There are Shapeshifters and there are Shapeshifters

First, some housekeeping: Several authors are doing a blog-swap from July 28 to August 10 as a fun exploration of shape shifters and fantasy novels in general for the launch of my novel Gargoyle, which is book four in my Doublesight series. It’s also a standalone in case you haven’t read the other books.

Along with the blog-swap is a Rafflecopter giveaway! Or you can join us on Facebook.

Here’s the blog-swap schedule:

July 28 (Tues.): (Me on Kandi J. Wyatt’s site)

July 29 (Wed.):!blog/c23fy (Kandi J. Wyatt on my site)

July 30 (Thurs.): (Me on Jonathan Gould’s site)

August 1 (Sat.):!blog/c23fy (Jonathan Gould on my site)

August 2 (Sun.): (Me on Michael G. Munz’s site)

August 3 (Mon.):!blog/c23fy (Michael G. Munz on my site)

August 4 (Tue.): on Elise Stephens’ site)

August 5 (Wed.):!blog/c23fy (Elise Stephens on my site)

August 6 (Thur.): on David Covenant’s site)

August 7 (Fri.):!blog/c23fy (David Covenant on my site)

August 9 (Sun.): on E.S. Tilton’s site)

August 10 (Mon.):!blog/c23fy (E.S. Tilton on my site)


Here’s Jonathan Gould's post about psychological shapeshifting. Jonathan has some very interesting insights I haven't thought of before. -Terry

There are shapeshifters

and there are shapeshifters

by Jonathan Gould

I’d like to begin by thanking Terry for having me today. It’s always nice to be invited to someone else’s site. To be honest, I don’t get out much so it’s a bit of a treat. Hopefully, I’ll behave myself and not do anything inappropriate, like messing up the furniture or spilling things on the carpet.

The first thing I notice when I look at Terry’s books is the central role that shapeshifting characters play. I reckon that’s pretty cool. I’ve always loved the idea of the shapeshifter. The fact that there’s more to a character than meets the eye is a compelling idea. You’re never quite sure if the character is exactly what they seem to be. Any second, they could change and reveal themselves, throwing the story in a direction you never expected. Or, just as easily, they could change into something else which is just as deceptive as the original shape.

When I think about my own writing, my initial thoughts are that I’ve never actually written a shapeshifting character before. Pretty much every character I’ve ever created is set in the way they appear from the start. It’s not something I’ve ever chosen to mess with.

But as I think about my stories, I’ve come to think that my characters will often change their shape in other ways. I could refer to it as psychological shapeshifting. Okay, that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’ll see if I can explain it properly.

I suppose psychological shapeshifting is the idea that your perception of a character can change, even though their actual physical attributes remain the same. For example, I might spend a lot of time painting a character to be a particular way, and then find a way to demonstrate that they’re actually not like that at all. I might set up a character to seem utterly good or utterly evil, but then show that they’re nothing of the sort.

A lot of this has to do with reader expectations. Readers are used to particular characters acting in particular ways. You could even say these actions are as much a representation of the character as their physical appearance. So when you then have them illustrating a different type of behaviour, it’s as if their whole appearance has changed. You see them as different characters. Just as in physical shapeshifting, it’s a great way to keep readers on their toes, and make them keen to know what’s going to happen next.

So, as I said at the start of this post, shapeshifting is a great device to use in writing. Whether it’s physical shapeshifting or psychological shapeshifting, it can lend a lot of power and intrigue to your storytelling.

So that’s about it for me. Thanks again to Terry for having me. Before I leave, I’ll just check the carpet and the furniture. No, it seems to be okay. Hopefully I haven’t disgraced myself today.

About Jonathan Gould

Jonathan Gould has lived in Melbourne, Australia all his life, except when he hasn’t. He never deliberately set out to be funny. For a while, he actually tried to be serious, but that only made people laugh more. So he decided he might as well go with the flow.

He has written numerous comedy sketches, as well as a couple of attempts at the great Australian sitcom, and his short stories and novellas have been nominated in several writing competitions, including the Goodreads Choice Awards.

You can follow him and his random ramblings at:

Magnus Opum

Magnus Mandalora never planned to go out into the big, wide world. He thought he’d live out his life in his homely little village, happily cooking and eating pflugberry pies. But fate had other ideas.

Before he knows it, Magnus has embarked on an incredible adventure. He discovers a world full of marvels and wonder, surprises and delights. But it’s also a world of perils and danger. As Magnus finds himself right in the middle of a long-running war between the fair and noble Cherines and the vile and despicable Glurgs, he faces challenges beyond anything he could have imagined.

Available from:

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