1. KrystalLee
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    KrystalLee New Member

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    Werewolf Story. Is it TOO different?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by KrystalLee, Jul 24, 2010.

    I've got a new a werewolf story going on right now. Im about 28,000 words through it so far but I'm begging to ask the question, is it too different? I've been trying to craft and make the Werewolf my own, but im scared that it may be a little to different for some people, especially with the plot.

    Normal Werewolf story:
    No magic.
    Often a scientific meaning as to how they occur.
    Are the bad guys, kill innocent people.
    Often are not portrayed through first person.(from what I've read)
    Only change on Full Moon.
    Enemies are Werewolves or Werewolf Hunters.
    Often have problems with their changing if they weren't born into it.
    Most of story centers around the full moon.

    My Werewolf story:
    Lots of magic.
    Religious/spiritual meaning as to how they occur.
    Neutral. Civil War is the main problem.
    Portrayed through the eyes of 4 teenage Werewolves.
    Only change around the moon but not necisarily on the full moon.
    Enemies are each other or Demons.
    Changing is not a problem in anyway because all(known to them) are born into it.
    Most of story centers around the New Moon.


    In a nutshell, mine centeres around the New Moon, while others constantly take place on the Full Moon. Mine explains their life on the New Moon and problems of Werewolves rarely discussed. Also a love triangle and a Civil War between two groups of Werewolves. So, is it too different? Will Werewolf fans be revolted at my plot?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Any story can be good or bad depending on how you write it. Yours sounds fine. All anyone would be able to say without reading the story would be "great" or "don't bother" when they have no idea if it'd be good or not. :)
     
  3. PurpleCao
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    PurpleCao Member

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    In addition to what Mallory said above, there's one factor to look at.
    Many great writers (by someone's standards anyway) fudge the facts when they write.
    Bram Stoker when he wrote Dracula made up the part about them having no reflections - this was an attribute of Ghosts, not Vampires.
    More recently, Stephanie Meyer has re-designed what a Vampire is for her own purposes. It may not be what I call a Vampire, being that all they do in daylight is sparkle and that they're tough, can regenerate if close to severed parts, and are hard to break apart. They're closer to some older legends of Vampire in some respects, but she made up a lot of the lore herself. It's her universe.

    I thought the same when I began creating a fantasy story. Do I want a carbon copy of Tolkien's universe? Do I want Lovecraftian horrors?
    Of course not. But it's hard to have fantasy without things such as Orcs and Elves for a start, isn't it? So I re-designed a lot of how the races are seen in the world.
    What you are doing is no different to those writers I mentioned. You're using an old legend and set of lores, then adapting it to suit your own needs and interest. The result will be a story with a 'new breed' of Werewolf - yours.

    It's perfectly acceptable, it's just up to YOU to make it good.
     
  4. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    No not at all. Sounds a -lot- like White wolfs Werewolf the Forsaken / Werewolf the Acopalypse game that inspired the Underworld movie among other things. And lot of urban fantasy chick lit stories. like Kelley Armstrongs Otherworld books.

    The rpps especially is worth taking a look at since it been one of the big inspirations for books and movies in the genre the last 15-20 years.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's 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 this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also just because it may be not appeal to the usual fantasy reader, doesn't mean it can't work for other readers.

    Narnia and Harry Potter both have werewolves that in someway break the mold. The huge beauty for me of writing fantasy is being allowed to control the whole enviroment and do it my own way.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You have to be willing to break the molds and create your own material. Sure, elves and dwarves and dragons are part of fantasy lore from centuries ago, and Tolkien used them in his work, but he created the race of hobbits and used them as his central characters. Nobody complained that he was somehow perverting high fantasy by doing so. I doubt that it's expected that you would stick faithfully to traditional representations of werewolves. You have a responsibility to create your own world, otherwise you're just playing in someone else's sandbox.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't see any issue at all to what you wish to write, but so far all you have given is the wardrobe and the stage props. I haven't a clue if this is a romance or a dirge, whether this is man vs man, man vs god, man vs nature, wolf vs deer, or leprechaun vs Santa Claus.

    The few trappings you have mentioned can be or not be, can sail or fail.
     
  9. Pidgeon Grenade
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    Pidgeon Grenade Member

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    The idea isn't much different from the werewolves from Darrren Shans Demonata series. But the civil war setting sounds interesting
     
  10. Breath
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    Breath Member

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    You never know how an audience is going to react. Besides, as long as your happy with it why shouldn't your audience be interested?
     
  11. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Sounds good to me. But I haven't really seen too many science-based werewolves. They're almost always magical/supernatural in origin.
     
  12. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    i agree with you there -i've read dozens of books involving werewolves and any number of paranormal stuff. I'm even writing a novel with semi-werewolf creatures in it, and as far as i've seen your book would do just fine in my opinion.
     
  13. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    The Encyclopedia of Vampires and Werewolves by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, is a wonderful thing to consider reading. It is a collection of legends, myths, concepts, and folklore about the many different faces of vampires and werewolves.
    I think that what you're worried about, is going against what the media has sold us to be as werewolves. Recently I was watching a movie with my grandpa (it was an old black and white movie from when he was a kid) about a werewolf and it was nothing like the werewolves I've seen in movies today. Fantasy creatures are always changing shape, that's something to consider and remember. What we may consider a werewolf today may be called a monster dog in so many years.
    Write what you want. I certainly won't accept the sparklies (I refuse to call them vampires) as being vampires, but I have accepted that it is how one author portrays them.
     
  14. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    I can give you some hints how it would make sense to me:

    Lots of magic and spiritual meaning makes sense if spiritual people can do real magic. Then "werewolf" is some kind of succesfull experiment that get out of hand or something. While there are some civil war issues, 4 teenage werewolfs show up and try to use that for their own benefit or are kind and try to solve these issues for people's sake.
    The moon might symbolise some thing that all of us have in common. Maybe there is no magic without a moon and we find out that civil war is there because normal people don't like to be powerless...
     
  15. BlackBird
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    BlackBird Member

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    Actually many of the old - and I mean REALLY old european - legends about vampires say no reflection due to the fact that a vampire has no soul or are demons reanimating human bodies. Dracula - Stoker - just made that belief concrete.

    Your idea sounds very much like the White Wolf games with respect to the presence of magic on that note.



    Also I have to question your: "Often a scientific meaning as to how they occur" comment. How?

    All of the old and traditionally written werewolves don't have a scientific meaning to how they occur - if you are talking about been bitten by a rabid wolf like what happened to jack nicholson in wolf 1994 that isn't how it happens.

    I advise you to look up the really old legends into the werewolf history if you want to write something that is eye catching and not done a hundred times over.
     
  16. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    First and foremost, these are not the things people compare when deciding whether a story is unoriginal or not. What you have listed are just the minutia in what should be a story with events involving characters having experiences - THAT'S what makes a story unique or unremarkable.

    Secondly, werewolves are a traditionally magical concept. The scientific ones are just an attempt to do exactly what you're doing - appear original.
    The first werewolves originated from totemic folklore, so they're also heaps religious.
    Wolves are animals, without alignment to "good" or "evil". Wars between the civilisations that worshipped them were never about right or wrong in that sense.
    ALL WEREWOLVES THESE DAYS ARE DAMN TEENAGERS AND THERE'S ALWAYS AN ENTIRE PACK FOR THEM TO WOLF THINGS UP WITH.
    The moon is an added thing because of animal behavioral pattens linked with the lunar cycle. There are loads of examples of werewolves being entirely independent of the moon - full or not.
    Werewolves - being wild animals - have everyone and everything as an enemy by default, exempting their own pack. Also, Demons? With regards to originality, that's a step in the wrong direction (token bad guys who are totally evil and we don't have to explain their motivation or character because DEMONS ZOMG)
    Changing is only ever mentioned if it's relevant to the story: it's only a problem if the condition is being portrayed as an affliction. Other than that it's either a natural process or a personal necessity (like undressing).

    If you took a story that was "normal" by your definition, then changed everything so that the bad guys were demons, the moon was new instead of full, etc. then IT WOULD STILL BE THE SAME STORY. The list given here is only so much tassels and drapery, doing nothing to establish originality.

    What makes a story unique and enjoyable is characters and the adversities they face, caring about their trials and cheering them on when the chips are down, power struggles and character arcs. I'm not seeing any of that here.

    Four magical, religious, teenage werewolves who don't strictly adhere to modern pop culture cliches fight demons. That's all.
     

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