Oh hey! It’s a magical creature post where I’m not going to ask you to think about religion! I mean, you can if you want to, as the medieval European werewolf typically put on a wolf-skin belt, or applied a special salve to their body, or went through a Satanic rite, and could be cured by conversion to Christianity or calling them by their Christian name, but these are less common modern tropes. But I have yet to see a book about the werewolf witch trials!

Typically, a werewolf is either a person who was bitten by a werewolf and became infected with lycanthropy, although there are other examples (such as Catherine Lundoff’s menopausal werewolves). Every full moon, they turn into a wolf, and then wake up naked in some strange place. They are often (but not always) horrified to discover that they’ve killed in the night. (The menopausal werewolves are the town’s protectors, and aren’t violent.) How a person becomes a werewolf and how violent they are when in wolf form are probably related. Are there ways to keep a werewolf from being as violent, like the Wolfsbane potion in Harry Potter? Can your werewolf lock themselves in their basement every full moon to avoid harming anyone?

Werewolves in modern fiction are often metaphors for something else: menopause, alcoholism, painful chronic illness, etc. You might already have this in mind if you’re thinking about writing a werewolf. Or is being a werewolf a positive thing, by which one acquires a found family? Is it both?

In addition to thinking of how werewolves are created, you should probably think about how they can be destroyed. Are they vulnerable to silver? Do they have supernaturally enhanced healing?

If there are other magical beings in your universe—vampires, witches, ghosts, etc.—can they become werewolves? What happens if a werewolf bites a vampire, or a witch? Can a werewolf become a vampire, spellcaster, or ghost? Can a werewolf bite a ghost, or do the teeth go right through?

What about “werewolves” of other cultures, like the Jewish alukah, a sort of vampire/werewolf creature?

Does the rest of the world know about werewolves? Are there werewolf-hunters? Are werewolf-hunters the good guys or the bad guys?

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