1. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Help developing an idea

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rassidan, Jul 29, 2011.

    Alright so I have been trying to find a way to make a plant race I have been working on more believable. The biggest problem I am having is trying to figure out how they reproduce. Each individual is bound to a flower/plant and this seems to be creating issues. I cannot find a logical way to make this work as how do you get a plant and a person all at once. I thought of just making the plants create pods but this does not work for flowers like marigolds. The only other thing I can think of is making the people themselves drop seed pods similar to say a peach pit but it just doesn't sound realistic this way. If anyone can come up with something I cannot think of I am open to suggestions.
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be clear: you have a humanoid race which grows from plants?

    Honestly, your pod idea will be fine. The simpler the explanation the better.

    You could produce a more intricate explanation but to what end? However complex it will not be able to satisfactorily bridge this unbridgeable gap between science and (delightful/creative:)) nonsense.
     
  3. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    The pod idea works to some degree but after much thought I am leaning toward some sort of seed pod that grows both the plant and the "person" all at the same time. The idea is the plant is the male aspect of the species while the female is the humanoid aspect. While I know I can't make it overly detailed I still try to explain it as best as possible for my own benefit. I guess I perscribe to a more Science Fiction belief of explanation for things like this.
     
  4. Marranda
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    Marranda Senior Member

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    That's an awesome idea! 'people' being 'born' from plants/flowers/flora/fauna.
    Are there Bees? To help pollenate the people-producing plants? Or some other kind of male-essence transplanting creature, or are the plants somehow hermaphroditic and can self-reproduce?

    If they are hermaphroditic plants, reproducing at will/seasonally (perennially?), then maybe just simply state that reproduction comes so easy because each 'person' can reproduce whenever they want, without help from anyone/anything else...

    If they aren't self-reproducing, then maybe make each 'plant person' reproduce the way their plant would naturally reproduce. That way you have a variety you can expand on, or leave as a generalization (Tree plants drop pits to 'give birth', flower plants release seeds/pollen, vines drop pods, etc) and leave it up to the reader to fill in the blanks.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting idea. A few things come to mind:

    1. Plants produce energy by photosynthesis or other autotrophic means. The need to evolve mobility is limited. Humans and other animals are mobile and seek out food sources. So from an evolutionary point of view, I'd be interested in how/why the race would come about. Does the mobile "person" lose the autotrophic ability? Does the whole race lack it? And if they do lack it, in what sense do they remain plants?

    2. Could the mobile form exist primarily as a reproductive stage? Maybe the plants don't reproduce in any way similar to plants we know - no pollination, etc. The only way genetic diversity can be achieved (for example via sexual reproduction) is that a mobile stage (the humanoid stage) has evolved and is able to seek out diverse partners to introduce variation into the gene pool.

    3. If number 2, above, works, you'd probably need a relatively long-lived mobile stage to explain why it has so many characteristics of a human or humanoid.

    4. As to how the human-like form could give birth to a plant, you could approach that in a number of ways. For example, after reproduction, the next generation of the plant form sprouts from the mobile form, which has outlived its usefulness in that generation.
     
  6. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    Kinda reminds me of the machine-grown humans in The Matrix.

    There are flakes of human skin and hair all around us, in the air. If you wanted to, you could have your plants collect genetic information from these stray cells in the atmosphere (when said cells come into contact with your "breeder" plants). The plants then use this collected genetic information to create a new human being (using genes from different "donors" to ensure that they don't simply clone some passer-by).

    The newly made fetus then grows in a small pod that grows with the unborn child until it's time for birthing, at which time the pod opens up into a flower with your little mutant baby in the middle.

    Or if you don't want to go with the happy-go-flower option, you could have the plant-kid grow inside the stalk/stem of the plant. The stalk/stem then breaks off when the baby is ready.

    Or you could make the children growing the roots, or have a fungus for the weird womb, or...

    Well, you get the picture.
     
  7. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Well in the book I am working on the race itself does not come about through natural means. One race was tasked with shaping the land and one person was given the task to create the species that populate the world. So the God that granted him the power to create life told him to create the plant people. So they never came about naturally thus eliminating the need for any evolutionary reasons for existence.
    The race itself is more or less protects the forest they live in. So in a sense they must be mobile to some extent to protect the forest in the first place. They do still use photosynthesis as a food source but they must drink water like everyone else to get water into their systems.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Ah...cool idea. Sorry, I immediately assumed science fiction and jumped into that mode :)
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I immediately thought of two things - the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and an old "Lost In Space" episode.
     
  10. Shifty
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    Shifty Member

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    How about fruit bearing plants? You could have people developing flower(that comes first)then the fruit/human develops slowly over time getting larger and larger untill ripe/birth.
    Its all a matter of scale really
     
  11. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    I thought about using fruit for the fruit bearing plants but it still leaves a large gap for flowering plants. One of my main characters is intended to be born from one of these flower plants so unless I start saying flowers bear fruit it is not workable for them.

    I have considered however the possibility of having the plant somehow split off from the person. I am not quite sure how it would work or where the split would occur.

    I am also trying to find a reason why the plant has to exist at all. I am thinking it must be part of the reproduction cycle. I am leaning more towards making the plant some sort of womb that is needed for reproduction. Maybe the person brings the ideal pollen to the plant and fertilizes it that way. Seems reasonable to an extent but I just haven't figured out how it works.
     
  12. MRD
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    MRD Senior Member

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    Belly-button?

    I would have thought that was obvious, what with the umbilical cord business and what-not.
     
  13. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    I thought about it being attached to the belly button but wasn't sure if it was the exact route I should go. Yet after you rementioned it and I had long forgot the idea it would make some sense.
     
  14. Shifty
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    Shifty Member

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    I live in my head with my characters most of the
    So your thinking about the 'person' being born from a very large flower that will open out its petals revealing a full grown or infant person. that is part plant.

    I wasnt sure if you quite understood how plants reproduce, so i have added a basic explanation for you thats to the best of my knowledge. I hope you find this helpful to your work. I often find when trying to get an idea straight, simple is usually best, if you cant understand how your idea works, you can't expect your readers too. Your advantage would be to mimic the natural process of the world you see around you. plants are simple, and simple makes sense.

    In reality when a flower blooms it is the early stage of the plants reproduction cycle, the part of the flower is called the Stamen which produces pollen, for arguments sake the sperm of the plant world. The petals are merely a means of attracting insects to spread said pollen to other flowers, a process called pollination. This is needed for the plant to become fertilized and grow seeds (plant babies), plants produce an edible fruit, or berry or nut, which are then eaten by birds and other animals transported and deposited, if you follow, at another site allowing the seed to grow.

    It is worth noting that some plants can fertilize themselves and do not require cross pollination.
     
  15. Shadow Reeves
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    Shadow Reeves Active Member

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    research the idea of propagative vegetation.
    this is where a tree will grow a clone of itself (or if it has been fertilised then a unique variation) on its branches, and once the baby tree is large enough, it falls and grows next to the tree.
    im pretty sure mangroves do this.
    in your story, i perhaps it would be simpler if the people only came from trees/large plants and not little flowers like marigolds.

    the other idea i have is use the tree as an incubator. the human is born from the tree but kills the tree in the process. a sacrifice for the protection of the forest.
     
  16. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Yes I sadly learned all I wanted to know about plant reproduction in biology and hated every minute of it. Yet essentially where I an going with it is the child develops from a seed not in the plant. Let me just jot down my full idea after much deliberation

    The flower itself drops a seed. From this seed a child grows into a baby utilizing the soil as a womb. As with human babies the baby has a umbilical cord which is actually a plant. When this plant sprouts through the ground it is time to bring the child into the world. The plant eventually falls off and must be planted to sustain the person's life force. It is through these plants that all seeds and thus all life for this race of people are born. Should either the person or the plant die both die.

    This is what I have so far and it seems to work.
     
  17. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    First thing that came to mind was 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', if you haven't seen it (there are 4 official films - the 1st 3 are classics - the latest with Kidman and Craig was disappointing), anyway it is about a plant based alien that replicates humans in order to spread.
     

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