1. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    Will people be disgusted by this story?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by R-e-n-n-a-t, Jul 28, 2011.

    I'd appreciate it if people could let me know what they would think, and what their emotions would be during and upon finishing reading a novel with the following plot and characters. My opinion, as the writer, is biased.

    Note that this summary is just that--a summary, and it cuts out all nonessential points of character personality and plot development.

    Setting- the formerly mighty nation Thallia, which is now incapacitated due to a failing economy and very vocal, powerful fringe groups which all seek outcasts to blame for the nation's strife. Thallia is roughly on tier, technology wise, with our modern world, though transportation systems are communal and regulated. This is important to the story, as it is canon (a noticeable affect of the fictional world's dwindling resources), and it also stops the characters from just quickly flying or driving wherever they need to be, especially if their business is shady.
    Thallia, along with most other nations in the world, enslaves a species of sub-human known as Vossians. Vossians are not simply furries or humans with long ears. While humanoid, they are about as far from human as a humanoid thing can possibly be, both in mentality and appearance. Their leg, arm, hand, and foot structures are different. Their body-type is more hunched. Their heads are also not human, though any brief description would make them seem freakish and horrifying as opposed to simply very different.
    Vossians cannot articulate languages as humans can, though the book hints that they may be more intelligent than Thallian propaganda claims.
    The reader is introduced very early via propaganda to the "evil" rival nation Voltaria, a small, advanced nation nearby which is growing in power as Thallia declines. But is Voltaria really evil?

    Protagonist- Nathaniel Blige (Human, Thallian)

    Nathaniel is a seventeen year old social recluse. He is mortally afraid of communication with people for fear of being judged. He is typically quite nervous and suspicious of people. Physically, he is awkward and gangling.

    Antagonist- Rowan Blige (Human, Thallian)

    While there are many antagonists in this story, ranging from the warring nations, to Nathaniel himself, to rogue Vossian groups, Nathaniel's brother as an antagonist is what drives the story. Rowan and Nathaniel have a good relationship, and have almost everything in common. Rowan is an artist and a believer is subjective morality, something which Nathaniel respects, but also dislikes.

    Secondary Character- Saeyyr (Vossian, Thallian)

    This is an interesting character with many dynamic qualities. Many Vossians believe their females to be more valuable than males for the fact that Vossians childbirth is even harder than human childbirth. (If that's possible.)
    Yet, Saeyyr is genetically infertile, which makes her disliked by Vossians, and likely to be raped by human masters who don't want any half-Vossian hybrids running around.
    Saeyyr never utters a line of dialogue in the book, even though she is one of the three most important characters. To compensate, she is expressive in action, tone, facial expressions, demeanor, and various hints of greater intelligence. Throughout the book, Saeyyre is also taught how to write in English, though she can only craft coherent sentences by the very end, so as to not have the awkward plot device of waiting for her to finish writing her opinions all the time, and also to not make it obvious to the reader that she is intelligent. Initially, she is flat-out contemptuous toward Nathaniel, even as she is forced to serve his entire family.

    Last Character- Nameless cloaked figure

    His/her gender isn't even known until late in the book. This is the shadowy figure which supposedly abducted Rowan and started off the plot. In reality, this character is a Voltarian refugee and artist with connections to the Thallian resistance (which the protagonist never really meets, sees, or joins). She, Sheriss Mayor, is actually in love with Rowan. I'll get to that in the plot section, however. Sheriss also has an immune-system deficiency, requiring her to wear an oxygen mask at all times. She is probably actually the most logical and cold character in the book.

    Plot

    The book is very focused on the personal journey of Nathaniel and Saeyyr searching for his brother and "kidnapper". The backdrop is one of escalating social and political tensions, but that is not shown in high detail, as I feel that would make the book too cluttered. The small Thallian resistance is also never joined or met. This isn't a military-focused book, and what action there is exists to drive the story forward.
    Note that issues such as the problems with over-cleanliness in society, overpopulation, and racist or "that group is evil just because" arguments are touched on in parts, though more to add flavor to the world rather than shovel propaganda. Sheriss's character, for example, is a victim of over-cleanliness in society crippling her immune system's development. Biased arguments are shown when Nathaniel and Saeyyr traveling as equals is despised for no logical reason by most of Thallian society, etc.

    The story is kicked off when Nathaniel's family buys a cheap Vossian slave, cheap because Saeyyr is infertile, and the family is not very successful. (Though neither are they poor.)
    Nathaniel, in a very vile move, tries to rape Saeyyr early in the book, as women of his own species don't like him in general, and he does not believe that Vossians are sentient.
    Rowan disappears. The authorities see the vanishing of a seventeen year old without struggle as a runaway, but Saeyyr claims she saw and heard otherwise. (In reality, Rowan was drafted into the Thallian military in preparation for the growing Voltarian threat, but he decided instead to leave a note to his family explaining things, and to flee to Voltaria with his Voltarian lover, Sheriss. Saeyyr takes and destroys the note, as she hates the family, Nathaniel isn't on her good side at this point, and she wants Nathaniel to take a cross-country journey with her help so that she may escape captivity.)

    Nathaniel does indeed go looking for his brother, and takes Saeyyr with under the belief that she can help him. Note that Saeyyre has no ability to talk or write yet, so it will take a lot of clever thinking and posturing to get Nathaniel to realistically understand Saeyyr's suggestions.

    The focus of the story is this journey, through which Nathaniel grows as a person, learns more about Saeyyre and Vossians in general, and has to struggle with his own feelings and morals when he eventually realizes that he is falling in love with her, largelly due to the fact that she is not human, and thus he has no problem being who he is around her.
    Saeyyre eventually realizes that, despite him being a human who attempted to rape her, (just like most other humans), there actually is good in humanity.
    Oh, and as an added bonus, Nathaniel does eventually catch up with his brother at the Voltarian border, and finds out the whole thing. He then has to figure out whether to side with his brother, or his government. Keep in mind that, by this point, Nathaniel has already freed Saeyyr from her contract of slavery willingly.

    Note that throughout the book, the reader and third person narrator know no more than Nathaniel.


    So, back to my questions, is this book to weird, in your mind, to be successful? If so, what could I change?

    Also, to what extent should I have Saeyyr return Nathaniel's feelings? I think it's unrealistic for her to be able to simply get over years of trauma and love him in return, especially after his actions in the beginning.

    P.s, sorry for the Wall-O-text.
     
  2. Soapage
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    Soapage New Member

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    Why would people be disgusted by this? I see it as an option to relate real world circumstances to the world you have created. If this is successful your book might actually be a copy of what is going on in the world... some authors might use a story like this as a political argument for the wars going on. Its basically a coming of age story and one that brought me back to images of the movie The Dark Crystal
     
  3. martial_wolf
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    martial_wolf Member

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    I agree with Soapage. There is nothing disgusting about this. In fact, it has some very interesting parallels with reality.

    As for your last questions, it's not weird at all. You're safe. Saeyyr's feelings are really your choice. I don't think it's unrealistic for her to love that -one- human. After all, if a lioness can adopt a baby oryx why can't she love Nathaniel?

    Though I do have one question (it's nothing serious don't worry) if the Vossians can't talk how come they have distinctly racialized names? Wouldn't the humans be giving them human names or pet names?
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'd love to read your book. It's an entirely new, fresh type of fantasy, not a ripoff resembling anything else, and the Vossians sound really interesting. I want to know more about them. I'd be a bit pissed at the notion of a woman falling for her rapist ("The Fountainhead," Dominique, cough), but if he was somehow able to redeem himself, then it would be more understandable.

    So no, I woudn't be disgusted, and I think your book has potential to hit it big.
     
  5. Cain
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    Cain Member

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    it's a bit misogynistic? Your female characters are weak, and the hero is a rapist who finds out he can actually love?
     
  6. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    I never said that the female characters were weak. . . the one has a compromised immune system, but she's also a member of the Thallian resistance, and both major female characters actually might be more capable than the male characters. The protagonist is mortally afraid of people and social situations.
    It wasn't my intention to make the female characters weak physically or characteristically, though I may have explained the characters badly. I think I can definitely see the issue with a male rapist character literally initially owning an inhuman female character, but it wasn't my intention to come off as sexist.
    Also, I never said that the protagonist was a hero.
    I think that once its written all the characters will prove to be believable and important. Or at least, I hope so.
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    ^ That would bother me, now that I read that comment and looked over the summary again. If there's a strong female or two, there's nothing wrong with having a weak female character - not all women are the dynamic types - but as a strong feminist I don't want to see ALL female characters as weak. And like I said, the rape thing needs to be handled intelligently. You don't fall for your rapist because he treats you kindly all of a sudden.

    R-e-n-n-a-t, we double posted, so I didn't see your post until just now...seems like you're on good grounds, then. :D

    Let me know when this is published. I'll buy a copy of it.
     
  8. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    Also, Martial_Wolf, good catch. I can't believe I had that large of an oversight. I will have to change Saeyyr's name. Thanks for the heads up.

    And in response to Mallory, I'm all for feminism and women's rights. We're all people, after all. Also, I agree that both the rape and the eventual relationship afterwards will need to be handled very carefully. I would feel terrible if I wrote something that belittled the affect rape can have on a person.
     
  9. Cain
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    Cain Member

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    I think it came across that the female characters were weak because of a) the immune thing (which you've explained, so fair enough on that one), and b) that Saeyyr is legitimately rapable due to her infertility (or whatever). I think the you're treading a fine line with the second reason, esp if you want your readers to emotively relate to Nathaniel. Maybe if Nathaniel is involved in a rape sequence without being a rapist it could skate by, but you're still going to piss a lot of people off (but being too PC is equally bad. It's not going to be easy though).

    The owning of someone else I think is much easier to tackle, since it can lead to redemption with less bitter aftertaste. Slavery is in the past for (most) of us now, and so readers can more readily forgive someone who was involved but fights against it. Rape I'm not so sure though.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing, whether it is five words or five hundred. 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 What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  11. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Dude, writings like this is what sells. It reminds people of the real world, and they can relate to it. Keep this story up, and if people get pissed that's their problem. Write what comes to you and what fits.
     
  12. tiggertaebo
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    tiggertaebo Member

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    Sounds like an intruiging story, I'd definitely give it a read based on the above.

    One thing I would say is that I didn't read it at all that the female characters are "weak" - being raped doesn't make a character weak and from the proposed development for her character I'd say that the non-human female sounds like anything but weak. The reistance woman with the immune deficiency doesn't sound weak either - having a medical condition doesn't make a character "weak" and if anything working around it and pressing on with life regardless can be a sign of strength.

    That said I really don't think it matters - what is important is that the characters fit in the story properly. If the story calls for them to be "strong" or "weak" then that is what they should be regardless of gender.
     

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