1. CiaDavis
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    CiaDavis Member

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    Unicorns....cheesy?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by CiaDavis, Dec 14, 2011.

    Ok, so I have been working really hard in the planning stages for a project. The opening scene is going to be one of the MCs riding through a forest, lost, on a white horse. On closer investigation, another character realizes that the white horse is a unicorn. How on Earth does one not make unicorns cheesy?
     
  2. Purplesuits
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    Purplesuits New Member

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    Now that is a question for the ages. One thing that would be able to help this, since it is your universe is to never say that it's a unicorn. Never show that they have unicorn lore, make it really subtle. Heck, call it something entirely different than a unicorn. Give it additional details that could suggest it has unicorn qualities, but that it's totally not just a unicorn. If it's closer inspection I'm guessing it might be that character thinking about it, have his thought interrupted when it comes time for the conclusion. Let your reader define what it is. You'd be able to keep the horse and delete the cheesieness that comes from saying the word 'Unicorn'.
     
  3. L a u r a
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    L a u r a Senior Member

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    ^^ Awesome thought, Purplesuits. :)

    As a side note, I think that any well-known creature could be considered cheesy. Vampires, unicorns, zombies, wizards--they have all been used and reused in stories. Therefore, whenever someone reads about one of them, he or she automatically thinks of the stories that made them popular. The newest fad, obviously, is vampires; whenever the bloody word (Haha…get it? Bloody? Okay. Dumb joke.) comes up, people automatically think “Twilight.” Or, if a creature doesn’t have a specific story that made it popular, then people will think of stereotypes. Unicorns, for instance, are known for being pure and innocent. They’re always on the “good” side; I, for one, have never seen a story that staged a unicorn as evil. Often times, unicorns are featured in kids’ stories with long white manes or pink coats…and they’re always described as “beautiful.”

    Another suggestion, then, would be to make your unicorn deviate from the norm. Don’t follow the stereotypes…think of something that will make your creature be unique. As Purplesuits suggested, a new name for your creature would be helpful as well. That way, when someone hears the name, he or she will revert back to your story instead of a kids’ book.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    anything one writes can be cheesy or not cheesy, depending on how well [or not-well] one writes... period!
     
  5. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    By not writing it as cheesy. Find a balance between describing the unicorn too much and too little, leave some of the description to the mind of the reader.

    Call it a unicorn, but have some mild variation from the common definition of one.
    Unicorns, all the same, are pretty badass.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'badass'?... does that really mean they're not nice, as the word implies?... or is it one of those silly bass-ackward teen words that means the opposite of its meaning?
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    "Badass" means they're cool, no matter how you look at them.

    You could always make them ROBOT unicorns:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heYORPZazxg
     
  8. Monosmith
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    Monosmith Member

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    I don't think they're cheesy. They're classic, if anything, so long as you don't make them pink and fart rainbows. Basically, if you stick with them being pure white horses with the single distinguished feature of a horn, it's not going to be laughed at. Just make sure that having a unicorn makes sense in your story, which I assume it does.
     
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    The unicorns in Tom Cruise's movie "Legend" were definitely not cheesy. Treat them as majestic and wild as real horses (IMO).
     
  10. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    I presume it's all in the stock that you use, perhaps the normal sauces add a cheesy taste? I can see your issue though, no-one wants a cheddar taste to game meat.

    Have you tried using Oxo cubes?
     
  11. TemporalV01D
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    TemporalV01D Member

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    I agree with this. Rather have the character note that the horse has a horn on its forehead or something than actually calling it a unicorn.
     
  12. Monosmith
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    Monosmith Member

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    Reading the last two posts, I think I agree, assuming that a unicorn isn't supposed to exist. Of course, if you're writing in a setting where fantasy races are a simple and accepted part of the world, it would be acceptible to just come out and say that it's a unicorn. No one wants to say that "Gandalf rode a white horse with a long and elegant horn protruding from its head." It sounds far more confident to just say "He rode a unicorn", since it's an acceptable idea in Middle Earth.

    However, I have a hunch that you're not going for Middle Earth or Narnia considering that one character has to inspect the horse first. Boy meets magical world. Magical world meets boy. So go with the above advice, then.

    Monosmith
     
  13. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    I have a very good recipe for unicorn. Also works with griffin in a pinch.
     
  14. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, look, a white horse! But wait, what the hell is that on his forehead? A freakin horn!!!! Hey man, how do you call that majestic beast of burden of yours? A 'unicorn'? Why not call it a 'single-horn' or 'one-horned-horse' or 'gragunstack'? Oh yeah, let's call it 'gragunstack', that sounds cool!
    ;)

    ...So, if you want the reader to recognize your unicorn as a unicorn, just call it that way, and that deal with all the pre-existing lore, both from pop-culture and actual mythology, that you reader might have! Or, if you want to distance your fantasy world from ours, give it a different name, or even better, don't give it any name at all, just describe the creature and its attributes.
     
  15. story_teller
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    story_teller New Member

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    Not to that a standard unicorn isn't impressive, they are often describe as a magnificent beast which I think is quite flattering, your idea for the project raises a few questions... MC's generally host events and music gigs, if this is what your project is going to be then I assume the forest is actually going to be man made. If your resources and budget don't quite extend to the hiring of a trained horse that will/might wear a costume and walk through the said man made forest carrying an MC talented enough to navigate through a forest, all the while unaware that great beast he has mounted has a giant horn protruding from its head until after a secondary character points this out to him........ I will help you with the fund raising I think this is awesome!!!! I don't care what the project is any more, what is going to happen next??????
     
  16. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Give it a black horn and red eyes. Also, make it only able to live off of the souls of babies.

    Perhaps make it so death metal is the only thing that gives it the rest it needs. No sleep required; or batteries.


    On a serious note, maybe give it a broken horn? Give it a voice (literally)? Make said broken horn the reason why its coat is not a brilliant white? Make it a big character and not just a mount? Write a story arc about retrieving its horn back? Getting its horn back gives it some kinds of abilities?
     
  17. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    The last time I watched Legend I was on mescaline.

    Best/worst decision of my life.

    P.S. Tim Curry is the best devil ever to be portrayed in film (in my opinion).
     
  18. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I should have known you would have already beaten me to the metal punch. :mad:
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here's how you do it:

    Non-Cheesy Unicorn Scene

    “I must embark on my quest!” shouted Protagon as he mounted his horse – the only horse in his father’s kingdom that had a spiral horn growing from its forehead. The legends all told of horned horses that ate cheese, yet this one did not. Some of the legends said that horned horses must be equipped with cheddar saddles, Edam bridles, and even mozzarella stirrups, but this horse was not. “Hi-ho, Tofu!” Paragon cried as his horse reared and galloped off into the west.

    They came upon the Forest of Lactose Intolerance and slowly began making their way through it. A clearing appeared ahead, and Protagon slowed Tofu to a mere walk as he sniffed the air. Pine, mostly, with overtones of leprechaun musk. Not a trace of cheese, not even Limburger. Pizza must be scarce in these parts, Protagon mused as he spurred Tofu on. The lands of Feta and Brie were many days’ journey away.

    Et cetera, et cetera. See? It isn't hard to make unicorns non-cheesy. :D
     
  20. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    This would make an epic short story.

    My hat is tipped to you Sir Minstrel. Bravo; bravo.

    :D
     
  21. ClusterChuck
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    ClusterChuck Senior Member

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    Give it a meth addiction and severe tourettes.
     
  22. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    ^ This. All of this.

    I dunno, since My Little Pony, unicorns have wiped the floor with a lot of other mythical creatures (except pegasi; they're the best).

    Make your unicorn unique. You don't have to give it an addiction to drugs or a mental disorder, but make them unique from the rest of the unicorns that people have written about before. If you do that, then it probably won't turn out cheesy.
     

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