Most of the writing that I’ve been doing in the past few weeks has been for my blogs. Working full time doesn’t leave a lot of energy to do much when I get home, and I’ve barely been able to keep up with one post a week per blog. When I don’t have the creative energy to make stabs at my stories though, I usually default to reading. And there was an article in this month’s Writer that was… interesting.
I have this pet peeve. I write shape shifter stories; those alpha characters that have an animal form in addition to their human one. It’s a lesser-recognized fantasy subgenre than vampires, so I like it all the more. With vampires, there are some cardinal rules you can’t break without falling into the Twilight trail, but when writing shape shifters you have more options. Except when you’re working with werewolves.
In my book, there are two kinds of shifters: true and fake. Fake shifters are werewolves. They’re fake in the sense that they’re tied to an outside force without any real control over their shifting abilities, and are often portrayed as monsters for the heroine to tame. A true shifter embraces her/his animal side, can shift at will, and actually can be more animal than human, depending on a number of factors. Within the true shifter realm, being a shifter is genetic and pretty much touches every family member. The time shifter abilities emerge differ with individual, all the way from being born as the animal to the typical emergence-at-puberty. In this regard, I have Sherrilyn Kenyon to thank. Her shifters in the Dark-Hunter series are true shifters, and her writing has greatly influenced me and how I write.
One of the things I’ve been experimenting with is how organizations would want to control shifters for their own gains. After all, how powerful is a warrior that can shift into an animal at will? What would the battle between being a born shifter and a shifter constructed for human gain look like?
Werewolf: cannot control the shift during the full moon
Is blood-crazed during that time of the month
Takes a silver bullet to kill
Was bitten by another to become a werewolf
According to folklore, shifting is limited to wolf
Shape shifters: can shift at any time after coming into those abilities
Is not necessarily blood-crazed
Was born with these abilities
Can shift into any animal
Please note: New articles are up under the Non-Fantasy tab above; check them out!