One thing I tried to be very aware of here was not to use degenerating words of any kind. Nothing can ruin the mood (and air of professionalism) as thoroughly as profane and decadent language.
No one wants to read a story with a swear word in every sentence. Making the story like this would probably score some points with the teenagers, but I think it would be a sign of decay and joining the wave, not to mention an insult to everything the story stands for. Language is a beautiful thing and should not be abused in this way, especially not when writing.
Purrhaps this does not make much sense to you, but I live in a country surrounded by young people who swear so much they simply cannot help themselves, or worse, they do not notice it at all anymore. It is second nature to throw in a bad word here and there in every sentence. Its not even to be rebellious as it used to be when I was a kid, it is simply the way to talk of today. Actively fighting it is not really within my powers at the moment, but I am truly disgusted by the way people have gone to ignore it completely. I have heard too many radio shows for *children* with debased language. Once they were interviewing children, asking them about their dogs and it simply got so much out of paw that it was awful to listen to. Utterly tasteless.
It would be better if we could censor bad language from movies, books and so on. The next problem would be to get the children to read the books and learn the language this way instead of on the streets. Im not fanatic about this in any way, and I dont expect to root out all the bad words of the languages. I think everything is good in moderation and in the right quantities. A word used too much tend to lose its meaning and power.
I try to consciously swear as little as possible IRL and on mucks, because then people around me will *know* I mean business when I do swear! ^.^
Words are much more effective this way, and if a person never usually swears and then suddenly does so, people will notice it a lot more than if its used in every single sentence. The only way you can tell if some kid on the street means what he says is when he starts beating you up. Its impossible to tell by their language anymore.
The Award For The Most
Gratuitous Use Of The Word Fuck In A Serious Screenplay
Warning! Contains.. well.. stuff you probably shouldn't read (but who's gonna stop you, right?)
The universe surrounding Catwood took a long, long time to build up. It took years to develop the characters and the world they live in. I have worked through the minds of my characters for so long that they tend to take over the story sometimes. All I really do is write down some plotlines and things I want them to do, but how the characters achieve it is actually up to them. Its a strange, but also very inspiring and sometimes awe-striking feeling to be able to sit back and just see what your mind comes up with. The characters are by now so deeply embedded in my mind that I really dont have to think of them anymore. I dont have to consider and ponder about how a character would react to a certain experience. I just write the outline, put the character in it and watch what happens. It reminds me of putting captured bugs in the same jar and see what they do (Shake the jar. Maybe theyll fight!).
I have never written down anything about the characters personality of worldview; they are simply comprised by.. something.. inside me and their personalities seem as natural, straightforward and simple as my own. I dont think about what I do and why I do it all the time, except when Im philosophizing or something, and neither do my characters. Theyre more instinctive than anything else. It might sound like nonsense to anyone but me, but its the best way I can explain it. If you asked me what a certain characters response would be to something, I couldnt tell you for sure. I could predict it, like I can predict what I would do, but I wouldnt know for sure. But if I write down the outlines and put the character in the situation, then I can see what actually happens. Just like it would happen if I had roleplayed the character. It all depends on the mood of the characters at the moment you put them in this situation.
Hopefully, the characters seem a bit more alive for this reason. I know a lot gets lost in a translation unless you know both languages, so maybe the characters are only this alive and vibrant to me?
Either way, I decided to try to share them with others through the written word. And to me, the fun lies in thinking up situations to put them into and then just let them run wild. The interaction between the characters and I is what drives me.
I think all of them are fundamental parts of me in some way, otherwise they couldnt possibly be as real. I admit I phase out from the world when Im writing, but its not like a trance or anything, where I channel them through myself :P
But I do allow them to surface and take over the creativity of my brain. It is as if they are buried in my subconscious, which is really fun because it makes me think they are doing everything themselves. They draw very little on my conscious mind when acting out their play. Sometimes when I read back to see what I wrote the night before, I cannot for the life of me figure out where they got those ideas. I dont think I could have come up with something like that myself ^.^
The hard part of all this is finding inspiring settings and plotlines for the characters to jump over, across and circle around as they see fit.
The same thing happens with the world they live in. If I had to write down everything about it, it would be like writing down everything in our own universe. Its an impossible task, but if you ask a specific question about something, it is possible to answer it with a bit of research.
The Family and World
I wanted to see the universe through the eyes of a furry family, who was a little out of the ordinary.
The roleplaying I did on SPR actually had to do with the background history of the parents. The two children are only now working out their destiny.
I also wanted to show more of the ordinary, common side that people would recognize and maybe think about a bit more when they have seen it through the eyes of a furry.
The world of my story is comprised of many interests, such as astronomy, biology, philosophy, religion, technology and magic, to name a few. It is like our world, only a lot more advanced and with more twists (twists are fun!)
I wanted to achieve the current dreams of our world concerning technology, but still retain the hopelessness and toiling we have to do to make the stuff work.
Also, the magic of the world is a category all itself. I love magic and the supernatural, and it is always fun to read a new book or RPG system and figure out how other people see magic in different ways.
And naturally, I had to invent my own system too.
The family is more primitive and back-to-nature than most furries at this point. They live in a treehouse called Catwood in a jungle outside the greatest metropolis on the planet. As a consequence, magic comes easier to them and they are not as dependent on technology as everyone else is.
Magic is known by most furries in the world to a greater or lesser extent. Some can work magic like a second nature, and some have problems learning the simplest things. Just like IRL with other things.
I didnt want spells or scrolls or stuff like that. Magic should be a journey of discovery, and each furry would eventually get their own relationship to it. Magic is not taught, it is realized.
The schools teach magic as a subject, and have tried to organize it into neat little groups that can be taught, but it is basically just a list of what society has thought was the most useful, essential and relevant things to learn. This is a society based on science, so the education system has classified, arranged and categorized magic and divided it into little bits that could easily be learned by everyone. Well, most anyway.
Magic such as the one concerning spirits and other worlds is seriously questioned by science, but even more importantly, it is the kind of magic that simply cannot be categorized and be made orderly, so therefore it is banned. Furs who know it are labeled crazy and live in the wilderness as hermits now. Although a few hidden tribes on the other side of the planet still practice it in secrecy.
There are other kinds of magic besides these, and they are not banned or anything, just considered peculiar remains of ancient times past. The division of the schools is just a scientific division and might seem completely illogical to the primitive tribes still roaming the far reaches of the planet. Magic can be compared with knowledge, and even if we categorize it in things like nature, technology, electronics and such, it remains a scientific division and it only seems logical because we grew up being told it was logical. It is all still raw knowledge, but would be a big mess (in our opinion) if we did not divide and arrange it.
I have divided the undividable and labeled that which cannot be labeled, and made a sort of basic system that the schools (and later, academies) follow. The facts on rest of the magic and its origins in the world are still in my head along with all the other stuff about this world.
One of the characters will have a kind of magic that I personally have never seen before anywhere, at least not in the way I explain it here ^.^
The Future - Catwood II
Nah, its not that bad... Honestly, I was merely fooling around when I first started writing these little tidbits, but the ideas turned out to be good ones, so I kept at it and they just sorta developed on their own.
I had some totally different plans and settings for my characters, and since I didnt know what else to call the new and different stories, they were collectively named Catwood II (pretty original, no?)
Im planning on getting started on these in the future, after adding a few more characters, and make the main characters of now grow up a bit more. Contrary to what goes on in Catwood right now, the new stories are going to be a lot more philosophical, thought-awakening and especially more action-based.
The world will change dramatically for the characters, for this to happen, but Ive got it all figured out ;)
Im still collecting ideas, but I have enough plotlines to do the beginning at least, just need the spare time...
I have had a pawful of friends to do my proof-reading to kill all the typos and such that I might have missed in my eagerness. It is so easy to stare yourself blind at your own work and not see the errors you make.
My co-writer Davis (Sivade) Hoffman, whom I hear from occasionally (*ahem!*) has been very helpful with additions, ideas for plotlines and various other things (luckily he lets me take credit for everything ;)
As mentioned before, I have RPed on
SPR (spr.ctrl-c.liu.se, port 23)
and TLKMuck (tlk.muck.limitless.org, port 7675) for some time, I still have chars there, but only connect occasionally. Hopefully this will change sometime soon ^.^
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