Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by emimar, Jun 9, 2003.
Who uses aliens as their main charators or does everyone write about humans?
Ah, an Obi Wan free zone. *basks in the pleasure*
I've used Yuuzhan Vong and Shi'ido shapeshifters as main characters.
This is a good thread already. No Kenobi!
Well, you know about Cloudia; she's half. V'l-slech, a main charcter in book two, he's half human and half Rosk. You'll be finding out enough about that in book I pretty soon.
Ever since I bout the Essential Guide to Alien Species, I've been hooked on the idea of playing around with the plethora of species available. I've actually got a completely OC-alien fic in the works which has a huge cast of everything from Arconians to Zeltrons. What's most interesting though is that you can use some of their natural traits for and against them, which is something I'm going with the Zeltron female I've got (her empathic abilities actually screw her over rather than help her out for the most part).
This thread should be interesting... especially considering it's the only place on the boards in a long while that's barred from broaching the Kenobi topic
I write about Gungans, mostly, although humans do show up in those stories -- most of them take place during the 10 years between TPM and AotC, when the two races are expanding their contact with each other. And I have one short Ewok story that also features a Mon Calamari, a Twi-lek, and a human.
With all due respect to authors who like writing about Anakin and Obi-Wan and Padme and Han Solo, etc., human characters don't interest me anywhere near as much as the non-humans do. As a writer, I enjoy the challenge of creating cultures and motivations based on different biologies, habitats, and backgrounds.
And I also enjoy seeing what other authors do with non-humans. I think there's a particular challenge to creating alien characters that are "human" enough to be sympathetic and interesting, without becoming so "alien" that the reader can't understand or relate to them.
I'm trying to write a story from Kit Fisto's point of view. I haven't got very far, though. He'll probably end up being a human in a Nautolan suit, because it's really hard to think up things that would be characteristic for his species. I'm wondering how often I can mention his ability to 'smell' emotions through his tentacles, which is the only official thing I know about him, before it gets boring and repetitious.
As a Kenobi fan, Im insulted.
I always use human main characters. People just relate better to characters their own species.
This humanoid race is amphibious in nature, with green skin and a collection of headtails falling from the rear of their skulls. Hailing from a watery world, Nautolans who travel off-world usually seek locations with a good water supply, to fufill their needs. They are known for their incredible sense of smell, and can detect the presence of pheromones and changes in a being's body chemistry. This sense helped the Nautolan Jedi Kit Fisto immensely during his battles, namely during the Clone Wars.
I use humans most of the time (plus one human ghost). But I do have one story where the three main characters are all Ewoks.
[blockquote]I always use human main characters. People just relate better to characters [of] their own species.[/blockquote]Gee, and I've always loved the non-human characters. I guess that should tell me something....
Jane Jinn, I'd like to see that story when it gets done. There's a brief article from the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook on [link=http://www.wizards.com/starwars/article.asp?x=sw20020808afish]Nautolans[/link] here. I don't know as it will do much good with Kit Fisto, as he was presumably raised from childhood at the Temple, but you might find it useful.
Does everyone else do research before they start writing about non-humans? I check the official Star Wars site Databankand other reference sources for information on various characters and races, but I find that knowing about Terrestrial animal behavior can also provide ideas for personality quirks or cultural practices for my characters. For example, we see Chewbacca snarl and howl in the films, but we also see him speak a language and competently pilot and repair the Millenium Falcon. In my fics, Captain Tarpals clicks his teeth together when he's annoyed, and will hiss (or growl) and raise his haillu (ears) slightly when threatened by a creature larger than he is. At the same time he's bilingual and can exhibit some very courtly behavior when he's so inclined, such as offering his arm to a female character in order to escort her down the street.
I did a Prequel Era Naboo story with Bant and her master, both Calamarians (sorry, self-centered Tahl just never seemed credible to me!) The fact that they were an aquatic race put a different spin when they went to meet the Gungans, and I was trying to bring in "sayings" with an aquatic bent to them. I do try to include non-human characters, but I don't usually do much research; frankly I'm less than impressed with the EU. The trick is to make them alien and show they're alien without dwelling SO much on description & culture that you detract from the actual plot line...
(Personally, I'd love a Jade/Jaina/Jaicen free zone...they're all you ever see nowadays... )
In my fanfic (may it ever be begun or finished) I have human main characters, only because a bunch of characters to be able to have children so they all had to be of the same species. Whenever possible, I used alien characters for all the other roles. It always annoys me that in a location as diverse as the SW galaxy that the majority of main characters are humans. Of course, like I just said, I'm guilty of this myself. (but I have an excuse: I have laws of biology to obey! )
May I ask why this is an Obi-wan free zone? It doesn't seem to need to be for the discussion to take place. In fact I'm wondering why it is there at all.
I'd rather not (and I know A_S agrees here) have sanctuaries in the WR. That specifically refers to places where particular characters are not allowed to be mentioned.
Feel free to continue your discussion about aliens (which is really rather interesting). Just bear in mind what I said. If you want to discuss this, feel free to PM me.
I don't write particularly much, but I usually write about humans. I think it's because I don't know much about any of the different species in the Star Wars Galaxy.
I agree with Darth Bane, I think somehow you seem to be able to relate to characters that are the same species.
Although, I am willing to read any number of alien species stories. So, if you've got one out on the boards, post it so I can have a look-see on what you're all talking about.
Perhaps this is not my place, so I hesitate to say, but to anyone offened by the Obi-Wan thing, I think emimar's just bothered by the fact that it seems that many people would rather read stories with the cannon characters--like Kenobi--than read stories with original characters like hers, and mine, and some other people I can think of. Sorry if I've said the wrong thing, but I think I've cleared things up... I hope.
I actually think that writing about ailen charartors makes it easier to relate to people, espacally when it comes to culture, language etc. That is why many of the classic stories like Dracula and Frankenstien have stood time so well. They open up areas of human personallity and physche that would other wise be ingnored. Think about werewolves for a moment. The reason why they are still so popular is becasue they highlight the wild nature that is still apart of being human. Why do you think that even in this age that we still enjoy wildlife and want to preserve it? I hate stories where humans are the main charators becasue they're so predictable and have little depth. So to say that readers don't relate to ailens is bogus. Most of my faveourite charators are ailen or some other type of creature. Take Gollum form the Lord of the Rings for example. His charator would not work if he was human!
The difficult thing is writing an alien as an ALIEN, rather than as a human with funny skin or whatever. And yet not making him/her SO alien that the reader totally can't understand.
Mostly, my main characters are human, but I really do try to include non-humans whenever I can, and I try to think about their culture, what-have-you. I have an idea for a Jedi Master/Padawan pair with feline backgrounds, whose personal sleeping & bathing habits are more in line with real-life cats than humans. They share quarters with others of their species and a common sleeping room, where your position on the cushions is determined by your seniority in the "pride."
And what about species which commonly run in packs, where sleeping in a room alone is a punishment? Maybe some insect/hive species would be like this?
Seldes, thanks for the link! I'm wondering if I should change Kit's speech a little bit to reflect this 'lack of water' -- but as you say, he's been raised at the Temple. Hmm. I'll have to consider that while I'm away.
The *real* problem with aliens is, that we cannot deduce from our way of thinking how their way of thinking works.
We cannot say how aliens think (and therefore do) from the way we think.
The only solution would be, to assume that there are some galaxy-wide principles and mechanisms *everyone* uses, such a Logic.
However, even logic might function in different ways. I often give the example of a depressive person: Inside this person, "logic" works differently than in a "normal" person.
Hey, I can completely understand that, Alrik.
Perhaps knowing a little about animal behaviour helps. The reason why I use Shistavanens is because as they look like wolves, they can act like them. Like with facial expressions. When a wolf is angry, it rises its ears and shows its teeth. When it is fearful, it flattens its ears and shows its teeth. When it is submissiive it lowers its ears and when it is happy it holds its ears up right. I've tried to use that in my charators and there's also the fact that they are pack animals and the reason why Azet (she's my dark Jedi) is so unhappy is because she hasn't got a pack.
I think one of the reasons why people don't write stories with ailens as the main charators is because they are scared of using them. Don't be! I find em more interesting and they help you to be more creative in your writing. I do agree aobut the human with a funny skin colour though. You see that a lot in Star Trek which is why I don't watch it any more.
The reason why you don't see aliens as main charators in the flims (accept Yoda and Chewie of course!)is because of the speacial effects they need to do to make them look realistic and beleiveable, but that doesn't mean you have to shy away from them in your stories.
If you do have a story with an alien as a main charartor, why not post a link for it here so we don't have to scroll through a load of Obi-Wan stories to find it!
I like writing about Cathars, like Sylvar in Tales of the Jedi. I find it easy because I have two cats and can use them as a base for the species' behaviour and instintcs. (Did I spell that right?) I may write a Cathar story soon, you never know!
Sorry, I'm trying to rectify that as we speak.
Yeah, that's how come I find it so easy to write about Shistavanens. I have a dog at home and I just love wolves!
Where's everybody gone? I set up this thread so you'd be able to tell people where your stories with aliens are so you'd get more attention...