1. Empyrean
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    Empyrean Member

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    Anthropomorphism

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Empyrean, Dec 30, 2009.

    I've been playing around with a number of ideas in my head, one of which involves anthropomorphic animals, or humanized versions of animals. The thing is, when we usually see this, it's considered childish given today's society, what with Alvin and the Chipmunks, Kung Fu Panda, or any other generic family film.

    Now, I've been wanting to create a working fantasy world featuring humans, and a host of anthropomorphic species all collaborating together. I'll probably be creating something more original - not mice-men or lizard-men or anything like that.

    I really want to do this to put more color into the world, as I feel like a lot can be done with this, and a host of possibilities can arise from it.

    So, what comes to your mind when you think of anthropomorphic animals in stories?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Waitaminute. You say:
    And in the next breath you're asking the members for ideas?

    Am I the only one who sees an inherent contradiction here?
     
  3. Empyrean
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    No. What I asked was this: So, what comes to your mind when you think of anthropomorphic animals in stories?

    I'm not wanting the layout of what a wolf-lizard would look like. All I want to know is if it seems childish to have anthropomorphic species in a story that wants to take itself seriously. I was just leading up to the question by stating what I perceive to be society's opinion.

    I really just want to know if my assumptions are correct.
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    The quality of writing will determine if your characters are to be taken seriously. That includes anthropomorphic creatures. A talented writer could write a good story featuring a simplistic plot...say, an old man catching a giant marlin from a row boat with a hand line. Pretty dumb sounding, huh? Hemingway thought differently. It's usually the skill of the writer that makes or breaks a story, not the story line.
     
  5. Empyrean
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    Thanks. This pretty much sums up what I was looking for without having to take a poll.
     
  6. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    Sorry, I got the wrong definition.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ah, I thought you were asking about what kinds of anthropomorphic characters popped into members' heads.

    Anthropomorphic characters need not be childish. Consider books like Animal Farm, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and Watership Down.

    As Dean (NaCl) said, the quality of your writing will determine how seriously your story will be taken.
     
  8. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would the rabbits from Watership Down really count as anthropomorphic? It seems to me that the author went to quite a bit of effort in order to avoid having them act like humans.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is still a great deal of anthropomorphism to the rabbits' behavior and culture.
     
  10. Empyrean
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    The ability to talk and converse is an example of anthropomorphism in the rabbits.

    If I remember correctly, the wild rabbit's culture is different from the tame ones they come across, which are more anthropomorphic in nature, what with communist symbolism and what-not.
     
  11. sidtvicious
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    Along with the examples people have already listed (i mean you really omited talking vermin, but I'm mentioning the following anyway) Red Wall is a good example, so is Magic Kingdom for Sale. Also, I grew up with a lot of Native Americans (i use the phrase "a lot" sparingly, but I did grow up very close to a reservation and had many friends there) so I think of stuff like Coyote. In that same vein though I think of the Anansi folklore.

    This all being said NACL is right, this really comes down to the writing. Most ideas have been done before.

    Best Wishes,
    -Sid
     

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