1. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Thought of a fantasy plot idea

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by SeverinR, Mar 1, 2011.

    Maybe suggestions on how it could flow.
    Idea:
    Fantasy bigotry.
    Humans racist against elves.

    The character I am considering is an multi-cultural elven scout(half elf).
    She helps to save a group of wagons from an orc attack. (using her bow)
    One of the survivors is disgusted to find he was rescued by a female elf.
    (not just an elf, but a female elf, sexist and racist)

    Background: orcs hate elves, kill on sight, torture endlessly to death if captured.

    The bigot finishes the discussion with:
    "Hope you your kind are captured by orcs."

    Thinking of looking at the history of racism in our world to get an idea for my story.
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    The fact she is a half-breed will cause many humans and elves to hate her simply because she is a member of the opposite race, and at the same time, neither.

    Her birth will also come into question. Was her mother an elf raped by a human, or vice versa? Was she abandoned as a child because of her mixed blood? Did her parent(s) suffer oppression because they raised a half-breed child? Did the other kids in the neighborhood play with her or were they scared of her? Does the MC purposely wear clothes that obscure her identity/sex at first? Are half-breeds commonplace in the world or a rarity?

    There is a lot to consider when dealing with racism. It's more than just hate hate hate hate!
     
  3. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Thats kind of why I liked this plot.
    Most fantasy does not deal with racism, they hint at it, but don't use it as a
    basis for a story.
    Thats why I picked her for this story. She is perfect for the part.

    She is a scout, and where she lives is mixed community, but in her travels she comes across a racist town, basically human only.

    The incident given is the extreme hater, and the town will have a mixture of positions on racism.

    She embraces her elven heritage, and looks more elven then human. So elven discrimination is only a problem for someone that knows her heritage.
    She is welcomed in the family, she uses a bow made by her grandfather.

    I'm leaning towards a war romance mother rather then war ravaged mother.

    Elves-humans usually get along or at least tolerant with each other. But this is a haven of bigotry. Some stores in town have signs "Humans only."

    I plan on overt racism and covert racism. Openly hated versus plotting to get something over on the elf.
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Sounds like a good plot...you shouldn't be asking for validation though; if you want to write it, write it.

    So the town she grew up in is loving and accepting of her elf-human mixed heritage, but the place she travels to is racist? Maybe as foreshadowing, there could be one pack of bullies in her hometown who do give her a hard time, even though no one else does.

    Or if might be more of a shock to her if she'd never experienced it. There's pros and cons to each.
     
  5. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Expanding my fantasy thinking,
    this is not an area I have thought of.
    Looking for things I might include.

    I know the whites only drinking fountains, but what other abuses were there?
    Back of the bus, really won't work in a world with almost no mass transit.

    Looked up civil rights incidents and didn't find specific instances. BOard of education fight, but again, no public school in the small town.

    Suggestions in finding info?
     
  6. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    I agree with Mal here. If it has importance in your mind, write it. No one should tell you otherwise because it's of your own specific POV.
     
  7. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Separate rest rooms, hospitals, restaurants, and schools. They all had signs clearly marked, "Whites Only."

    Racism doesn't exist solely in America. If you look through history you will find more extreme examples. In WWII Nazis in Germany began categorizing people by hair and eye color, the size of their nose, and even height.

    In the modern world, wherever you go, the wrong beliefs, blood line, or even the wrong accent can cause others to look down on a person.
     
  8. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Interesting concept, but I'd like to point out that elves aren't really a race, they are a species. The difference being that each species has its own races (Human species has Whites, Blacks, Arabs, Asians, etc./The Elven Race would have whatever denominations of elves exists as its races, the wood elves, moon elves, dark elves, etc.).

    Secondly, the human racist bit (especially the white human racist bit) has been done to death, both in fiction and in reality. I would suggest using a non-white race of humans to hate your elves, just for the sake of having a fresh new perspective on an ancient issue, but that would probably draw down the PC Gestapo and prevent your work from ever being published.

    Perhaps, to portray a fresh new perspective, you could have the elves as the racists, despising the humans with every fiber of their beings. Looking down their finely drawn noses at the mortal riff raff and their primitive and barbaric cultures...if you can call it a culture. The "man things" with their limited intellect and almost non-existent concept of education, lack any semblance of social grace. Just look at how they wade into the pristine sacred forest, with their axes, hewing and devastating the tree population, all in the name of building their absurd little houses and burning the sacred oaks for their cooking fire...blasphemy...the race of men are a diabolical plague upon the world of the goddess. We of the elven blood should adhere to our higher noble calling and defend the sacred wood from these infidel heathen. We should slay these round eared, ape like monstrosities before they wreak any more havoc upon OUR world. Indeed, we owe it to the next generation of our children to preserve our world and our way of life...DEATH TO THE MORTAL HUMANS...THE GODDESS WILLS IT!!!

    You know, that sort of thing. I don't think that has been done before, at least not to my knowledge. It should prove to be a refreshingly new look at the age old problem, instead of just a rehash of past events.
     
  9. Natbutterflyblue
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    Natbutterflyblue Member

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    It sounds really interesting, here in Australia racism against the aboriginals was pretty violent. If you looking for some more background info on racism take a look into their history as well as that of other cultures were extreme racism has existed.
    There was the 'black line' in Tasmania where solders formed a huge line and marched across the land slaughtering any black person they found.
    The white settlers actually created a program designed to breed the aboriginal people out of existence, the half castes as they were called were often not accepted to be either race. Aboriginal women were sometimes forced to marry white men or just raped.
    The aboriginal children were taken away from their parents to be raised as slaves, this was called the stolen generation ect
    Aboriginals were not treated quite the same way as the black Americans were, aboriginal people weren't officially even considered legal residence of their own country until the 1970s but they had been sent to war long before that.
    The cause for all this was the aboriginal people were not considered land owners by the English because they didn't farm the land (they were hunter gatherers) so by the Law in England the land was theres for the taking and the aboriginal people were considered pests to be dealt with.

    I say all that because having a solid reason for the cause of the hatred will make it easier to understand why things are the way they are. Even ancient wounds leave a scar.
     
  10. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I would like to see the beautiful elves be racist against humans. The reality of our world is that attractive people get everything and will go out of their way to oppress the chubby, too skinny, the less than perfect, etc. The end up work 18 hour shifts at Walmart while the pretty can literally stand somewhere and get paid millions.

    That's the truth and it's more bizarre than racism. An Elf story would be a great way to highlight that.
     
  11. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Elves are stuck up little bastards. Down with the elves, I say!
     
  12. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I kind of agree that the elf --> human racism is more believable, actually.

    Also, as I'm sure I've mentioned in other fantasy-related threads, I'd like to see a variety of elves that do not live in trees, speak lofty etheral language and shoot with bow-and-arrows while their long, white-blond hair stirrs gently in the wind.

    I'd like to see some darker, "scarier" elves. When I was in high school, our school put on a play of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and I played one of the faeries - the director put a spin on the story to make the faeries (which for all purposes are the same as elves) darker than the stereotype, and it turned out really cool.

    I have an idea............what if you have your humans, your more "typical" elves (althogh no blatant Tolkein ripoffs please), and then a certain race or mutation of elf that is looked down on by the others. What if 10 percent or 20 percent of elves have orc blood, thus they're more monstrous looking and known for being barbaric (not that they all act barbaric, but enough do that the label is there)? You could introduce the racism card this way.

    What if the elves and the humans were at war with each other over land, and the orc-elves got involved in a way that stirred things up for everyone? Or, better yet, what if the orc-elves and humans were at war, but the high elves decided it was their place to intervene in the conflict and go to war for the sake of "protectionism" or something.
     
  13. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Hey Ernie, those damned humans are stealing our cookies again. It could mean the end of the Keebler Empire!
     
  14. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    *quietly scribbles down the idea*

    But no seriously I do agree. Elves should be depicted in more ways then a Tolkein rip off. I also think that Elves should be the ones to be racist. I mean in most fiction Elves tend to be a perfect race. Master Race anyone? With them being generally superior they would look down on the mortal races(though why are Elves generally immortal? Mine are lucky to live past 200.)
     
  15. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always liked 8-bit Theaters take on elves. It's best summed up in a conversation between the two characters Warrior (stupid human) and Thief (ninja elf).

    Warrior: If elves are so great, why hasn't their society progressed in the passed ten thousand years?

    Thief: Because...we like it that way...

    :D
     
  16. Jones6192
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    Jones6192 Member

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    Racism is a topic that really should be explored more in speculative fiction, since so many young people read this genre, and need to have this anvil dropped on them. I'm glad you want to use fantasy to get across an important message and not just a mindless sword-and-sorcery fable. Not that there's anything wrong with mindless sword-and-sorcery fables...
     
  17. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    I agree with many here. If you're edging towards elves as superior to humans (in intellect, quick motions, manners etc, as the Tolkien elves are) than I'd have them be the more racist ones. Their ideas of superiority blinding them to accepting man and his capabilities. Make elves live very long (not immortal, too cliche) but have them off-set by low birthrates compared to humans. (one elf couple can make a child every ten years or something).

    As for orcs, for the loovvveee of god do not make them a bunch of monstorous stupid things running around that are just fodder for the great heroes to kill by the dozens. Make them interesting, their own culture, and their own ideas of justice. Let them talk about how their tribal societies are being wiped out by the expansion of man. Explain that they only raid humans for humans consistently encroach on their land. Say they hate elves for elves have hunted them down for centuries for nothing more than blood sport or something.

    Also how about another mixed race combo for your character. Elf-Human seems blaze. Have maybe Elf-Orc? Elvish women raped by an Orc, has a daughter who now tries to live a life where she's considered an abomination. She wouldn't have to be hideous. Why not make your orcs different from the classic tolkien orcs. Instead of ugly, small grunty looking thing running around, why not make them slightly green skinned, muscular, tall people who have larger teeth than average canine teeth? A girl with elf mixed with that wouldn't necessarily be ugly, just different by our standards.

    Have the humans/orcs team up to kill the "master race" of elves, who finally decided to destroy all lesser species in one great war (nazi germany metaphor undeniable haha). Your girl could be torn on which side to choose, and have a human male lover or something for drama.

    Great idea to start off with though, make the classic races of the fantasy world have some really interesting new twists to them.
     
  18. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Elves have directly contributed to the obesity epidemic in the west!

    It's a subtle racist plot to make them more cute than us.
     
  19. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I never liked that idea of Orcs. Whenever I think of an Orc I think of a large and powerful species. They are proud and more warrior like then anything. But they are not blood thirsty. If you fight well against one then the Orc will give you his cultures version of an honorable death. In one version I had my Orcs care little about gold coins and that they would literally leave their coins laying around to see the humans squabble over finding it. Of course I just needed my MC to come across some quick cash so. *shrugs* lol

    I really wish I hadn't been set on keeping my Elves/humans on a level playing field. Would be interesting to explore such racial issues. In my story Elves tend to be faster and stronger but not to the point where a dedicated human couldn't easily best an Elf. Idea was that no race was superior.

    Hmm perhaps a prequel? :D
     
  20. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I read a very cool book called Strange Creations that was a collection of wacky theories about race, species origin, etc and it's really worth getting.

    Anyway, all the Tolkein stuff was right out of old ideas about the origin of man. The pre-Nazi idea was that humans, real humans, were an elf-like race that had a special organ that allowed for a kind of telepathic power. They were vegetarians and super fit.

    They met "animalistic" races from the southern parts of the world and it messed up their genetics removing the fitness and mental abilities. That's addressed in LOTR.

    He denied it, but I beleive Tolkein made the hobbits the heroes to turn the elf idea on its head.
     

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