Author Topic: Furry vs Human  (Read 1828 times)

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Offline Nahuel

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Furry vs Human
« on: June 29, 2004, 06:09:21 pm »
I've been wondering for a while... and maybe this has already been asked... but what is the difference between a furry character and a human character? Apart from the logical exterior differences like a tail and things, should there even be a difference? Psychology-wise, is a furry character in a world full of furries different than a human in, say, the regular world?

And what if the story is set in a world with both furs and humans? Is there a difference other than appearance?

I suppose it's a matter of personal taste, but I'd like to hear some opinions nonetheless.   '<img'>
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Offline Andrew J

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2004, 07:00:54 pm »
Ooo, interesting topic. There's been a few good ones over the last few days.

Well, I suppose a furry would be fairly close to a human other than appearence and such. There might be a few differences, like in G. Howell's stories (such as "The Human Memiors") like they might not have a god(s), or even know of a concept of religion. Why, instead of having war gods and so on like many furries in books do, they might just have nature gods representing different things, like one for the wind, the trees, etc.

In my novel-in-progress (about 30,000 words so far), "The Summer of 1399," I have a fantasy world (in the year 1399, almost in the 14th century) with both humans and furs, and they're quite similar (other than appearence) except for a few things:
1.) Their creator gods are different. I.e., the foxes have Vulpecula, the wolves have Lupus, the felines have Lynx, and the humans would have a pair of gods that I haven't made up the names for yet. (But all other gods other than the Holy One are forbidden by the Church and worship is punished by imprisonment or in some cases death.) And yes, I just stole those first three god names from the names of our constellations for the fox, wolf, and feline.
2.) Their furniture is different. The chairs mostly, which are opened on the lower back to allow their tail to hang out. Humans would have full backed chairs or ones with just the sides cut out.
3.) The human nobelty would have houses or families, the fur nobelty would have clans or tribes.

There's a few more that I can't think of right now, but will post about later.
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Offline JonaWolf

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2004, 09:11:02 pm »
An interesting question....

I think that there has to be more than just physical appearance to differentiate between anthro and human characters otherwise it is too easy to fall into a sort of 'humans in fursuits' trap.

With anthro characters being part animal or perhaps evolved from animals would they not retain some small traces of the instincts and behaviour they had as four-legged animals? Would a canine character, for example, have enhanced senses of smell and hearing compared to a human? Would that same character be territorial, prefer to hunt in groups and have a highly structured social life? Would a feline character be an excellent hunter, a self-sufficient and reclusive wanderer that prefers a free and independant life to a social one? Maybe, but maybe not. That part is left up to the author's imagination.

When it comes to my own writing(there's a link in my sig), I believe that how those characters view the world, and even how they think would be markedly differ from a human. I'm doing my best to try and work those differences into the stories I'm writing in a believable manner.

Just my $0.02...
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Offline Andrew J

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2004, 11:06:34 pm »
Jona, I totally forgot that: my furry characters have all their senses, i.e. good night sight, hearing, smell, etc. I also mention it frequently, for instance, a fox enters a massive bookstore and has a sneeze/coughing attack on account of all the dust. The only thing different is their senses aren't quite as good as the animal counterparts, BUT, the furries can see colors better.

By the way Jona, is that a wolf or dog in your avatar? Either way he/she is cute.




"Pity this busy monster manunkind not..."
-e.e. cummings

"Go then. There are other worlds then these."
-John "Jake" Chambers

Furry vs Human
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2004, 11:53:33 pm »
Things like that are mostly left up to the writer.

In most situations, the first aspect of a fur in comparrison to a human would be differences in their senses- a fur would have better hearing, a better sense of smell, and if you want to get really technical, infravision and color-blindness (NOTE: color is the result of different spectrums of light reflecting off of an object, so infravision equals color blindness).  Depending on the setting, the mood, and most importantly, how the author wants to depict them, a furry may be as similar or different from humans as is desired.

The best way to imply diversity in culture is to do two things: recreate everything based on the new species, then throw a human (or furry if the case may be), into the setting.  For example, lets say a modern and fairly isolated city/town/whatever is inhabited entirely by anthropomorphic foxes.  Since everyone has a large tail, they might only sit on stools or have chairs with holes in the backrest for their tails (like Sully's armchair in Monster's Inc.  Said detail might not be evident until a human attempts to take a seat in one of these and falls into it.  On the reverse side, one of said anthros might have trouble in a human environment since humans would be unaccustomed to watching not to step on someone's tail.  

The key is to stop thinking "anthro-whatever" and actually think in terms of what kind of creature you are describing, and in a lot of situations, it helps to just abandon the plot for a moment and write a page or two about the new race, how they evolved, how they relate with each other, how much exposure to alternative races they have had, how they go about their every-day lives, all the way down to their dietary habits and their accents if you can help it.

Also, if you want to imply "different, yet identical" (IE: humans and furs live differently but are on equal planes with each other), you can stop trying to diversify your characters and let them interact naturally by writing two page-long scenes that take place in settings that are commonplace to both backgrounds yet entirely different based on settings.  In the book I'm writing, for example, the human settlement is commercial and places heavy emphasis on technology and luxury while the anthro settlement is utopian and more focused on resource conservation.  The setting I used was the bathroom, where the humans have motion detectors that flush for them (which freaks out the furry character when he's forced to use one) and the furry washroom implements an old-fashioned pull-chain mechanism (so the furry bartender instantly knows to yell "Pull the chain!" whenever a human calls for him from behind the door).
In other words, you can let the setting speak for the characters and save them the trouble of explaining it.

Offline Andrew J

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2004, 12:17:59 pm »
Terastas has some good advice, some of it what I said earlier.

In other cases though, like in my story, humans and different furs have lived together a long time, thousands of years, so things wouldn't be as awkward or as a first contact sort of deal, with all the culture shock. Mostly, I did this because I was tired of seeing either stories with a) humans and furs know of each other but have a deep hatered for each other, and b) a first contact situation, and wanted to see a story were the species lived together for once, and interacted.

I also have laws mentioned in my story, Holy Laws, as the Church is in charge of things, like "no worship of false gods" and "magic is against gods will and heretics must be put to death." An old Holy Law which has been stopped in my world is "no members of separate species may become intimate or otherwise bonded/mated with each other, on punishment of imprisonment or death, as the Holy One made each species for each other and not to mingle."
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Offline Soulsky

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2004, 06:57:40 pm »
I'm working with a furry novel, and the best thing I can say is that the comparison between furries and humans will depend ENTIRELY upon the context of the story.  Culture and civilization is everything.  It seems that everyone has already said most of this, so I'll just put enthusiasm on this.

Simply put, the differences will be world-sensitive.

As for mannerisms, it depends on how you create the charecter, really. Just how you do it is up to you. Habits, tendencies, beliefs, overall personality comes from 1) the initial makeup, 2) how that person's been treated, and 3) how that person sees themselves.  You have to decide what's important.  The fun part of furry characters is that you can tweak and blend however you want, as long as it's consistant. ^_^

Offline JonaWolf

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2004, 01:01:00 pm »
Quote (Andrew J @ June 29 2004, 9:06 pm)
By the way Jona, is that a wolf or dog in your avatar? Either way he/she is cute.

That's my Alaskan Malamute.   '<img'>  She's the best dog I've ever had.
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Offline Nahuel

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2004, 01:34:49 pm »
Thanks for all the replies. I never even thought of the chairs example for some reason, so it seems I could really use the advice then. '<img'>

Apparently this really is a personal thing, but thanks for pointing this out anyway. I hope it will be of use to someone. Oo;

And your dog really is cute, JonaWolf. '<img'>
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Offline Andrew J

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2004, 10:14:17 pm »
There's some other things that I do in my story, "The Summer of 1399," to make the anthro characters different, but you'll just have to read it to find out.  '<img'>
"Pity this busy monster manunkind not..."
-e.e. cummings

"Go then. There are other worlds then these."
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Furry vs Human
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2004, 10:07:40 pm »
Quote (Andrew J @ July 01 2004, 10:14 pm)
There's some other things that I do in my story, "The Summer of 1399," to make the anthro characters different, but you'll just have to read it to find out.  '<img'>

'<img'>
Ditto.

Offline Russano Greenstripe

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Furry vs Human
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2004, 11:13:53 am »
Quote (Terastas @ June 29 2004, 11:53 pm)
The best way to imply diversity in culture is to do two things: recreate everything based on the new species, then throw a human (or furry if the case may be), into the setting.  For example, lets say a modern and fairly isolated city/town/whatever is inhabited entirely by anthropomorphic foxes.  Since everyone has a large tail, they might only sit on stools or have chairs with holes in the backrest for their tails (like Sully's armchair in Monster's Inc.  Said detail might not be evident until a human attempts to take a seat in one of these and falls into it.  On the reverse side, one of said anthros might have trouble in a human environment since humans would be unaccustomed to watching not to step on someone's tail.  

The key is to stop thinking "anthro-whatever" and actually think in terms of what kind of creature you are describing, and in a lot of situations, it helps to just abandon the plot for a moment and write a page or two about the new race, how they evolved, how they relate with each other, how much exposure to alternative races they have had, how they go about their every-day lives, all the way down to their dietary habits and their accents if you can help it.

That style (The one I like, by the way) is almost the exact same as my favorite writer's, Lupine. As far as I know, he's not on Furtopia, but you can see his works here. My style, however, is similar to Meph Whitestripe's, which can be seen on his site. Check them out!
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