1. Miku
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    Miku Member

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    Werewolf Brainstorming

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Miku, Jan 30, 2013.

    I had this idea for the werewolves in my novel. I was nitpicking at the abilities, weaknesses, and overall makeup of my werewolves. To start with, I brainstormed how werewolves make other werewolves. In some stories people become werewolves by being bitten by one. Others involve magic. And some deal with hereditary werewolves. I decided I wanted to stick with the old-fashioned bite scenario, but came across some issues. For one, I ultimately decided that female werewolves could not carry offspring. But I could not think of a plausible reason to prevent werewolf males from having children with human women.
    Then I came up with this idea, which is the one I want to run by everyone here. The idea is that female werewolves are essentially sterile. They cannot have babies. However, they can bite and turn someone. Male werewolves can produce children if coupled with human women. But they can't change someone by biting them. Therefore, each sex has their own way of producing more werewolves. However, not every person that is bitten or attacked by a female werewolf will make the change. Nor will every child of a male werewolf-human woman pair end up a werewolf. Rather, these children are called carriers. They are born human, but in a way have something of a dormant wolf within them. In adolescence this dormant wolf will either be triggered and they will become a werewolf, or it will not and they will remain human. They can still be bitten and turned though if they survive a ravaging from a female werewolf.
    Now, this was all just a brainstorm and I wanted to run it by everyone. Any critiques? Suggestions? Do you think it could work? What kind of cultures do you think would crop up due to this setup?
     
  2. Sved
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    Sved Senior Member

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    Interesting I don't think it has been done before. Just some random thoughts:

    If you seen the Blade or Underground movies they have made vampirism/lyantrophy to some sort of genetic "disease," and it seems you're going the same way. The question is: Are the wolves aware of it themselves? E.g In the movies they use genetic engineering.

    The suggestion is interesting but I am not sure of the need for different ways of producing more wolves. If I understand correctly the human female who who mates with a male wolf need to have the wolf gene present, same as turning by biting. With that limitation I don't see why each sex would have it's own way of creating more.

    What if there are two tribes of wolves. One who mates and one who bites. Obviously they are fighting over people with the same rare gene!

    Either way the culture will be extremely competitive. The pressure is to keep hunting to find the one with the wolf gene so they can create offspring otherwise they will die out. I assume they tend to die violent deaths on a regular basis so large number of children would be necessary to replace the fallen one. Remember some movies where the protagonist head into isolated areas and there are werewolves there minding their own business until dinner walks in (like Dog Soldiers), well in this storyline you would find werewolves were humans are. brrrrrr.
     
  3. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    I don't see any reason why you couldn't take this approach for making werewolves, especially if you make it believable to the readers.
    To me, it does sound like a genetic approach, which is actually becoming quite popular these days I've noticed. As an author that loves to work with werewolf characters, I can certainly understand the trouble of trying to come up with something original and interesting, while also staying within peoples' expectations. Especially in terms of reproducing werewolves. So here's some things I've come up with to try and work around some of those barriers.
    In terms of pups: Considering werewolves often change shape (especially around a full moon if you are the kind to include it), and a human woman carried a baby for nine months, it would be hard for a werewolf female to carry a baby within her womb and have it survive the constant shifting. After all, it's highly unlikely and unbelievable that a wolf would be carrying a human baby around in their womb, and a human would be carrying a wolf pup around in their womb. So to counter this problem, I made it so that female werewolves giving birth is nearly unheard of. If, in the off case, they do manage to give birth to a werewolf pup, the demand is often too much for their body. As a result, they'll usually end up dying, taking the baby with them, or they'll die and the baby struggles to survive the first initial days of its birth. Because of this approach/problem, female werewolves are rare, so they are cherished by their packs/clans/kin and often over protected. Any natural born pups to follow are even more protected and often kept secret from the world until the pup is half grown.
    In terms of transformations: I go with the genetic approach. After all, it would suck if some jerk managed to become a werewolf just because he got bit. Humans are amazing creatures in term of their genetic make-up, so what's to say that there isn't a gene out there that embodies certain people, allowing them to become a werewolf if they were to be bitten? For me, the person has to have this gene in order to transform, otherwise they'll end up dying. Which is why, in my stories, its forbidden by werewolf law to bit anyone but a mate.
    The ideas you came up with though are definitely something new and interesting that I haven't seen before in werewolf stories. I would love to see how you make them work out in the end.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. What matters is how you write it: the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's absolutely no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?

    And see the last line of my signature.
     
  5. Miku
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    Interesting. I didn't think of it that way. Actually, my initial idea was that male werewolves could produce offspring with any human woman, but that some would end up becoming werewolves but most would not. The bits is also not a sure fire way to create a werewolf. A lot of people survive an attack but would remain human. But I see what you mean Sved. The idea has some holes in it.
    I was also toying with another idea. I know it is mostly modern fiction that depicts the pentagram as a symbol of the werewolf, but I thought it would be interesting to play with this "mark of the beast". For example, maybe werewolves have some way of marking victims, who would see a pentagram in their palm. The mark would only remain on their palm for one lunar cycle, during which they must take extra measures to protect themselves because if they are bitten by a werewolf they would become one. Werewolves could be drawn to those who are marked which makes things worse. If they are bitten and turned, maybe the mark becomes permanent or something. I don't know, just another idea I was toying with.
    Basically, at this point all I know about my story, the only thing that is concrete, is that my protagonist is a werewolf. I don't want to make her think of it as a curse so much as a gift that comes with a heavy price. But I have to figure out the abilities, limitations, and all the other aspects of werewolves. I tend to find that I enjoy stories where the main supernatural element was clearly defined and outlined by the author. No offense to Stephenie Meyer, but you could tell she was making stuff up about vampires as she went on, or at least did not have a clear grip on them. Same with her werewolves. There was no explanation as to why there was only one female werewolf, and she definitely said that vampires could not reproduce then sprung a pregnancy on everyone in her last book. I don't want to make those kinds of mistakes.
     
  6. Miku
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    I see what you're saying. But it helps me to bounce ideas off of other people. I don't want to get to involved with an idea only to find out someone's already done it billions of times before, and that people are tired of it. Then all I think is that had I gotten feedback on it previously, I would have had more time to come up with something better. But you're right, ultimately the decision is mine. However, some of the responses I get on this forum have helped me see holes in my ideas that I would normally have overlooked.
     
  7. Mask
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    Mask Member

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    *Looks at Cog's post*. You know, that sounds almost word-for-word what I said to a friend of mine, in the past. He replied saying something to the nature of, "It's true that the Devil is in the details. But if you need to get to the moon, and your plan is flapping your arms and flying up there, the details are no longer the problem."

    Silver Wolf brings up a good example. No matter how well you write the details, you need a good outline and premise to avoid some plot-holes.
     
  8. Miku
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    As much as I love the genetic approach to werewolves, the werewolves I'm writing have longevity. That is, they cannot die from old age. They're not like vampires who physically remain the same age as they were when they were changed. Someone turned really young will age until proper maturity. An old person would not regress, per se, but they would become more healthy and agile.
    That being said, I can't have werewolves reproducing and having natural werewolf children. Because there would be way too many of them. So biting would be the main way they'd become werewolves.
     
  9. FinishingFlight
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    The idea of having carriers and some only people affected would be entirely plausible. So if you're wondering how it would be done with genetics and with a more basic recessive inherited disorder.

    LL = Unaffected Person
    Ll = Carrier
    ll = Affected
    1/4= 25% chance of having said offspring

    Human+Werewolf = 100% Carrier Offspring
    LL x ll = 4/4 Ll
    Carrier+Carrier = 25% Human, 50% Carrier, 25% Werewolf
    Ll x Ll = 1/4 LL, 2/4 Ll, 1/4 ll
    Human+Carrier = 50% Human, 50% Carrier
    LL x Ll = 2/4 LL, 2/4 Ll
    Carrier+Werewolf = 50% Carrier, 50% Werewolf
    Ll x ll = 2/4 Ll, 2/4 ll

    ^^ Those are your possible crosses and then their chances of offspring.
    As it would be rare for carriers to find other carriers and rare for werewolves to come back into contact of carriers, hereditary lycanthrophy would be in very small numbers.
     
  10. Miku
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    Thank you. This is actually extremely helpful. For a while I was considering making them only be turned via bite, but the genetics aspect is a lot more interesting. As awesome as the whole biting and turning thing is, it is more relatable for some people, albeit very few, to have had no chance of normalcy.

    What I need to work on is combining genetic lycanthropy with contracted lycanthropy. I was thinking that being bitten and turned would be more common than being born a werewolf. But not everyone would make the change.

    I also came across another potential problem. Realistically, a female werewolf would not be able to reproduce. Her monthly changes would probably kill the baby. So in essence, female werewolves lose something that males don't: the chance to have children. Is this problematic on a gender based standpoint? That women lose something from becoming werewolves that the men don't?
     
  11. FinishingFlight
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    FinishingFlight Member

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    I believe at the point it would be more up to you. The gender issue is plausible in relation to science, I'm not sure what you're questioning? Ifs its on an ethics level, I don't believe that has to be necessary as no where on our planet are people equal in all ways. That is realistic, it creates conflict and gives people something to fight for/against, be ashamed of, be proud of...ect. Nature isn't fair, it doesn't grant equal opportunities to people of one gender as the next.
     
  12. Shydowyn
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    Shydowyn New Member

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    Just another idea to throw into the pot.
    Assuming there is a pack social structure, why not make the ability to turn humans via bite be something that has a higher probability that goes with the higher the social standing of a particular werewolf?
    For example. The Alpha's chance to turn someone via bite is 100%. The beta's, 50% chance and so on until those without social standing have no ability to turn a human but they do make the human a possible carrier?
    Just a thought.
     
  13. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    Alice Borchardt wrote a series about WWs and what I enjoyed was the idea that there were wolves who sometimes became human, and there were humans who sometimes became wolves. This was a great characterisation device.
     
  14. T.E.Lauren
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    T.E.Lauren New Member

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    I like the idea of deciding werewolves' assets, limitations and other characteristics before you start... having this said, any set of powers will work as long as you keep it consistent and you are able to make a good story out of it. Also beaware that if the mechanism is somehow complicated you have to find a way to explain it without sounding boring or unlikely (i.e. when an authot makes a character explain stuff with no in-universe reason).
    If you want to take a look to many types of werewolvs out there, try "Our Werewolves are Different" on tvtropes.org (that site is very useful generally speaking, too).
     
  15. Sved
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    Sved Senior Member

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    Well if you want them to have children they could. If they have such long lives I doubt they would produce offspring at the rate for wolves or even humans.

    See what I mean?
     
  16. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    I don't see why that's a problem as a writer - it's an added point of interest. (And the loss of baby due to the shape change makes sense).

    Incidentally, I like to imagine that while newly afflicted werewolves would change only during the full moon, and HAVE to change during the full moon, over time they could learn to control their change - choose to change when there was not a full moon (initially still only during dark and moonlight, but some could learn to change at any time). They may increasingly be able to call on their wolf-like senses and increased strength while in human form. Conversely they could learn to hold off the change for some time during the full moon (and/or retain more control of their thoughts/actions/emotions when changed).

    Ancient werewolves would be more powerful than younger ones due to developed control over their abilities.
     
  17. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Maybe when a female werewolf gets pregnant, she also gets to avoid changing during the full moon so that the baby can survive. You can make it so that a werewolf's pregnancy period is shorter than it is for humans, for example 3-4 months instead of 9 because instead of changing during full moon that energy goes to the growth of the fetus.
     

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