1. Holo
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    Holo Senior Member

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    Werewolves in the modern world

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Holo, Oct 17, 2013.

    I've been having some writer's block in the setting department. Without a solid and fully realized world for my characters to explore in, I'm having trouble making the story progress. I'm currently in the world building state and haven't started actually writing yet (I'm a planner).
    I've known since I was young that I wanted to write a story featuring a female werewolf protagonist. However, I'm struggling to find a way to integrate werewolves into the setting in a realistic way. Since most books feature the supernatural operating in secret, I wanted to have humans know that werewolves exist.
    So I'm just trying to brainstorm some ideas right now and need some help. What do you guys think? How would werewolves live in a world that knew about them? What occupations would be open because of their existence. What kind of lifestyles would they lead?
    (As a side note, this doesn't mean I want you to answer these questions for me since ultimately it is up to me to decide what goes in the story, but I need some opinions of ideas that might get some brainstorming going. Thanks in advance to everyone who replies)
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I imagine that a werewolf could find easy employment with the TSA using his superior sense of smell to find bombs or drugs.
     
  3. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    If he wants bombs he should Join the Military E.O.D Division. They need more help than we do.
     
  4. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Are your werewolves on a lunar cycle? Change at will? Violent towards humans?
    Perhaps there is a curfew or mandatory lock-down for the lycanthropes because of past bad deeds or they are still dangerous to some level
     
  5. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    The way society will react to them depends on what kind of werewolves you're talking about. If it's the kind that changes at full moon, gets violent, kills people and doesn't remember it when they wake up society will react different than when you mean shapeshifters who become wolves whenever they feel like it (especially since those will most likely be able to control themselves, unlike the first example).
    I think people will accept their existance, but they'll most likely be suspicious about werewolves, because it's in people's nature to be scared of something they don't know (look at history: blacks, homosexuals).
    If you need a story as an example: the House of Night series by P.C. Cast are about a mordern world(-ish) setting where vampires are integrated into society. The first book and maybe the second one mention people's reactions and how a vampire feels about the misconceptions about them and their nature.
     
  6. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Check out Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series. I think she'd incorporated her werewolves pretty well to a modern setting.

    Your werewolf could run her own company, for example. Maybe she works from home. Some software/gaming development stuff? A friend of mine works in the computer biz, two days a week from home, makes heaps of money.

    If they've come out of the closet, maybe society has started to take into consideration their lunar cycles, etc. That'd make employing them easier if, like, the law dictated that companies aren't allowed to shun werewolves in job interviews, in fact, they get tax reductions, benefits etc. if they hire them.
     
  7. SarahD
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    SarahD Member

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    Or imagine if they did have some self-control even when they were in wolf form, they'd be wicked bodyguards.

    Kelley Armstrong did werewolves in a modern setting with but that was with only certain sections of society being aware of them rather than everyone. It may be useful for you to look at though to see where you could take a different slant.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think you're best off checking out Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf and Tallula Rising. You'll get both male and female points of view, and it isn't your standard urban fantasy fare. It's a much more literate approach to the subject, and has a gritty realism to it that outdoes the popular urban fantasy writers, in my opinion. Although things operate more or less in secret in the books, the same approach could be done with everything out in the open.
     
  9. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    It depends on your specific version of a werewolf. If they're totally human until their "time of the month," then their jobs probably wouldn't be special or different from regular human jobs (as in they don't have any werewolf advantages to get them special jobs). There might be parks or spaces set up for transformed wolves to live in until they revert to human form. If your werewolves are just kind of like shapeshifters, however, they might have special jobs.

    Furthermore, you have to decide for yourself if humankind accepts, rejects, tolerates, or whatevers the werewolf race. You're the only one who can craft your story's political climate, although reading other people-know-about-the-supernatural books might help you solidify your world. If your story takes place 200 years after werewolves became known, prejudice is likely low. If it's been six months, prejudice is likely high. Watch a few episodes of "True Blood" for a depiction of an "out" society of supernatural creatures.

    In the end, nothing we say in this forum will write your world for you. You've gotta come up with what you think would happen. We can only offer conjecture. Decide on your type of werewolf and how long it's been since werewolves entered mainstream society. Everything else should follow quickly after.
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, in Ankh-Morpork (the city in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series) they can become policewomen. Angua, being a case in point.
     
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  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    slightly off-topic, but the best modern werewolf flick i've ever seen was jack nicholson's 'wolf'...
     
  12. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Personally, I thought "Ginger Snaps" was better than "Wolf." What did you think about "American Werewolf in London"?
     
  13. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'm not sure a werewolf game designer sets the proper tone for a character. I think the reader would expect them in more primal "dog-like" professions. Security, law enforcement, maybe hospitality or sports.
     
  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I have no idea what you're talking about as "Blood and Chocolate" was clearly the best werewolf movie ever done.
     
  15. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    okay, before this turns into a movie-flick thread ill put in my two cents:

    There are TONS of different ways to integrate werewolves or werewolf-like creatures into society. I myself created an all-male race known as Shifters who are responsible for the capture and enslavement of thousands upon thousands of humans, and it is all set in a semi-midieval world.

    Now, since you are going for modern-type world, i'd like to ask two questions:

    one, what kind of werewolf are we talking about here? what makes your werewolves different? How do they behave? (i used to call my Shifters werewolves until i changed them actually)

    two, if they have been known about by humans since the dawn of time, they should just be considered a human with "accessories" in my consideration. But what kind of time-line are we going for here?
     
  16. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    But, but... those are such cliché occupations for werewolves...
     
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  17. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    agreed. I actually read a book involving werewolves in the modern world, and the male alpha of one pack owned an entire make-up production company! (very long story but he accidentally bit a girl from a rival company when he was in wolf form -her poodle attacked him and she actually only grazed her hand on his fang when she pulled the vicious little thing off his mouth! he was perfectly calm all the while and she didn't realize he was a wolf until much later, and oh mama was it funny)

    just saying, DO NOT GO FOR CLICHES! werewolves may be like dogs but they are more people than wolf. They have their own preferences.
     
  18. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Stereotypes exist for a reason. In this case the reason is an occupation with flexible policies on casual violence.
     
  19. Holo
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    Holo Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I'm also still in the process of figuring out my werewolves (as I said I'm in the beginning stages, mostly brainstorming) but I wanted to focus more on the spiritual aspect of the relationship between the human and wolf I guess. (If anyone's read the Mercy Thompson series, it's kind of similar to how some of the "wolf" halves of the werewolf are characters all on their own so it's a bit similar to that). At the moment I'm evaluating what cliches are already out there to get a better understanding of what's been done and what aspects of werewolves could be explored further.
    As for the character's job: She's a 19-year-old african american female werewolf. She's smart, so she might want a job that keeps her brain churning, but she's also kind of creative. (She likes gardening so maybe I could do something with that?)
     
  20. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I read that and immediately thought: vandal Graffiti Artist.
    That doesn't have to be thuggish or low either. She could be like Banksy, or Basquiat.

    Her werewolfing could help keep her from getting detected, allow her to slip through security systems and baffle law enforcement as she speaks truth into the uncarring night.
     
  21. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Well, everyone has their own idea of what werewolves can or can't do or what attributes they get.

    For me, if werewolves were a tolerated "race" in a modern setting where they are not their own people (No distinct country of origin or whatever) I would think:

    -Werewolves are group heavy and often miscontrued as part of a gang
    -Superior sense of smell makes them dislike poor areas (Where garbage and lack of hygiene would bother their senses)
    -Due to their "animilism" they tend to be more violent and quick to rouse/act
    -Fighting and leadership are key to their upbringing (Assuming werewolves are born and not always created by bite)
    -Biting and infecting others would be a serious offense (No way the "mundane" would accept them if they were not proving themselves on their best behavior)
    -Packs (or gangs depending on who you ask) would have strong territorial ties and fights could break out
    -Being stronger and faster they would enjoy heavy labor as they'd excel at it and would probably be well paid ("Mundanes" would hate them as they're taking jobs from them as they can do the work of many alone)
    -Full moons would be a scary time as werewolves can't help but transform (Younger ones must be locked away as they might not be able to control their urges)
    -Transforming in public would be the same as flailing a gun about in a kindergarten
    -They love tummy rubs and rough housing
    -In my werewolf lore they'd have tails and bright eyes though colorblind in human form
     
  22. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I like that, but dogs aren't color blind.
     
  23. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Wait... What?
    *Clicks Link*
    Damn! I learned as a kid they were colorblind!
    *Rewires brain*
    There, new info.

    So, from now on, my werewolves are only a bit colorblind!
    The idea was to give them the same eyes of a canine.
     
  24. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I guess my answer depends on what you mean by "modern world". If you mean the real actual world with real actual humans the way we really actually are, the only profession for a werewolf is as cadaver. Real actual humans would react VERY poorly to the advent of such a thing and I imagine would employ mob mentality and completely out of proportion force in eradicating them.
     
  25. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Only if they were suddenly revealed and the typical fighting would start.
    If they had grown naturally among men for a long time then it'd be different no? Even if they did magically appear in the past, it would have been harder to kill and organize against them.
     

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