1. SunnyRabbiera
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    SunnyRabbiera Member

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    Does using "furry" characters = Kids stuff?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by SunnyRabbiera, Aug 11, 2008.

    In my writing I dont always focus on human characters as the main focus of my story.
    Sometimes I go away to places where other life forms exist and use them as my main focus, and often times these stories involve "furries".
    Often times I use "furry" characters as a metaphor to reflect what is happening with our own race.
    I have used stories involving humanoid rabbits to reflect the timid nature of todays post 9/11 world.
    I have used stories involving humanoid felines, to reflect the human nature of fight or flight and how aggression can get one into trouble.
    All kinds of situations like this to show a political aspect to human nature and how things are these days.
    But often times using non humans is considered childish and unusual and its looked at as kids stuff.
    Now me, I dont think of myself as a "furry" though I use the moniker of one online as it gives me more mystique I think.
    But there have been "furry" books that seem to go beyond kids stuff.
    The Secret of Nimh, Watership down and redwall seem to push the boundry and are very adult stories if you look at them closely... Heck Animal farm is another good example of the genre having adult themes sometimes.
    What is your take?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Look at some of Andre Norton's books.

    Still, you have to get over the initial hurdle of first impressions. Rightly or not, furries are associated with tales for children.

    One of ny eighth grad clasmates was irate because our English teacher, Mrs. Parslow, rejected his plan to write his monthly book report on Orwell's Animal Farm. Her comments demanded he seek a book that was up to his reading level.

    I don't blame him. Mrs. Parslow was an idiot in any event. Oh the cartoons that cirulated about her! But it illustrates that you may well be judged even before someone cracks open the cover.
     
  3. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    One of the most touching graphic novels I ever read about WWII was done in the style of humanoid rabbits as the jews, and each "race" of human was done in a different other animal.

    In many cases using "furrie" can soften the blow of a very political piece of work and make the message more digestible for younger viewers (Hence the association to children when you use furrie)

    But werewolves are technically furries... and they do not strike me as "Childish".

    It depends on your style of writing as to which audience will look to your work and see what you are trying to say.

    In the end, you need the use the medium you feel the most comfortable with.

    I hope some of this helps.
     
  4. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    My anthro (furry) writing, and most of that which I see online, is definitely not geared toward children.

    I think it's the same as with any other types of writing. Just because something is fantasy, for example, or features children, doesn't mean it's a children's story. It's all in how you write it, the voice and tone and audience you write it for, that determines whether something is a children's story or an adult story.

    That being said, there's certainly a childish stereotype associated with anthro/furry writing. For years I couldn't understand why my family thought I wrote children's stories when to my knowledge I never have (except when I was a child myself!). The fact that when I drew my characters, they were animals, was probably what made them think this. In fact I felt nobody would ever take my stories seriously and ended up removing any references to my characters not being human...then I came online, and was stunned to discover that other people write this kind of stuff all the time. I'd honestly thought I was the only one.

    I'm not a furry either, I just have anthro characters. *shrug* But I still keep out most references to them being animals and not human, because I know most average readers just couldn't take a story seriously if you have a dog serial killer or something. (My cousin mocked me once when I revealed this information to her, and I learned to keep such things quiet unless asked.) The fact that most of my characters aren't human has no real bearing on the plot of the stories, so it's not important to mention it.

    Granted, my "furry" writing doesn't focus as much on the furry as most anthro writing does; my characters just happen to not be human, and other than that they're mostly the same as humans. *shrug* I do have furrier stories than that but I don't focus on them as much.

    It seems to me, from my very limited experience, that anthro writing, as a genre, is taken more seriously online than off, even with books like Watership Down (the rabbits weren't really "anthro" in the sense most furries use, they just happened to think like humans, and act like rabbits) and the Redwall books. I knew of these books for years before going online and never even thought to compare them to my own anthro characters.

    (Regarding that WWII story, wasn't it anthro mice who were the Jews...? If it's Maus I'm thinking of...?)
     
  5. MarionRivers
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    MarionRivers Member

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    In general, though, I don't think the problem will be the works being regarded as childish necessarily. After all, any non-fable about potentially scandalous themes like a serial-killer for example is going to be clearly written with adults in mind.

    I think the issue is that many people will feel that unless you have a thematic imperative (such as the Jews=mice metaphor in Maus which was a reference to Goebbels' propaganda), people are going to assume that it's comedy. At least that's how I'd view it. I think animals in funny human situations can be really biting hilarious satire, but animals for the sake of animals makes people raise an eyebrow.
     
  6. chad.sims2
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    chad.sims2 Contributing Member

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    For me if it didn't have some importance in your peice and it's just that you want them to be furry then I'd read it, if it was good enjoy it but i'd still be asking my self, Why were they furry? On the other hand if you're using them in a way that gives me a clear importance as to why you did it then sure why not? I watched an anime where the main char was a normal human who ended up in a world of furries, not sure what it was called, but the furriness was important to the story. (That and it added some comidic element when a charicter went into heat. LOL poor guy) And yes furries are funny. Or I think so.
     
  7. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    This here is the reason why I decided to downplay/eliminate the anthro references from most of my originally furry fiction. The fact that the characters aren't human had absolutely no bearing on the plot (except for the odd fact that one character, a dog, had a lot of children :redface: ), so there was no reason for me to include this information any longer. The only "furry" elements that remained were a few odd names that could be written off as just odd names. I remember once feeling perplexed when I read a furry story which was just people who happened to be animals, acting exactly like people, going to school doing people things. I wondered why the writer made them animals.

    The anthro element DOES have a place in some of my other writing so I left it there. (Though I did have one more hardcore furry take me to task for not making my anthro rat characters "furry enough" because they didn't act like his idea of anthro rats--they acted "too human" for him, shades of my reaction to the story above--but that's just the way I write them in that story! I'm fairly certain most anthro characters don't act completely like animals who just happen to talk like people. :rolleyes: There are going to be widely varying degrees of "furriness" in all stories, but the furriness should have a reason for being there.)
     
  8. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Yes.. that was it.. thank you...
     
  9. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    When it comes to good writing, very rarely is anything just kid stuff.
     
  10. Fluxhavok
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    Fluxhavok Active Member

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    Use those preconceptions to your advantage. Market your adult themed books as children's books, it worked for J.K.Rowling. She wrote books about murder, corruption, deceit, betrayal, all that stuff, then made the characters kids, threw in some magic, cute words like muggles and hogwarts and crap and bam! Now she's makin' sweet moolah with uncle Rico.
     
  11. chad.sims2
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    chad.sims2 Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't call Harry Potter an adult book. It's writen for children that's obvious. Just don't forget that CHILDREN LIKE ALL THAT STUFF YOU MENTIONED!
     
  12. Fluxhavok
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    Fluxhavok Active Member

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    oh... i haven't read them personally, or seen the movies. but my friend told me that it started getting pretty dark toward the end.
     
  13. chad.sims2
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    chad.sims2 Contributing Member

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    She defaintly changed her writeing style part way through the series. I think she wanted to prove that she could write something more grown up, but they are still childrens books, with childish ideals, and problems.
     

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