Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

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Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Commander Shadow » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:06 pm

I was just wondering what races (either the 40k variety or warhammer variety) people liked writing in the most? What alows you to really picture you're character as a writer and how you get inside their mind?

Personnaly i prefer the human (non-astartes) perspective, its closer to home and lets me draw on perosnal experiences all the while allowing me to explore emotions and situaitons i don't normally do in real life (40k for example, i don't regularly cut people in half with chainsaw swords)

What about the rest of you guys?
- And there arose from the abyss a terrible beast and the armies of man were laid low by the walls of the ancient city. The ground shook and the skies trembled and all knew as the beast had come forth and that the end of time was upon them.

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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby David Earle » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:24 am

Skaven by a mile. They have such a distinctive voice and personality as a race, even before you factor in the scheming backstabbing factions, that they're always a blast to write.
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Falkenhayn » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:18 am

Humans, specifically tech priests. Getting into that whole not-quite-human mindset is fascinating to me. Very human feelings like jealousy and ambition, coupled with that utter detachedness and cold logic is interesting. Add in the strange pseudo religiousness and the nature of machine spirits, and you have a winner. In my opinion.
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Commander Shadow » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:36 pm

@ Earle

I've never written as scaven but i have read what other people write as them. I find that a good deal of people can get inside the sneaky lil' minds of those rat men and i actually enjoy those peices. Otheres though, just make them sound like sneaky humans, which can be an intersting read but just isnt quite the whole 9 yards so to speak.

Are there any emotions or previous experiences you draw upon when writing them?
Personally when i write stories about humans (specifically guard ones) i think back to when i got bullied as a child (if im writing a peice about officers or commissars) or any moment where i got hurt and try to magnify those feelings.

@ Falkenhayn

I do love tech-priests. I've studied religions for a good portion of my schooling and theocratic societies really interest me (40k seems nothing but a bunch of theocratic societies fighting each other). I was wondering, how do you explore the technological-insides of the mechanicum's adepts' minds?
- And there arose from the abyss a terrible beast and the armies of man were laid low by the walls of the ancient city. The ground shook and the skies trembled and all knew as the beast had come forth and that the end of time was upon them.

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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Pyroriffic » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:10 pm

I'm a Space Marine girl through and through. I find them far more interesting than the regular human element of the 40k universe.

I also love how everyone finds different things appeal to them.
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby David Earle » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:54 am

@Shadow
I'd shudder to think of a personal experience that would map to the skaven, although I suppose some of the nastier forms of office politics would qualify...

As far as emotions go, I tend to keep paranoia and ego foremost in mind when it comes to skaven. Deep down, I think every skaven believes that they're the greatest thing since the Horned Rat - and they'd prove it too, if only they weren't constantly persecuted by ill fortune and unseen enemies. You get exceptions (the plague monks, for example, don't seem to feel much in the way of fear), but I think this is a good mindset to start building a skaven character from.
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Maugan Ra » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:24 pm

Hmm... Dark Eldar, by a mile. Mine is a horrible and twisted soul, and writing about those horrific creatures is oddly enjoyable. What always fascinated me was their obsession with sensation, of all varieties, and how creative they could be in the pursuit of it. A Dark Eldar lord might spend years carefully raising a family of kittens, delighting in their every little quirk and silly display and admiring their inherent natures. And then he might slaughter them all with his bare hands, because it's been a while since he's had his heart broken and he wants to be reminded what it feels like....
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Commander Shadow » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:00 pm

David Earle wrote:@Shadow
I'd shudder to think of a personal experience that would map to the skaven, although I suppose some of the nastier forms of office politics would qualify...


Perhaps high school (or secondary school) :D
Thats true though I've noticed a bit of that in the Gortrek and Felix series

@ Maugan Ra

I thought that they only delighted in pain? But i suppose that makes sense based on the fluff i've read. Thanks!
- And there arose from the abyss a terrible beast and the armies of man were laid low by the walls of the ancient city. The ground shook and the skies trembled and all knew as the beast had come forth and that the end of time was upon them.

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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby LordLucan » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:49 pm

Shadow: Pin is their food, but all sensation and excessive decadence is practiced by the dark Eldar. They do everything taht slanneshi cultists do, but they were the ones who came up with it all first! ;)
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Bod the inquisitor » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:29 am

Interesting to see why people have fav races/factions.

At present I'm mostly writing normal hummies. Don't think I've found my Space marine voice yet, if I have one. Plus I like the idea of having some one perform a death defying act but be scared out of their pants as they do it. What motivates a human to go up against a chaos space marine knowing their odds of survival are well . . . . . .

It might be interesting to look at the Tau I see them as being very low on emotion or is that just me.
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Green River » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:37 pm

Personally, I find that writing single honours Eldar is most interesting when you really explore them. To try to articulate the voice of a being so completely connected to the history and mythology of its people is fascinating; to write a creature so unashamedly self-aware in the universe. Though I’m a fan of what Gav Thorpe has done with them, my own personal interpretation would follow more closely the theme of culturally alien. If a lioness spoke English we would still be nowhere near to understanding her, as our experiences and reference-points are so substantially different. Our cultures would be irreconcilable. It’s this Wittgensteinian element of language that really interests me – I reckon that if we heard an Eldar actually speak, the content would be so suffused with cultural and mythological references that we could barely grasp its meaning.

Also, like others have said, the ‘higher level’ of operation is fascinating; everything would be profound to an Eldar by comparison – deep meaning would be found in the most mundane of places and in the most banal of situations.
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Commander Shadow » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:28 am

Does anyone think it might be possible to get a wider scope of different stories with humans (not saying anything against nonhuman stories). With all the 40k races at least there does seem to be the greatest creative leeway with them. Some of the others seem quite stratified in their roles to me. Maybe this just means i'm not getting to deep in though.
- And there arose from the abyss a terrible beast and the armies of man were laid low by the walls of the ancient city. The ground shook and the skies trembled and all knew as the beast had come forth and that the end of time was upon them.

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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby kurisawa » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:50 am

After a failed submission, then watching with frustration as theme after theme was based on Space Marines, I came to the conclusion that Space Marine stories were very much in demand by the BL.

So, with some trepidation (I bought every Space Marine book the BL published and noticed in the foreword of almost every omnibus how the writers struggled with them as POV characters) I set myself a task: To write the "proverbial good space marine story" (to paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke).

I have struggled with this for a couple of years now, but you know what? Having got to know the characters that I have created, like Pyro I am also now really sold on Space Marines as POV characters! I love 'em!

To answer your other question (how to get inside their minds), I bought every non-fiction book I could find either written or ghost-written by real life soldiers, preferably Special Forces veterans, to try and understand the unique qualities that drive the warrior elites amongst us.

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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby LordLucan » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:54 am

I like writing for Necrontyr, Eldar, Hrud and the hive mind. Because I like to write from those sort of slightly abstract, complex POVs. hrud would be especially interesting to represent, as they have a collective racial memory which they seem to be able to access. Weird times.
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Eroldren » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:54 am

I've haven't found a voice in any aspect of 40K but I'll defiantly working on a 'Imperial' Guardsmen novel or short for the BL submission windows. There also great Martian, Navigator, and Daemon/Chaos Astartes/Cultist conspiracies I would love to indeed tackle if I get past my fixation of constantly scribbling new lore and plot ideas. :!: Urgh!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Eremite » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:11 pm

I've written humans, near-humans (Astartes, tech-adepts and even, once, an arco-flagellant), eldar (both dark and craftworld), daemons, tau and tyranids. I enjoy the challenge of getting into different mindsets and fleshing out the simpler ones - for example, World Eaters are one of the simplest Legions, the most likely be evil madmen. So it's very, very fun to make them into believeable characters. I do have my favourites that I return to, though - the Inquisition (specifically, the kind of diseased personality required to do the job) are my first love.
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Re: Race (human, elf/eldar, etc) In writing

Postby Athelassan » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:40 pm

I've had a stab at a number of PoVs over the years, and some of those with long memories might recall my attempts at such. Although I'm pleased with the stories I developed in terms of plot, when I eventually came to re-read them I wasn't all that happy with some of the characterisation, or characters. In fact, time permitting (which it hasn't for a long, long time) I've been meaning to revisit The Storm of Chaos and strip out some of the non-human characters, as I think it would make the story stronger.

I found it difficult to make the characters appear anything other than humans who happened to be proficient in particular ways. When I did try to give them a distinct, alien personality (as in Daedalion, which was almost entirely populated by elves) I found it difficult to do so without their just becoming caricatures of a human archetype.

I think that High Elves and Skaven are perhaps the easiest to portray well, although not necessarily convincingly. The elves are one of the least alien cultures around- although they have a few weird mores and a general air of despondency hanging over their society, it's the society and culture that's weird, not them per se. The Skaven can get away with being caricatured, as in Gotrek and Felix, although this doesn't tend to lead to their being taken seriously as characters.

Just about the only "alien" character whose portrayal I was pleased with was one of my vampires, but then I never really used him as PoV.

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