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  1. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Werewolf Characters

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by lordofhats, Apr 22, 2008.

    I was talking to Sugar N. Spice and he posed the question of how a werewolf's attrivutes should be posed to the reader. I thought it would be fun to have a thread to discuss the concept of Werewolf characters.

    I don't think there's a "bad" way to show a werewolves attrivutes. Just different ways. It may also depend ont he attributes you want to portray. There were lots of ways show a werewolf's... werewolfness...

    Werewolves have been portrayed a number of ways. Theres the good old monster werewolf who just kills everything and who may or may not be in control of themselves and might be hunted by their actions. There's also the normal werewolf who tries to hide who they are and struggles with their unnatural ability.

    There are numerous ways to paly with these ideas and concepts and the werewolf is an excellent character to explore concepts of humanity, nature, animals, instinct, adn other related subjects. None of them are really wrong IMO, but of course everyone has preferences.

    So I pose the question: How do you think a werewolf should be portrayed? How do they interact with others, werewolf and human, and what stuggles do they face?

    I like the kind of werewolf who is obsessed with surviving and finding a place for him or herself in the world. Naturally in a world dominated by humans this can be a little difficult. The werewolf not only has to deal with his or her own nature and how it effects their rols in the world, but they also have to face the feral desires and instincts within them and desperately hold on to what makes them Human.
     
  2. Sugar N. Spice
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    Sugar N. Spice Senior Member

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    Personally, I think a werewolf should have a strong sense of family- they should have a strong connection to their pack, because without their pack, there really isn't anyone out there for them. (Unfortunately for my MC, Tyler Aster, his 'family' is completely dysfunctional)

    But to answer lordofhats' question, I think it all depends on their own personality. Kristopher, Tyler's oldest brother, hates interacting with people and wolf kind all together. Ash, Tyler's middle brother, loves interacting with werewolves, but I'm not even sure if humans are coming in to play in 'The Beast Within'...yet.

    The struggles that my werewolves face is actually the deteriation of their own pack. The conflict is within themselves. That is why the book is called 'The Beast Within'
     
  3. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    You may think this is a little silly, but my favorite werewolf of all time is the one in The Werewolf of Fever Swamp by R.L. Stein. I don't like werewolves that are shown as mindless monsters who's only drive is to kill. To me they don't represent the evil emotions of man, they represent the nature of wildness with both it's glory and it's lack of controll. That's why people would be terrified and of them and facinated by them at the same time. They fear the power and the unpredictibility.
     
  4. Sugar N. Spice
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    Sugar N. Spice Senior Member

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    Nice- though personally, I don't really like to make them too wolf and nature like. They can have some attributes, but if your character doesn't have humane qualities, the reader won't care about him.
     
  5. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    Depends on what you take as werewolf lore - I had NEVER before thought of werewolves as having a pack, because I never thought of them as reproducing via any conventional means. They bite! *shrug* Call me a traditionalist.

    I've never written a werewolf character, but I've struggled for a long time in working them into a Role Playing Game with my friends. White Wolf, a game we play, has rules for werewolves, as well as mortals, vampires, mages, promethians (frankensteins), changelings (fairy-touched), and some others on the way. The problem with werewolves is that they're inherently powerful. There's no way to kill them! Granted, white wolf does do away with the silver bullet thing, but that's only because it would, conversely, make werewolves too easy to kill.

    So my problem with werewolves is that it's always too hard to keep them tame enough. Oz, from Buffy, did a great job of portraying a werewolf that was lovable when he was human, and pitiable when he was transformed and caged, but there was a constant threat that he would break loose, and when he did, he was unstoppable!

    I'd love to read your stuff, Sugar, because the concept of a werewolf who has a conscience while transformed is completely foreign to me. Have you posted any up?
     
  6. Sugar N. Spice
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    Sugar N. Spice Senior Member

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    Definetely! The thread is called 'The Beast Within' and it's in the 'Novel' section in the Review Room. And if you can, check out lordofhats' story too- 'The Book of the Moon'. It's great!
     
  7. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I agree witht he bit about the pack. Exploring the pack dynamic is certainly an interesting prospect. I have the pack structure but I sor tof have the pack subordinate to the individual characters within it.

    In The Book of the Moon, the first problem the characters face is that they're being hunted by a group of Werewolf hunters who ahd previously imprisoned them. In their breakout they are supported by a government funded organization called Haven who takes the pack in and protects them when werewolves are revealed to the world on CNN after Havoc releases security footage of them breaking out of their prisons cells (The footage clearly shows them changing back and forth from wolves to humans).

    I focused on the concept of how the pack would fit in to a world controlled by humans and how they react to it.

    Ulrich Horn (The male lead) is the youngest werewolf in the pack. He's nineteen but he's only been a werewolf for one year after being bitten by accident by Valentine. The majority of his story revolves around his suffering a psychological illness called Withdrawal which is common among humans who become werewolves and deals with his loss of Identity and self understanding. The matter is complicated when a series of events place him as the alpha male, and when his childhood friend Valentine says she loves him.

    The other characters come in a different times and effect how this plays out.

    Valentine: Ulrich's childhood friend who accidently bit him and made him a werewolf. They met when she was ten (He was eleven) and a series of events lead to their becoming best friends. Ulrich was unaware she was a werewolf until after she bit him. She loves Ulrich, which is complicated by the face she is a Noble and a pureblood (Ulrich is a halfblood, meaning he wasn't born a werewolf). A romance between them is socially unacceptable by werewolf culture. Ulrich has to work through his own disillusionment and at the same time must figure out if he likes her the same way she likes him.

    Kyle: Kyle is the oldest in the pack, at 30 years old (Despite havign the appearance of someone in their pre-twenties). He is the beta male in the pack and Ulrich best friend. Kyle's primary role is as a supporter and uniter who helped organize the other behind Ulrich. He is very optimistic and proactive making him a sharp contrast to Ulrich aggressive and rash personality.

    Olivia: The pack's beta female, her mother is a member of Haven and the one who helped the pack hide. Even though she was attacked by a werewolf as a child and bitten, then immediately captured by Havoc, she has the most optimistic view of werewolves, sayign they're "just like other people but more fun." She is known to never complain and constantly smile. She serves a similar role to Kyle, supporting and keeping everyone together.

    Jacob: An extremely lazy but loyal werewolf two year syounger than Ulrich. His primary role int he story is basically giving Ulrich confidence in himself as Jacob rarely questions decisions from the betas or the alphas unless its "completely pointless." Though not really an omega, he serves much the same perpose and is well known for his horrible grammar.

    Yin: Yin has the most pessimistic view of werewovles, considering them monsters. When asked why she thinks that she regularly ignores the question and goes off on a tangent. She is very sour, and rude and Jacob appears to be the only one who knows why, but he's not telling.

    The Twins: Th e Twins Urban and Christine are the youngest in the pack. Seperated from their parents in the Katrina disaster in New Orleans, they were captured by Havoc and imprisoned. Christine's role is minor at first but Urban is Ulrich's biggest supporter, treating him like a father. Urban reminded Ulrich of himself before he became a werewolf and the nostalgia helps Ulrich find his own bearings.

    I got a little carried away :p
     
  8. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you ever read the trilogy by Stephenie Meyer? Its about vampires, but in the second book werewolves show up also and that is one of the most interesting takes on them that I have ever seen. She has some ideas about about the way a pack would work that I think you would find very interesting. The books themselves are really good to, except that the main character's love obsession gets pretty annoying, but you can get past that.

    On a side note another one of the things I like is when the author shows a werewolf looking like a regular wolf; except bigger, faster, stronger, ect. Just personal preference.

    Edit: The first book is Twilight
     
  9. Sugar N. Spice
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    Sugar N. Spice Senior Member

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    Stephenie Meyer, sorry if I mortefy others, isn't a very good writer. She beats around the bush too much. That's just what I think. I'm not saying that Stephenie's the worst and that I hate her- I just don't think she's very good.

    Okay, back to werwolves:

    Tyler: My MC, who has quite a lot of growing up to do. He's the youngest of the pack, but from birth, he has gained a lot of respect that is driven completely by fear. Tyler is very clingy in 'The Beast Within', but in later books, he'll stop being an immature twelve-year-old. Tyler has a very strong attachment to his oldest brother, Kristopher, that he doesn't want to change. He resents his brother Ash, who is the brother that truly cares about him, for being 'a light hearted fool'.

    Ash: Ash resents his older brother, Kristopher because they've been fighting over 'who will be Alpha after father' since they were pups. Ash is a pretty brash and energetic character, and even if he won't admit it directly, he still cares about Tyler.

    Kristopher: Kristopher is a...complicated character. He appears cold and heartless, but through his actions, he proves that he really does care about his brothers. Ash claims that Kristopher only cares about himself, but that is not so. Kristopher, by the end of the trilogy, will reveal through his actions that he cares about his family. Though at the end of 'The Beast Within', it appears that he doesn't care at all.

    Alpha Lupe: Oh my goodness...this is the truly evil character. Alpha Lupe is cruel, unusual and mad harsh, yo! You will see that in the third chapter. 'Nuff said.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there shouldn't be any 'should's!... the great thing about writing is that you can make anything 'be' that isn't... and change anything that 'is'... none of your questions have a one-size-fits-all answer... they all depend on what the writer sets up for her/his character and plot, the setting, time frame, etc. ...

    trying to fit this or any other story element into a pigeonhole is the antithesis to being what a writer should be, imo... see what i mean in 'worlds without end' here: http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=161
     
  11. Sugar N. Spice
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    Sugar N. Spice Senior Member

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    That's what I meant earlier when I said that it should all depend on their personality. Well said, Maia.
     
  12. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    I think it depends on their part in the story. If the MC is a werewolf, he/she is going to affected by how society treats them. If werewolves are bad guys, they can be crazed, psychopathic killers.
     
  13. thelastblueberry
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    thelastblueberry New Member

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    In my imagination. Not always a good thing...
    I really like the way Stephanie Meyer portrays werewolves in the Twilight series. They are stronger than normal people and they change into werewolf form whenever they get angry. They have to practice controlling their emotions to tame the wild, unpredictable beast inside them. The pack is also interesting in that when everyone is in their werewolf form they can hear each other's thoughts.

    I recommend you read the books because they have a lot of other interesting details. The main chracters are mostly vampires, but the werewolves become heavily involved in the plot around the second and third books (New Moon and Eclipse). Hope that helps!
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    go get the award-winning 'wolf' from the video store... nicholson did one to a turn in that!... the writing was excellent, the concept as original as it could get, with such an old standard...
     
  15. Phaiyle
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    Phaiyle Member

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    My favorite kind of werewolf are the kind that can shift between man and wolf at will, weather or not they have the typical Werewolf state. I love the idea of them shifting back and forth. Living in either world nearly undetected except by those nosy few.
     
  16. starrynight89
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    starrynight89 Senior Member

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    Like others have mentioned before, I like the idea of a pack and staying loyal to your kin. I think the more you emphasize how important it is to stay together, there's room for a plot twist. Maybe one of the werewolves isn't honest to his pack because of some reason...just a thought. Personally, I would look up the basic logistics on werewolves but I wouldn't delve into details, those are for you to come up with. Werewolves can be cliche unless you add your own twist to it. Good luck :)
     
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