1. creative_nothings
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    creative_nothings Member

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    Stupid... but would readers accept it?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by creative_nothings, Feb 19, 2013.

    Really not sure if this is even worth asking but as I write a certain portion of my story, the history of an outsider clan of dwarves must be mentioned to help better describe them and why other dwarves look down upon them. So... is it possible for dwarves and humans to mate? :eek: I mean, I suppose anything IS possible in a fantasy world, but I'm not convinced that readers would accept it? Any thoughts?
     
  2. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    Unless you're writing Tolkien fan fiction, you should always feel free to create your own mythology. Those who would not appreciate that your dwarves aren't Tolkien's dwarves aren't worth worrying about.
     
  3. creative_nothings
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    creative_nothings Member

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    Thanks for the reply! I only asked because, as a reader of this genre (and oddly enough, someone that hasn't READ Tolkien's work), it does seem far-fetched. But then again I'm writing about enslaved elves as well, so I guess anything is possible! :D
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    A dwarf is a human. Just one with a very small body and a full size head (as opposed to a midget, who has a proportionately small head).
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's your world. You make the rules. Your job as a writer is to make your readers suspend their disbelief and go along with your story.
     
  6. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I wouldn't worry about perceptions and "stupid."

    Henry Mencken is quoted as saying, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

    If you can tell a good yarn, there's no doubt in my mind that entire trailor parks will think it's true. We have already mentioned the radio show "The War of the Worlds." It happens way too frequently.
     
  7. creative_nothings
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    creative_nothings Member

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    Ed, I'm referring to those of fantasy. The stubborn, mountain dwelling, blacksmithing type dwarves... :)
     
  8. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Ask Snow White ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    But in all seriousness I see no reason why readers wouldn't accept it, we have plenty of stranger tales like Avatar
     
  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ed is right in what he says, but being that you are referring to fantasy types, then it's your fantasy - fantasize.
     
  10. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    I suppose the question being asked is 'will readers of traditional high fantasy accept such a concept as being 'normal' within the genre'?

    Now I have to admit that I don't know what is accepted within that genre with respect to interspecies mating, but my answer is that you should write what you want and b*ll*cks to the accepted genre norms. Even Tolkien kind of did that by inventing hobbits :)
     
  11. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Tolkien redefined an entire literature genre with his work, so it is not a good idea to compare everything to it. If your story is a YA novel then it's readers won't have any problem accepting your premise. If however you are going for something more then you will have to provide adequate explanatory details in order to justify your plot.
     
  12. -NM-
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    -NM- Active Member

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    I can tell you from first hand, very sexy experience, that yes it can be done.
     
  13. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think in all fantasy you have to keep within the basic rules of the species - vampires that don't drink blood is rediculous in my mind. I watched 5 minutes of one of the Twilight films and met a whole family of vegitarian day walking vampires who had jobs, doctors etc and turned it off.

    Maybe your dwarves are just a different strain - an ancient mongrel hybrid dwarf and a give them a new name but keep the characteristics

    You could even go with the infamous half-dwarf http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Half-Dwarf_(3.5e_Race) completely acceptable to fantasists
     
  14. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    One of my friends legitimately asked me what the offspring of a dog and a human would look like. She put the lack of dog-man sightings down to the fact that humans don't actively choose to copulate with our canine friends.

    Be assertive, roll with it.
     
  15. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Dog-man sightings? Hey, werewolf stories are as old as Maria Ouspenskaya. In a fantasy you can pretty much do as you wish.

    Look at the dreadful "Blade" series. A vampire that walks in daylight and doesn't drink blood? Who does he really work for? Al Gore? The "Occupy Transylvania" movement? They bleached out the gore and still sold three movies.

    Heck, "The Island of Doctor Moreau" had every combination of animal-human they could think of.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    they are still humans of some kind... and if they possess the requisite 'equipment' what's to stop them from mating?... humans afflicted with dwarfism mate with full-sized humans all the time...
     
  17. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure the OP is talking about human dwarves - more the fantasy hobbit type dwarf or am I wrong?

    I take it as akin to a vampire humping a leprechaun - it wouldn't happen so just invent a distant cousin to your fantasy dwarf
     
  18. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    It is an interesting concept, which is entirely plausible. Prince Caspian's tutor in The Chronicles of Narnia was half and half. The genealogical fossil records show that there are were several distinct, yet similar species of humans, who coexisted and may have interbreed.

    The genetic markers still show up in the DNA of modern humans. Scientifically it is not out of bounds. The fact that it is fantasy makes it all the more plausible and relatible. Much of it will depend on your own depiction of the dwarves and humans of your world, their histories and mythologies.

    A main character who is half of one world, half of another, yet not really accepted by either. Quintessential hero's journey set up. Also, don't discount your readers' intelligence. Fantasy readers are among some of the most inquisitive geeks around.
     
  19. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I find it hilarious that people are arguing over whether or not dwarves and humans could mate: this is a fantasy novel, not a novel set in the real world. Yes you must be able to explain why things are what they are and so forth, but as long as you keep the reader wanting to read and giving the characters human problems, you could have a flying rat-monkey with a tongue made of cheese for all anyone cares!

    Anyway, onto the question. Yes, of course that is fine. But as I said previously, you must be able to say why this is so, how it came about, and what happens when matnig does occur between these two races. For example, are the two races so different that both catch a terrible disease after sexual intercourse? Can they mate but not have children? If they can have children, what do they look like? Draw a couple of them, and even if they're terribly drawn, they're purely used as a reference. Ask yourself if this child was born, would there be any abnormalities, either mental or physical. As long as you explain (and you don't even have to explain it all, for there must be some element of mystery in your fantasy world) you are free to do as you wish.

    Hope I helped. :)
     
  20. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find it hilarious that TK thinks people are arguing over whether or not dwarves and humans could mate: Even in the real world Humans have tried it with a lot worse than dwarves! The OP was about it being believable so of course you can have a flying rat monkey with a tongue made of cheese but you can't call it a dwarf - its about sticking to the basic rules of fantasy - just call the human humping creature something else...simples!
     
  21. creative_nothings
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    creative_nothings Member

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    Thank you all for the great feedback. I didn't expect this to turn into a huge debate :) It is a minor element in the overall story but one I definitely felt needed to be explained.
     
  22. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    You're on a computer forum. You can actually have a debate parsing the idea of parsing.
     
  23. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    One could also debate that this is a writing forum, not a computer forum, too...:D. There is no java speak!
     
  24. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    LOL. Well, in the spirit of geekdom, let me parse that.

    This is a writing forum. I'm on a computer. And I am drinking a cup of Java. And you and I are having a debate. It touched on parsing.

    So technically, as far as you and I go, this is a debating, Javanese, parsing, computer writing forum.

    Now, the moment I said that, some tweener in his mom's basement is going to parse/add that this is a lint-trap cleaning, Halo, pizza roll digesting, parsing, Javanese...

    We should finish this by next October.
     
  25. GhostWolfe
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    GhostWolfe Member

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    I used to play tabletop RPGs & the idea of interbreedability between all of the fantasy races was acknowledged, accepted, & even common for certain combinations.

    Fantasy races occupy a position somewhere between "separate species" & "different morphologies of the same species". Take the liger for example: the offspring of a tiger & a lion. Or the mule (donkey/horse).
     

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