Hi there! So this is my first post here, I've been lurking on here for a while now and I'm in need of some help when it comes to bringing in an original creature in the universe I'm building. (Also I'm apologizing in advance if I'm hard to understand, it's late in the evening for me!)
I've been writing a YA fantasy novel for almost 2 years now, I started in late 2017 and I really want to focus on fleshing things out more this year. Here's a little description of the story summed up as easily as I can;
From noble heroes to discredited freaks, a secretive monster hunting guild is struggling to regain their favour back with the Crown and the citizens of Neros. Two members, Maven and Bryce Blackwood are father and daughter and are considered the black sheep of the guild, for reasons that ultimately fall down to the elder Blackwood's hands. The two are assigned a “simple” cargo transport, but when they arrive at the pickup location, the cargo isn’t as simple as it was advertised to be; you can’t get any more complicated than transporting the King’s daughter, who has a tricky past of her own.
So that's the basics of the story (I hope that description paints enough of a picture, any questions feel free to ask), but I have a problem that lies within the first draft of the chapter. In the first chapter, it involves hunting down a creature as part of a "celebration" for the younger hunter being initiated into the guild. And I decided to come up with my own creatures along with using a few stereotypical ones you find in fantasy (eg dragons, werewolves etc.)
This is the description of the beginning of their encounter with the monster;
The young girl could see a clearing up ahead. Her father grabbed her forearm as she made a move to walk into it. He shook his head, lowering his body into a crouching position. She nodded wordlessly, following suit. Letting go of her arm, the old man moved to position himself behind a nearby tree trunk. Pointing at another, slightly shorter tree trunk, he jerked his head toward it, his eyes widening for emphasis as he motioned for his daughter to get into position.
She quickly but silently moved to the tree trunk, back firm against the base of the trunk. Taking a small shaky breath, she peered around the tree trunk and looked into the clearing.
It was big. And hairy. And very, very, vomit-enducingly ugly.
It let out another groan, lower than the one they heard before. It sounded like the groan of a big, grumpy hound, but with a more gurgled sound to it. Thick, coarse grey fur covered the beast’s body – at first glance you'd think it was a large bear. But the man-ish hands and feet were a tell-tale sign that wasn't the case at all.
The hands covered in what appeared to be a mix of blood and mud. The girl couldn’t see what it was doing, as it was crouched over something. From the crunching noises she heard, she deduced that they were about to interrupt it in the middle of lunch.
She heard her father exhale, her eyes quickly darting from him to the beast. It was no longer crouching. In fact, it has turned around slightly, it’s high, pointed ears twitching in the direction of where the pair were hidden. The girl’s eyes widened slightly as she got a better look of it’s face.
It’s left half was scarred and garish, some sickly looking green pus oozing from the deeper cuts. A bear-like snout sniffed the air, it’s lips pulling back to reveal large, dagger sharp teeth. It gazed around the clearing, seemingly lifeless. As it turned around, it’s bloodshot red eyes locked with the girl’s brown ones.
My problem is; I have NO clue on what to call this creature, and I'm uncertain if it paints a good picture in a reader's head of what it is. I'm imagining something close to a mutated bear of sorts with some humanoid features, and overall I wanted it to be a very large, brutish creature. So far I've thought of the following names for this thing: Bear Troll and Bog Bear. I'm leaning towards Bog Bear as part of the chapter has them tracking down the creature through it's habitat nearby a village, which is pretty swampy and dense with forestation.
How do you guys go about naming creatures in your own universes? Is there anywhere you look at for some inspiration or ideas for naming them, and what do you think of my description for this one? Does it paint a decent description in your head of what it is as a reader?