1. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Two children, raised in the sea, what would confuse them about us?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Lorddread, Mar 31, 2011.

    So I've got this idea for a story. It's about two children, one boy and one girl. They're merpeople, well not exactly, they lack a tail, instead they have legs, unlike their peers. Some say it's because the pair's mothers interbreed with the mythical men of the dry; Their mothers won't say, so all their lives these kid's have been wondering what they are, sometimes entertaining fantasies of fathers on the land, waiting to show their children the world of the surface, a far cry from their mothers, who look upon them with sadness. So one day, after some nasty teasing they decide to run away onto the land. So what things do you think would confuse kid's who've lived in the sea their whole lives? One not being able to move in three dimensions, and clothes, the stoy's merpeople dont have any. Anyone have suggestions? The story takes place in modern day by the way.
     
  2. Louis Farizee
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    Louis Farizee Member

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    Bicycles.

    Wikipedia.

    The fact that the Starbucks logo is a mermaid.

    Rollerblades.

    Shoes in general.

    Dancing.

    Most sports, specifically those that involve running or kicking.

    Campfires.

    Taxes.

    Umbrellas.
     
  3. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    I would think the further inland they got the worse it would get.

    In a world where the weakest are devoured by the strong, they would wonder how Pauly Shore ever managed to live as long as he has.
     
  4. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    OMG:eek: That's hilarious! You just made my day :D
     
  5. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    So any ways their peers could have bullied them? And since they're traveling across the country, (Which is Australia how could they get food, clothes (I imagine they'd always seem to be fidgeting in them, not used to them) and transport? Also how would they explain their webbed digits, claws, completely black eyes, and stuff? Also does the fact that they're telepathic affect things?
     
  6. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Okay well, you never mentioned webbed digits, claws, black eyes, or them being telepathic before. I suppose the telepathy would be helpful because they could project thoughts to humans to not be afraid? Or to help them? I assume they don't speak the language?

    I have to ask, though, what do you mean you assume they'll be fidgeting in their clothes? Isn't this your story? If you want them to fidgit, make them fidgit. They can steal transportation or everyone can suddenly worship them as Gods. It's YOUR story, you tell them what to do.
     
  7. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Sorry, used the wrong phrasing. I have that habit. And does the fact that their ten affect things? Also how might they react to stories about mermaids?
     
  8. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    That's okay. I don't know, do merpeople age the same as humans? Do they have Gods, do they have myths? What can they reference the stories of what they are to humans to in their own lives? If they are the same as human 10 year olds they'll be terrified just from the difference of the world, not knowing where to find food (all the foods will be different as well, I assume they don't cook things under water) and they have no protectors. It would probably be overwhelming awe and fear.

    If they're equivalent to a human 19 year old by reaching rites of passage and things in Merworld, things would be different, I guess.
     
  9. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A few ideas...

    1)The fact that not all water is salt

    2)The fact that water will seem much more scarce and land much more common

    3)That on land you don't rock as much
     
  10. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    They have myths and religion but not deities, one of their beliefs is that when mer die they turn into birds and when they die as birds they reincarnate as merpeople. And how might their unfamiliarity with clothing manifest? And anything they could find fun about the surface?
     
  11. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I've never been to Australia, but I would think it might be fun to try to climb a tree and a learning experience on gravity when you fall out of it. koala bears are cute. Clothes are itchy? Annoying? I don't know, what are YOUR ideas?
     
  12. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    The foods we eat might be another mystery to them. Fish would be familiar to them, but red meat, cheese, and wheat, and other similiar things would be new for them.

    Also, depending on how advanced your world is, bathing may or may not be commonplace. Body odors may be a new discovery for the merkids as well.

    They may find clothing restrictive to certain movements. A dress might be cumbersome for the girl if she tries running through a forest becuase it would catch on branches and twigs. Shoes would certainly feel confining to someone who normally walks around barefoot and wiggles their toes all the time.


    The sights of the dry world. Forests and trees might be an exotic sight to them as there isn't much of an underwater equivalent. Buildings, roads, harbors. They might awestruck by how a field of tall wildgrass looks similiar to the ocean when the wind blows and the grass sways like waves on the ocean.
     
  13. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    So what could be a fitting form of magical ability for mer to have?
     
  14. Louis Farizee
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    Louis Farizee Member

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    Cooking in general! Hard to build a fire when you live in the sea. Unless you're cooking Krabby Patties.
     
  15. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Would it be interesting to keep it ambiguous about wether or not they are half human or just some aberration? And any non human traits they could have aside from the ones I mentioned?
     
  16. jonathan hernandez13
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    Aside from the funky eyes (possible second transparent eyelid) and webbed appendages, many marine mammals appear almost hairless, more streamlined for travel.

    Many marine mammals also have superb hearing underwater but are deaf in air, and will dry up very quickly in the air.
     
  17. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    So if they have scales where might they be?
     
  18. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you are interested in a real-life angle on this, a friend of mine and her husband set off to sail round the world. They had careers as journalist and marine biologist, so they could work as they went. They spent over 5 years on the voyage(s), slightly longer than planned because the wife discovered she was pregnant shortly after setting off.

    The little girl, Deniz (her name means 'Sea') was born in Australia, but she spent nearly all the first 4 years of her life on the yacht. She knew all the terms for every gadget on board and strange words to do with the sea, but when the family eventually came back to life on land she had problems communicating because she didn't know a lot of everyday words. Although she'd gone ashore for short periods of time she'd never gone on a highway, been to a large shopping mall with an escalator, or a cinema, or e.g. seen some animals like cows.
     
  19. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    ^Interesting, and could this be an interesting "side story"? A twin brother and sister who've been bounced around their extended family since their mother was committed, claiming to have slept with a merman. So the siblings, who have lived inland all their life are taken on a trip to the beach as a birthday present. All their lives they'd displayed strange habits, like adding salt to their water, eating live fish straight from the aquarium, ectetera. But once they enter the sea for the first time, strange changes occur, their fingers and toes become webbed, nails sharpen, gills grow, among other things... Than they follow what looks like a mermaid out to sea. Maybe the two sets of protaganists could parallel each over? They could come across each over at the very end or something.
     
  20. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    So how might the mer kid's react to human cultural ideas like say the nudity tabbo? And if they watched something like "The Little Mermaid" what might they say? So ways they could hide their inhuman features? Also how might they react to seeing other people with legs for the first times? Or being dry? Oh and the concept of money.
     
  21. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    Something occurred to me recently. And you may or may not consider this important within the context of your story, but lets face it. If they're kids, this subject is going to come up.

    But if they've been raised underwater, I'm assuming in the context you've given us, that they breathe underwater. So no underwater dome and no Atantean city here.

    So what happens when they have to go to the bathroom?

    I'm geuninely not being facetious here. In the ocean, they might not think twice about it. And not every culture follows the rule of using a private, designated space to empty their bladder and bowels.

    So will these kids run into issues when they are among civilization?

    I know most people will think that I'm reading into it. But if Stephen King or Micheal Crichton had written the story, you know the subject would come up.
     
  22. Lorddread
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    Lorddread Contributing Member

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    Hmm, they'd be used to the tides carrying away their waste. And what about reading and writing, mer are telepathic and you can't write easily underwater so they wouldn't have it. Anything about the land and humanity that could seem monstrous, scary or evil to them out of context?
     
  23. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Interesting, want to discuss it? Leave me a pm or visitor message.
     
  24. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    People can write underwater using a grease pencil and clipboard.

    You basically have your work cut out for you creating an entirely unique civilization underwater. Depending on who your target audience is, and the time period the story is set in, your room for disbelief may narrow or grow. It's a lot of work creating an entire civilization but it is fun. You just have a lot of thinking ahead of you.

    For example, are your MCs the first of their kind? Have other merfolk shown an interest in humanity before? If you include magic, that can be a wildcard that helps to explain some things, but you have to be careful not to overuse it.

    Have you ever seen the Tom Hanks film Splash? It's a good romantic comedy between a human and a mermaid. It's different than your story, but it might prove insightful in developing your world.
     
  25. coolie96
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    coolie96 Member

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    How would they adapt to breathing air on land instead of from the water?
     

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