Jack Meggitt-Phillips is the internationally bestselling author of the monstrously funny The Beast and the Bethany books. The latest book in the series, The Beast and the Bethany: Child of the Beast is out now. Here, Jack shows how you can create your own beast.
Some authors write because they want to have their say on deep, important issues like climate change, or the length of their neighbours’ sideburns.
Other authors write because they want to describe the beauty of the moonlight.
I’m an author because I love writing villains.
In my series, The Beast and the Bethany, my favourite character to write is the beast - a big grey blob with three black eyes, two snaking tongues, and a large, dribbling mouth.
The beast spends its days ordering things it wants to eat from its servant, Ebenezer, so it stomps around the place saying things like . . .
“Ebenezer, I want to eat . . . the Crown Jewels.”
“Actually Ebenezer, I’d like to eat . . . a witch’s broom.”
“No, no, NO! What I want . . . what I really, really want is . . .YOUR PET CAT!”
The whole The Beast and the Bethany series begins when the beast announces that it wants to eat a child. Ebenezer goes out to find the worst child in the world, and that’s when we meet our hero - a rude, rebellious prankster by the name of Bethany.
The beast is a truly despicable creature, yet I love writing it. And, in the latest book, The Beast and the Bethany: Child of the Beast, there’s a new beast in town . . . a child-sized beast who causes carnage in Bethany’s life by revealing the terrible truth about where she really comes from.
If you would like to have a go at creating your own beast, then you need just three simple ingredients - something you fear, something you find gross, and something you love.
Something You Fear
OK, let’s start with deciding what your beast is going to look like. And for that, we’re going to need something that you fear. I want you to take this fear and imagine what a monsterfied version of it might look like.
If you’re afraid of spiders, then maybe your beast is a spider-like creature that’s the size of a sky-scraper. If you’re afraid of heights, maybe your monster is a giant who scoops you up in his gigantic palms and raises you high above the clouds. If you’re afraid of homework, maybe your beast is a demon teacher with hypnosis spectacles, who follows you home and forces you to do triple algebra - even on the weekends.
Something You Find Gross
I think it’s important to use the senses when you’re creating something terrifying, so your beast is going to smell of something foul. And for this, you need something you find gross.
Maybe the skyscraper-spider has mouldy cheese breath. Maybe the giant has armpits that smell like rotten fish. Maybe the demon teacher has a runny nose, with snot that smells like pigeon poop.
Something You Love
The third and most important ingredient is to discover what your beast wants, because I think villains are at their very scariest when they clearly want something.
I want you to think about something that you love. Because, your beast is going to love ruining whatever you love doing.
If you love playing online games, then maybe the stinking skyscraper-spider wants to destroy the internet. If you love eating chocolate, maybe the giant starts stomping on every chocolate factory in the world. If you love your poodle, then maybe the demon teacher likes eating children’s pets.
Now that you have all the ingredients, I want you to put a beastly monster into this brilliant Crazy Creatures writing competition that Young Writers are running. Write a 100-word story about your beast, then enter it here.
Be(a)st of luck!
The Beast and the Bethany: Child of the Beast by Jack Meggitt-Phillips is out now (Farshore)