1. Holo
    Offline

    Holo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0

    How much can you "alter" a pre-conceived fantasy creature?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Holo, Sep 2, 2011.

    My main character is a werewolf but I'm writing the werewolves more like "wolf gods" (think Princess Mononoke or Spice and Wolf) than as the typical werewolves from folklore. I see that people are divided up into those that like when old creatures from folklore are changed around a lot and those that think that authors should stay true to the old myths. While I personally fall into the former category, I have to say that sometimes authors take it too far (ex: Twilight. Vampires should not sparkle).
    I would like to know other people's opinions on this matter. What traditional aspects of the werewolf should not be changed? How much can you change a fantasy creature? If you were to read about a werewolf, what would you like to see and what would you hate to see?
     
  2. Alex A.
    Offline

    Alex A. Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    OH
    If I was reading about a werewolf, I think I would want a more realistic look at it. It is not cool to be a werewolf. They are not sexy. It is a curse. They should only be able to transform under full moons, not whenever they want like some books (AHEM TWILIGHT YOU SUCK).

    The whole point of these mythical beings were to be scary stories or lessons for children. Authors need to put the scary back in these creatures. When I walk into the book store and I see rows designated for "Teen Paranormal Romance" I want to pull a Fahrenheit 451 on them because its over exploited.

    MAKE THEM SCARY, EERIE, and INTERESTING.

    These are just my thoughts on the subject. I am not telling you how to go about altering mythic creatures. I hope I did not insult you if you are going to write a paranormal romance. The new age vampire has gone too far. I know I don't represent all readers or even a small group of readers, but I think in these days, if you go back to their original intent, then you have a better chance than sparkling vampires and native american werewolves with slight speech impediments. Or, if you brought an interesting and original change up to the genre, then in my eyes it is acceptable.

    Hope this helped.
     
  3. Mr Mr
    Offline

    Mr Mr Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    701
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    London, UK
    The creature your describing sounds more like a lycan.
     
  4. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    You can change anything and everything that you wish. If you alter them substantially, it might be better to use another word, simply because "werewolf" will raise a bunch of preconceived notions in the mind of the reader. But you can change them as much as your imagination allows. No limits on that.
     
  5. Holo
    Offline

    Holo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was thinking about that. Sometimes if you alter a creature too much people will get mad that you keep the same name. For example, Stephenie Meyer should not have called her characters vampires considering the only thing they had in common with vampires was their need to suck blood.
    In that case, I'm not sure what to call them. Is there another name for werewolves but involves the more spiritual aspect of them? I was thinking of calling them lycans but I'm not sure.
     
  6. Holo
    Offline

    Holo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    My biggest worry is that I will write it and people will be mad because they are not true to folklore. Since my "werewolves" are more like "wolf gods" I don't want people to think I'm trying to make my species something they are not. But I also don't want people to that I am trying to write about a werewolf without calling my character a werewolf. They share a lot of traits with werewolves such as full moon changes, aversion to silver, etc., but they will not be exactly the same. Does this fall under the category of tweaking a pre-conceived fantasy creature or should I find a different name for them?
     
  7. SilverWolf0101
    Offline

    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    New York State
    I love working with werewolf characters, they've always fasinated me since I was a child.

    Personally I prefer that people keep werewolves to their original sense, creepy, scary, eerie, frightening, sometimes grotesque. Please please please don't make them super model handsome all the time that seriously annoys me. And DON'T make them invisible to harm if they aren't killed or wounded by silver.

    But if you feel like your going too far from the traditional sense of a werewolf then maybe you shouldn't call it a werewold but a different race instead.

    Besides, it sounds like you have a name already for your new race. "Wolf Gods" is simple but still something interesting.

    Feel free to give me a shout if you ever feel like chatting bout werewolves.
     
  8. CadillacXLR8r
    Offline

    CadillacXLR8r Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    2
    One thing I find when writing, it is your book, if people don't like the words you used, or the way you made a character, tell them to go write their own book. I agree that a lot of the things should be kept the same, but if you write fiction, they can't say "That's not a real werewolf" because in all reality, they aren't real anyways. Who's to say that the way you create them isn't how they are? Nobody! Because nobody can prove that you are wrong! Hope I helped! (Lol, but probably was just useless rambling on and on) if you ever need someone to review anything? Your story/book/etc., message me, it sounds very interesting.
     
  9. Holo
    Offline

    Holo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you and I will. I guess I just worry a lot about possible backlash that it hinders my story because I don't progress. Instead I dwell on what people like. Thanks everyone for your feedback.
     
  10. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I wrote a blog entry the other day about how it's not good to turn to others for guidance/approval when turning away from the norm. Just DO it.

    Besides, it depends on how well you write it. I'm not too against vamps/werewolves/etc being modernized or altered - really the only thing I loathed so much about Twilight was the sexism and doormat female aspect - but I've seen modernized/"sexy" vampires/werewolves done well in other stories. (No sexy zombies though, because...ew! haha. ;) ) But I also think that sticking to all the norms and modernized stuff won't make them seem scary, if the scare factor is what you're going for.
     
  11. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    I have a werewolf character in my current WIP. I changed them so they are able to shift into wolf forms at will, but still retain their normal nature. So instead of a nightmare monster, they became sort of adrenaline junkies - in fact I think I used that exact phrase (it's an urban fantasy). I also changed their names a little - I just call them wolves, it seemed simpler.

    I think how much or how little you change a character / creature from its traditional context is up to you as the writer. The important thing is to make sure that what you make them becomes consistent and has an internal logic. My wolves won't be monsters, but they will be out there day and night, shedding their clothes and their skins, revelling in their freedom and power, howling and laughing however they choose. Wild at heart I suppose.

    Still there are some things it would be hard to change. A vegetarian vampire might be a stretch. Tomato tofu anyone?

    Cheers.
     
  12. TerraIncognita
    Offline

    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Texas
    Said it for me. I agree, it's your story do what you will with your characters. :)
     
  13. Pythonforger
    Offline

    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Amongst the Mortals
    @Alex A-There is absolutely no need to bash Twilight, given that NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT ALL THE OTHER WEREWOLVES WHO CAN TRANSFORM WHENEVER THEY WANT! Also, the werewolves in Twilight DO transform at the full moon, but the shapeshifters don't. QFD. No more argument required.

    Anyway, I like to define a fantasy creature as having _____ as its main features and ______ as its sub features. For a traditional, silver fearing, full moon loving werewolf, the full moon and silver would be its main features. Its bloodlust and sharp teeth are its sub features. 2-3 sub features= 1 main feature, and if you change more than 1 main feature, call it something else.
     
  14. colorthemap
    Offline

    colorthemap Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    3
    If you want something different why not just not call it a werewolf.
     

Share This Page