1. Lazzamore

    Lazzamore Member

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    Monstrous MC with non-monstrous Love Interest

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Lazzamore, Apr 15, 2018.

    I have a question with my latest fantasy project; my main character is an Orc (the evil monster variety, though still in my opinion MC material, not a villain), but his romantic interest I had planned for him is a Nymph (or something like it); so she will be much more human in appearance and culture than him.

    What I'm concerned about is alienating audiences, if in my creative fervor I can't see that is uncomfortable for most people (I do that). So my question is: Are most of you repulsed by the concept of an evil and/or ugly creature with a romantic relationship with a very human-looking creature? I don't intend to write any gory details, but I would still want to flesh out their relationship.

    I get that if my audience reacts poorly it's probably because I wrote poorly, but since I'm a young writer still, I want to take nothing for granted.
     
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  2. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    I think people will accept it if the characters are equal.

    Big ugly stupid orc with a beautiful magical immortal godling? No thanks.

    Big, ugly, brave, strong, creative, rich and honorable orc with a command of magic with a beautiful, magical, immortal, angry, unreliable, thief of a nymph? Sounds better
     
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  3. Lazzamore

    Lazzamore Member

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    Haha, yes, of course! My MC is not stupid or otherwise nonredeemable, and his Love interest is not perfect, so check and check.

    But just so I understand: Physical differences shouldn't matter so long as they make a relate-able couple from a story point of view? If I'm reading your post right.
     
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  4. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    [​IMG]

    Just gonna leave this here :D
     
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  5. Lazzamore

    Lazzamore Member

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    :rofl:

    It's not Shrek. Just... because. It's not.

    Please leave me be with my broken shards of a dream now... I'll just be moaning in agony over in that corner...
     
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  6. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Beauty and the beast is one of the most common tropes out there - I'd be surprised if many readers would bat an eye at it.
     
  7. ThunderAngel

    ThunderAngel Active Member

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    I suppose it depends on the blended genre you're focusing on. Fantasy/horror, fantasy/romance et cetera. The relationship could be very interesting with a horror bent to it. Fantasy/romance could work if there are unexpected hooks in the story, for example the magical nymph discovers that the orc is a physical manifestation of her secret desire to be powerful and imposing, or the orc discovers that the nymph is a physical manifestation of his desire to be beautiful and magical.
     
  8. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Lively Fred

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    So, my first thought is, 'of course the guy is the monster'. Now romance isn't my genre, but I'd love to see a story sometime where it's the girl that's hideous and the guy who's 'classically handsome'. Just my two cents, feel free to ignore me.
     
  9. SilentWaves55

    SilentWaves55 Active Member

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    I kind of like this idea because it's different and rare.
     
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  10. Lazzamore

    Lazzamore Member

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    Just to be clear, I'm not writing a romance novel. It's just a fantasy novel about the MC's life, and this is only a subplot. Anyhow, thank you for your helpful advice guys, duly noted.

    @MusingWordsmith : That would be neat, yeah. Though a different story then what I was wanting to write.
     
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  11. CoyoteKing

    CoyoteKing Good Boi Contributor

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    Big burly orc? Screw the nymph. Send that hunk of beef my way.

    Seriously, though. I think that, for most people, attraction is based largely on personality. If you do it right, you will be fine.

    Go for it.
     
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  12. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Lively Fred

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    Sure, I getcha. All in all, I suppose my advice would just be 'write a good romance'. On that note, just make sure both characters are well-rounded and exist outside of the relationship. But I also love to see characters that are genuinely in love, you know? How being with this person makes them better sort of thing.
     
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  13. DeeDee

    DeeDee Senior Member

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    It's best to start by reading a lot and noting how relationships are described in fiction. Watching movies works, too. In short, you'll notice that beauty is not considered to be about looks, but about "what's on the inside". So it's much more probable that you'll be alienating audiences if in your story beauty/ugliness is only about looks. Next you'll need to be concerned with how that beautiful character is going to respond to all that amorous attention she's getting from that ugly/evil orc. Is she repulsed or happy to be wooed etc. Her reaction will reveal a lot about her personality and again that will be judged by the audiences.
     
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  14. Thundair

    Thundair Senior Member

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    Don't forget King Kong
     
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  15. DK3654

    DK3654 Active Member

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    To be fair, the whole 'beauty is on the inside' is certainly very common as a saying or theme in stories, but in a lot of media where the characters actually get depicted- film and tv especially, the standards of beauty among all the characters tends to be fairly high. Average people tend to be pretty attractive, and supposedly ugly characters are often really not that ugly.
     
  16. Lucian Hodoboc

    Lucian Hodoboc New Member

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    I don't have anything against big stupid ugly orcs finding love, and - as far as I know - nymphs are not immortal.

    I think you have something along those lines in the movie "Monster House".

    A decent-looking guy falls in love with a morbidly-obese female who was a circus attraction and he rescues her only to have her fall and die when they were building the house.
     
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  17. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This. Orcs, it would seem, are experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Gone is the twisted tortured Elf, captured and ruined by Melkor, transformed into the polar opposite of the Eldar and Avari, and instead comes a new breed of Orc, muscular and heroic of physical form, though still undeniably rough and feral, lacking any whiff of Elvin ancestry.

    So, there's also a generational divide, I think, to be contended with. I'm Gen-X. I learned to love all things Tolkien looooong before Peter Jackson's last hurrah of the older version of Orcs as horrid and despicable and being filled with whatever is the opposite of sex appeal. The new Orcs of Warcraft and other franchises that recast them as noble though primitive seems to me to be a misuse of the word Orc. Like sending a "vampire" to high school to be the beautiful quarterback who never, never, evah gives in to his bloodlust. That's not a vampire to me. Just call it something else so I can engage it without this fight in mind of what I think of as the purpose and reason for a vampire in a story. So too, these new Hot Muscle-Daddy Orcs™ will always be a strange contradiction to me. Can there not be a different name for these beings? I think they're cool. I enjoy them in stories. And I'll admit it, I think they're kinda' sexy in a strange, gay-nerd-dude sort of way. But they aren't what I think of as Orcs and they never will be. The failure is purely mine - I understand that - but decades of literary training as regards certain fantasy tropes is not an easy thing to overcome. You may never get folks like me to be terribly comfortable with a character as you describe, but then go on to call an Orc. It would be akin to:

    Me - "What's your story about?"
    You - "Oh, a lovely lady who falls for a murderer."
    Me - "....oh?"
    You - "Yes, but he's a good, kindly, wonderful sort of murderer. Not the icky kind."
    Me - "...I see." (by which I mean I don't see).
     
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  18. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    lol
     
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  19. Lazzamore

    Lazzamore Member

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    @Wreybies : As much as I like Warcraft, you assume incorrectly. I am intentionally trying to make my orcs inhuman and monsters. And again, this is not mainly a romance (mostly war/adventure, so far). I, like you I'd assume, prefer a good bit of Lord of the Rings in my Colombian fantasy blend. Admittedly, I'm still fond of those orcs (by name only, honestly!). I guess... Are you familiar with any D&D orcs? They are a nice mix of storybook monster and still an intelligent life-form, so they may be my role-model for this.

    If I must 'explain myself', I think monstrous orcs are unique. Take Tolkien's Dwarves and Hobbits: very similar to Humans, In my humble opinion. Ultimately the best way to make a new race, (and bear in mind I don't think Tolkiens dwarves are flawed in any way) is to have a fundamental difference so they can't be a human.

    Nothing I state is necessarily correct, just my own opinion.
     
  20. soupcannon

    soupcannon Active Member

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    You know, one thing you could point out is that, if your nymphs are supernaturally beautiful, that everyone not a nymph to her all looks the same kind of ugly. Like, she's so far above that a human next to an elf next to an orc are all kind of uggoes. She started off slumming to get over an ex and fell for a decent guy!
     
  21. Odile_Blud

    Odile_Blud Active Member

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    The Shape of Water just came out, and from what it sounds like, people have been in love with it. I think your safe.
     
  22. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    Nope. You're good. :)
    Ork Friend.jpg
     
  23. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    only just saw your reply now (I only really check when people quote me sorry).

    Anyway, my point is, having an orc or ogre or some otherwise less human species fall in love with someone else who is much more human has been done before - Fiona is a human and Shrek is supposed to be a disgusting ogre. Or if your concern was that one character is actually evil in character but his love interest is a good person - to be honest, that makes it even more interesting, in my opinion. People are rarely black and white, completely good or completely evil - so what if the good character sees the good in the evil character and chooses to forgive him or tolerate his evil side? Or think of people in abusive relationships - why do they stay? The reasons are complex, and sometimes the victim truly does love the abuser.

    What I mean is, that your relationship isn't typical could make for a far more interesting story. If it's been rarely done, it's actually a good thing. It means it might be hard to do well, sure, but that isn't the same as having no promise :)

    Your dream ain't broken. You just think it is. Go forth and write! Give it a go - it can't hurt :) That's the best thing about writing - if it goes wrong, well it's hurt no one. You can always change it. But have a try at it before you go cry in a corner. You might surprise yourself. Maybe everyone will end up loving it! (you know, like Shrek :D ) You might set a new trend!
     
  24. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    Oi, what the zog are you trying to say you slimey grot?
     
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  25. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
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