1. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    Animal Narrator

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ChaosReigns, Sep 11, 2014.

    Well, i dont know where to put this thread, so im assuming the General Writing forum would be the best place (If it isn't could you kind mods move this to the right place, Thank you in advance)

    my question is, with a project im planning, im looking to have passages of it narrated from the POV of a Raven, would there be anything i should do/have in mind when i am writing as said Raven, I.E voice, tone, and that kind of going on. he is going to be quite well spoken, but i'm not sure how best for the voice to be portrayed of this character.

    he acts as bit of a commentator to help thread together sections of the novel (which follow several families and several linked events) as he flies over the country watching what is going on. so if i say focus on one family and their goings on, when i come to him and his voice, i can write with him commenting on what is happening with another family's events if i should leave them mid way through.

    it is going to be a bit game of thrones-y in terms of jumping about timeline, but as for actual novel. it is going to be different.

    i hope i have helped where i can, when i have more info on the actual plot line (without revealing too much) i will fill you in.

    Thankee
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Think like a raven would think, what would their life experience and instinct do to influence their view on the world and actions of other birds and of people being observed. Use words and images and make connections as a bird would. This is, of course, figuring that the bird can 'narrate' using words and is intelligent enough to do so. Maybe a house would be called a wooden ground nest, for example. Young humans might be called squab or chicks, and not children. Male or female vs. man or woman, things like that. Brown tufts instead of brown hair on someone's head.

    Time might be associated with the sun's location, or when certain other animals or prey/predators would be out and about.

    Those are just some examples off the top of my head to consider. My point being you wouldn't want the narrator that is a raven to be just another human that flies around and hangs out on tree branches.
     
  3. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's a bird who thinks in English, right? If I remember correctly, one chapter was narrated by a lamp post in Richard Milward's Apples. And why not, it worked. You have a free rein, really, what would you like your narrator raven to be like? I probably wouldn't concern myself too much about making it particularly birdy 'cause it's a bird who (that?) speaks, narrates, possibly comments and observes, so that's already pretty interesting for a bird. You could give it a voice like you'd give to a human narrator, and you might want to steer clear of the occasional caw unless done humorously.

    If the raven follows some storyline, you could include some of the things ravens tend to do. Like it dodges cartwheels that rumble down the thoroughfare, or maybe it hangs about graveyards (man, I saw so many ravens on this graveyard T and I visited in London) and you could explain why they like graveyards so much. Maybe you show it have delicious worm lunch or whatever ravens eat.
     
  4. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    The raven serves as kind of a bard really, when i focus on the goings on of maybe one or two families (i have six at the moment) he usually serves as the voice that i can use to keep tabs on maybe a couple of the other families. i do intend to add things like graveyards and that kind of shebang in (because well, he is a raven, an i need to keep some kind of realism.)
     
  5. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    @KaTrian he does think in English yes, he doesn't speak the language, but due to the magics in one particular area he has traveled in, he can touch a human and convey his thoughts like that, which crops up in my first series that i am (still) writing as how a dire wolf communicates with his "leader".

    i know i am still planning this, but i want to make sure that i get it right when i finally put pen to paper, which will be when i have done my current WIP (or possibly the stand-alone novel im writing, it depends.)
     
  6. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    You're writing a series in which dire wolves are a thing? And they communicate through touch? You know that's like having sabre-toothed tigers that are telepathic, right? Dire wolves are an extinct animal. It might have worked in GoT but they're not exactly mythical animals like werewolves. I mean, if you wanted to write a story about a Glyptodon, go ahead and all, but if you write it just after a massively famous series including Glyptodons comes out, it's just going to look like you maybe lifted the idea a bit.

    Sorry ... end rant.
     
  7. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i understand your concern Alanna, at the moment, i havent finished the series, let alone edited it, and by the time i finish it all, it should be suitable enough time between GoT and mine to not pay too much attention. that and i have only read the first GoT book, and there was no way that i could have had any other creature in the position Linck is, he is more of a pet, and dogs are only feral creatures that are more like foxes.

    what im trying to also do is limit the quantity of mythical beings there are (i mean there are elves and dwarfs) because i dont want to over cook the mythical beings thing, and there arent any dragons either...

    sorry ive started ranting now, id best leave it here.
     
  8. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    Well, I think G.R.R. Martin was very clever in bringing a brilliant, extinct animal back to life in his fantasy. So, to me, it rings quite unoriginal to use that particular animal in your own fantasy. There are other big canids, you know. Check out a Borophagus or a Epicyon, maybe. I'm not discrediting your work, of course; I haven't read it. I just think there are more imaginative ways to go about it that don't smack of someone else's idea.

    I feel the same way about elves and dwarfs, because they are other people's creations (fantasy dwarfs not actual dwarfs) and you could have the same quality of characters without pasting trite labels on them. The Lord of the Rings isn't fantasy doctrine, it's just another fantasy book. Why not create your own races instead of falling back on someone else's?

    But that's my pet hate, it's not your problem. Loads of readers do seem to love it. I'm not attacking you or anything, these are just suggestions.

    Seriously though. Epicyon! Look! http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/mesozoicmammals/p/epicyon.htm they're awesome! I'd pay you to write a book about them! (in muffins)
     
  9. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is a tad OT, but just wanted say that I don't think Martin owns dire wolves any more than Tolkien owned elves or dwarves, which have in any case become so abundant in literature and video games that adding them to your fantasy story is like, I don't know, having horses there. Not all that many fantasy fans will go like "you copies me!" if they see another writer writing about elves and dwarves, or vampires, werewolves, and zombies.

    Granted, there're way less dire wolves in literature, but it's a cool name for an extinct animal, so it's not like Martin gets to hog it up! In fact, they're so cool literature clearly needs more of them.

    Epicyons are freaking awesome. They just need a catchier name. :p
     
  10. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I don't think Martin owns dire wolves either. I just don't think it's quite the same as elves/dwarves YET. If the OP wants to help them on their way, she's of course welcome to, just letting her know there are more original options.
     

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