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 Post subject: war stories
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 3:11 pm 
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When reading about the world wars where the soldiers were starving and eating the wildlife and adopting the pets left behind when their humans fled or were killed, I want to do a war story through the eyes of the wildlife or the abandoned pets or even the people who lived in what becomes a war zone. The environmental toll of war is most seen through the eyes of those who cared for the land, who are "collateral damage", and have to live in the aftermath when the soldiers leave. I watched a film where people were waiting for the soldiers to come back and in the mean time waiting in trenches. All of a sudden, rabbits were everywhere and they seemed tame. Shortly after the gunshots and invading army showed up. The rabbits were chased out of the fields by the advancing army and had ran out of fear so seemed tame to those in the trenches. This example of wildlife in a war zone was what got me most interested in this concept. Elephants and tigers in the Cashmere area (between India and Pakistan/Afghanistan) are hard pressed due to the almost 200 years of warfare in the area but the animals adapted to respond differently (and strategically) to gunshots. The Deer in the same area are almost wiped out due to a lack of response options (they are shot if they flee toward or away or if they stay put). I am just posting this to spark story ideas in others here. I have several different story arcs with detailed stories involving the animals and people in war zones (including aliens on other planets) but nothing online yet.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 3:16 pm 
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I am not sure how you would write this without anthromorphizing (sp?) and making it about how you would feel instead of the animals......unless that is what you were planning. I am not sure how realistic you were trying to make the story.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 10:01 am 
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anthropomorphizing is always part of the process but I think you can make the story very close to real. Bambi is an example of a very realistic story for some forest creatures but they do talk to each other (about the joys of eating clover blossoms or falling in love in the spring... typical stuff their real counterparts would experience). Of course you can go very cartoony and do stories like you see Bugs Bunny in... but even then, you can keep the events to be close to real even though you have a script made up on the fly by stand-up comedians full of references to popular culture (look at Timone and Pumba from Lion King). You can also keep the animals very real if you want too but still show events through their eyes like so many stories like the Benji films or Lassie or Littlest Hobo (but maybe something other then a dog for the central character). Another possibility is to have a transformation story (human turns into an animal or vice versa) to explain why we are seeing things through the animal's eyes but with a human connection (or the animal seeing through human eyes). And finally, you can set it on a different planet or plane of existence were anything goes. Much of my war stories are set on a different planet inhabited by squirrel-like creatures in place of humans on Earth. I take it further by then bringing that experienced space alien character to Earth to comment on humans from an outsider's view but one who has seen it all before.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 4:32 pm 
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I find that last approuch very interesting. Sorta like a elderly, 'in-the-know' adult, trying to explain things to a young, hell-bent kid.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Iowanic wrote:
I find that last approach very interesting. Sorta like a elderly, 'in-the-know' adult, trying to explain things to a young, hell-bent kid.
except the "elderly, 'in-the-know' adult" is a giant squirrel-like alien and the "young, hell-bent kid" are the humans who may be doubting their sanity as they are being talked to by what looks like a 3 foot high flying squirrel. The comments between the alien and his companion (who does not have a physical body but is also the one to read the minds of the humans and interpret and instruct the alien what sounds to make to communicate) will be the real story as you will read their unspoken conversations while the spoken conversation between the alien and humans (or Earth animals) is happening. I am more into "hard" science fiction where everything has a scientific explanation so this is the mechanism to allow a character to speak any language and even communicate with creatures who do not have a language. To further explain the body-less companion, it rearranges quarks to not change the energy or type of the particle but will still be a form of data and the body-less character is like a computer artificial intelligence program who uses matter as a data structure. Chrystal and solid materials retain the information better so they are the preferred home for this creatures memories and thinking so my pouched squirrel-like alien carries a rock in his pouch to house the body-less alien companion (while it is checking out everyone's brains or computers to see what is happening but only the squirrel-like alien can do anything physical like talk or use the computer keyboard)


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:50 pm 
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Made any progress on this story, Ann?


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:00 am 
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not officially but I did have a few dreams and see a few war films that added ideas for this


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:27 am 
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Do you sometimes dream in the settings in your stories? I have; I had one where the colors and patterns on the back of a weird critter were so vivid; I would have sworn I was awake and seeing it right then and there.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:03 pm 
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Iowanic wrote:
Do you sometimes dream in the settings in your stories?
all the time... except I would say more precisely that my stories are set in the settings already discovered in my dreams.

Also my research into things inspires dreams and the dreams inspire research which inspires dreams (and so on). Often I would stop to investigate or even dissect roadkill to try to get a feel of how it would be to be such an animal and of course that inspires dreams of being that animal or interacting with that species. Upon waking up, I often realized what details of anatomy I neglected to learn about for that species.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:38 pm 
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Recently, I had another livid-color dream of the critter I mentioned before. I can't figure out what the connection is between this imanginary critter and what's going on in my head after i fall asleep.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:01 pm 
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Iowanic wrote:
Recently, I had another livid-color dream of the critter I mentioned before. I can't figure out what the connection is between this imaginary critter and what's going on in my head after i fall asleep.
not sure of this reference in bold, do you have a link for the post?


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:15 pm 
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It's actually in this thread; just two or three posts back. I didn't go into a lot of detail.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:38 pm 
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Iowanic wrote:
I had [a dream] where the colors and patterns on the back of a weird critter were so vivid; I would have sworn I was awake and seeing it right then and there.
ah yes... I was looking too far back. I had to stop several people and say how much I liked their hair or a tattoo because I like color patterns so much and am disappointed in the lack of such patterns on humans genetically... we have to add those to our own skin and hair.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:43 pm 
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I dunno, Ann. I have a hard enough time figuring out how women-folk match their clothes to their surroundings as it is.


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 Post subject: Re: war stories
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:38 pm 
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Iowanic wrote:
I dunno, Ann. I have a hard enough time figuring out how women-folk match their clothes to their surroundings as it is.
or how the good men seem to go unseen


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