big is it?
Sunday 16th May 2021 — The Gentle Kaiju
Kaiju is a Japanese genre of films— your Godzilla, your Mothra, your Rodan, all of these are kaiju: strange, gigantic beasts.
This prompt is centred around any monsters of superlative size that are trying their absolute best not to harm any of the little people scurrying them about them.
You can take this literally — think kaiju tip-toeing their ways through great cities and trying not to step on anything important, huge space beasts careful not to disturb planetary orbits in case they hurt anyone, or even the likes of the human trying not to step on any ants — or you can think of other monsters trying not to harm others despite some aspect of their biology making it difficult for them — Lovecraftian beasts doing their best not to do anyone any psionic damage, for example, or Medusa-like beings desperate to avoid people’s gazes in case they do any harm.
Alternate: An extremely tiny monster or another monster very easily harmed by human activities needs to kept safe.
Monday 17th May 2021 — Monstrous Transformations
How does a monster transform?
Does in transition between one form or another, like a werewolf, or between forms for land versus water? Does it regularly transform or transition through different physical presentations? Does it shed its skin, leave its old body behind? Does it grow new teeth or claws or body parts? Does it transform in response to disease or ailment?
Does a human transform slowly into a monster? Does a monster transform into another? Is this transformation willing, conscious — is it against all desperate attempts to prevent it? Is it painful? Is it agony?
Alternate: A monster expresses deep curiosity about human transformations — perhaps the differences between a child and an adult and their scale of growth, perhaps the apparent transformation when a human changes clothes, or puts on a mask, or even make-up.
Tuesday 18th May 2021 — Angels & Demons
A demon is typically an evil spirit or devil, and are sometimes thought to be fallen angels; angels are typically benevolent spirits, often thought of as celestial messengers.
Being as they’re often thought to be celestial or infernal, do you think of them as being from another dimension? How well do they mesh with Earth, from their own perspectives and human ones? How do they look or appear? Do they have to present themselves in a strange or unusual form? How do they communicate with humans — and why? Are they evil, benevolent, or simply neutral?
Are angels and demons separate things? How many kinds of angels and demons are there respectively? If they’re separate, do they communicate with one another, balance with one another?
Alternate: A monster that is not a demon or angel decides to present itself as one or the other. What is it? Why does it present itself this way?
Wednesday 19th May 2021 — Monstrous Flora
Your monster is plant- or mushroom-based!
(Or lichen-based, or algae-based, or moss-based, or coral-based, or…)
What does it look like? What makes it different from a mammalian or scaly monster? Where does it come from? How does it move, how does it breathe, how does it eat? Does it sleep? Does it 😏… you know? Is it good at it?
Alternate: Your monster lives codependently with, or lives inside, some sort of plant. What does that co-evolved relationship look like? How big is the plant? What does it look like?
Thursday 20th May 2021 — The Monster in History
Throughout history, the perception of your monster has changed over time.
Is your monster immortal? Over the progression of recorded history, has it been this same monster recorded in one sighting after another, in art or in story? Or, is your monster the latest generation of a species or line of inheritance that has gone on for a long while?
How much has your monster’s culture changed and developed in that time — has it changed in reaction to or alongside human cultures? How accurate has human perception of your monster been as the centuries have rolled by? How has art or stories about your monster changed in their telling?
How has the monster reacted to changes in human history, or different events as they have happened?
Does your monster even notice the passage of time? Are they in some way insensible to it, or do they experience it in a way humans don’t?
Alternate: The monster is a time-traveler! How do they do this? Why?
Friday 21st May 2021 — The Hybrid
A few things are bred together to create a monster, whether that monster be sublime or an abomination before the universe!
Think about griffins, pegasi, basilisks, cockatrices, and of course the manticore — any sort of beast made by combining one creature with another.
What creatures have been combined to create this monster? Has a human been one of them? How has this combination been achieved — via actual interbreeding, magically assisted or otherwise, via alchemy, a curse, or some other magical process? Has this creature literally been stitched together and then reanimated? How have the different creatures contributing to the creature changed its behaviour or its abilities?
Alternate: An attempt is made to create a hybrid… and unfortunately this is not the result. What is?
Saturday 22nd May 2021 — Kept Captive
The monster is captured.
How big or small is your monster? How was it captured — was bait used to draw it in, such as a food stuff, a copied call? Was it herded into an ambush? Was it trapped under a cage, in drop trap, in a magic trap? How easy was it to capture — did it take a long time, were several attempts made? For what reason was the monster captured?
Now kept captive, how big is your monster’s enclosure? Is it a cage, a glass box, physical chains or bondage, something else entirely? How long has it been there? Is it alone — would it rather be alone than the alternative? Is it struggling with its captivity? Is it marking out the amount of time it has been kept trapped, screaming at its captors, harming itself in its desperation for escape?
Is it likely ever to be freed?
Alternative: A human is kept captive by a monster.
Sunday 23rd May 2021 — The Human Is The Monster
From the perspective of the narrator, the human is the monster.
Who or what is made to fear them? What makes the human so monstrous in their eyes? Is it to do with the human’s size, their appearance, their behaviour, the nature of humans as a collective?
Alternative: The human thinks they’re thought of as the monster — the real monster is behind them (figuratively or literally).
Monday 24th May 2021 — The Dragon
A dragon is a mythical creature, often large and scaly, with variations found the world over.
Is your dragon extremely big, or very small? Is it indeed scaly, or does it appear so? Is it some form of sea serpent, or does it fly? Does it have wings, fins, a tail, teeth? Does it have very powerful senses, or different ones entirely to what one might expect? Does it have a mouth, eyes, a tongue, ears? Does it breathe fire or ice, have gills? Does it have some other supernatural power — telepathy, telekinesis, affect the weather or the tide?
What does your dragon eat? Does it eat meat, vegetables? Does it feed off of magic?
Does your dragon hoard anything — gold, jewels, young people out for a wander? Livestock? Something else entirely?
Alternate: An ancient dungeon, temple, or some other monument, is marked by a huge statue of a dragon. Something else inhabits it.
Tuesday 25th May 2021 — The Monster Dies
It’s the end of the story — or perhaps the beginning.
The monster dies.
Alternate: The monster dies… but only for a while.
Wednesday 26th May 2021 — The Hive-Mind
The monsters in this one are multiple.
They share a hive-mind, whether that hive-mind is created by pheromones, by fungus or infection or disease, by magic, by telepathy, by technology, or something else entirely. How many beings are part of this collective? Do they exist in conjunction with one another, and move as a swarm or a hive? Do they synchronise their movements, and work together toward a common goal? Can they work independently, or only as a group?
Can others be inducted into this hive-mind, willingly or otherwise? Is this painful or uncomfortable? Does it wipe away what experiences came before?
If a member of the hive-mind travels far away, do they remain connected to the whole? How is this hive-mind used, when beings work independently? Can it be sensed or its effects be noticed by outsiders? What is its everyday function?
Alternative: A being once a member of a hive-mind or a collective is severed from it, and now alone. Are they grieving? Do they feel free? Are tasks suddenly more difficult or easy for them? How do they feel?
Thursday 27th May 2021 — The Fae
The fae are supernatural beings or spirits found in a variety of folklore.
The fae are often associated with woodland, bodies of water, bogland, or other particular areas, but there are variations on variations of different fae legend: elves, brownies, merfolk, y tylwyth teg, the bean sidhe, selkies, gnomes, kobolds, leprechauns, nymphs, pixies…
In a lot of modern fantasy, the fae are associated with rigidity around law and rules, certain contracts, and many superstitions are associated with fae or fae-like beings, where one offends them at one’s peril.
What makes the fae monstrous? What makes them frightening and an object of horror for others? What rules do they follow and expect others to follow? What superstitions are associated with them?
Alternate: The fae are introduced to pop culture depictions of fairies. What is their response?
Friday 28th May 2021 — The Monster Extinct
The monster has been extinct for thousands of years, if not hundreds of thousands, and based off of the evidence of them — stories, fossils, remains, old art, people are trying to back-engineer what they were like, what they looked like, how they communicated.
How accurate are they? How off?
Alternate: The monster doesn’t exist yet, or is a long way off, but has been told about in prophecy, or glimpsed in visions of the future. Are these glimpses accurate to the truth? Do they tell the whole story?
Saturday 29th May 2021 — Cultural Differences
What does cultural exchange look like between monster and human, or between two monstrous cultures?
How do these distinct cultures affect one another or interact? Are there large cultural differences between the monstrous cultures and the human ones? Are there any moral, ethical, aesthetic, economic, political, legal, or other cultural aspects that are very much at odds between some cultures and the others?
For example, do the human and monstrous cultures both have money? Do they treat money as of the same importance? Do they rank things in the same orders of importance? Do they have similar customs around politeness, greeting, language? Does each culture respect the others, or do they consider themselves superior or inferior?
Alternate: A human has never had much experience of the culture they were born of — they only know the monstrous culture they were raised by and into. What does that look like?
Sunday 30th 2021 — The Minotaur
It’s my birthday and the minotaur is my absolute favourite, so! Minotaurs!
The classical minotaur was the son of Pasiphaë and the unwilling stepson of King Minos of Knossos: born with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull, he was declared monstrous and trapped within the labyrinthine maze beneath the great palaces of Knossos, until the hero Theseus came to slay him dead.
Today, the minotaur is the name for any half-bull half-human delight, tragic or otherwise.
Alternate: You needn’t limit yourself to a half-bull half-human if you feel the need to abandon literal perfection — go for the drider, perhaps, a half-human half-spider, return to the merfolk of several prompts above, and go half-human, half-fish, the satyr, half-goat half-human.
Whatever it is, make it half-human, half-something else, and then decide:
Is your monster cursed? Were they made this way, were they born this way? Are they happy? Are they the same as their family members, or are they different? If they are the latter, are they loved and accepted, or made an exile?
What are the benefits and negatives to their physical appearance and to their biology? Are there any aspects that might be unexpected?
Are they viewed by people in general as frightening, intimidating, unusual, strange, incredibly sexy? Are they treated as a monster?
Monday 31st May 2021 — Happily Ever After
The monster lives happily ever after…
What does that look like?
Alternate: Or, your monster has a tragic ending — because you’re the monster, apparently! 😒😭
Thanks so much for considering taking part in the #MonstrousMayChallenge!
If you want to do any of the above prompts, or if you want to do them all, but you’re not a writer or an artist, or you are but you’re not always in the mood for art, here’s a list of alternate activities you can do to tick off the prompts!
- Do some worldbuilding, analysis, meta, or discussion of common tropes within or related to the prompt
- Shitpost or make jokes or memes about or related to the prompt
- Do some aesthetic or graphic posts
- Watch movies or TV episodes, read comics, or consume other media, related to the prompts
- Make rec lists for other people of movies or TV episodes or books (or other media!) related to the prompts
- Comment on and show some love for other prompt fills in the #MonsterMayChallenge tag! Share your favourite work and support fellow creators!
I’m on Twitter, and will be posting about the challenge throughout, but I also write other short stories and books!