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Making a story "furry"

Deosil Fox

WoW Fanatic ^^
Alright, so basically I was curious and I can't think of a better place to ask this question. How do you make a story furry? Is it in the descriptions of characters? The environment in which the story is told? Or is it just a basic fact that any story posted on FA is immediately thought of as "furry".

Just asking, please don't eat me :(
 

Aeturnus

\m/ Rock on \m/
It's just a stupid label people in the fandom like to use. Nothing else to say.
 

Deosil Fox

WoW Fanatic ^^
It's just a stupid label people in the fandom like to use. Nothing else to say.

That's understandable. But I am curious as to whether or not it makes the story more appealing to the members of FA.
 

Mulefa Zalif

treat me like a fox
IMHO a story is furry if you can't easily replace the characters with humans.
IOW taking a story about humans and sticking tails on them doesn't give you a furry story.

A story is furry if the characters' species have some meaning, e.g. the jocks are all predators and the nerds are all prey (in a stereotypical "furry high school" story).
What's the point if different species are totally interchangeable?
I mean, IRL people are treated differently just because their skin color is different, and that's much less of a difference than belonging to another species.

Or a story where humans interact* with anthros.

Bonus points if the story reflects upon things like:
- what it means to be human
- how humans treat animals, and why we don't treat them the same
- intolereance & bigotry (interspecies relationships, anyone?)

* important note: "interact" can mean other things than "rape, torture, kill"
 
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Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
It's mostly about the characters being anthro.
"Furry" is much more style than genre.
 

Deosil Fox

WoW Fanatic ^^
IMHO a story is furry if you can't easily replace the characters with humans.
IOW taking a story about humans and sticking tails on them doesn't give you a furry story.

A story is furry if the characters' species have some meaning, e.g. the jocks are all predators and the nerds are all prey (in a stereotypical "furry high school" story).
What's the point if different species are totally interchangeable?
I mean, IRL people are treated differently just because their skin color is different, and that's much less of a difference than belonging to another species.

Or a story where humans interact* with anthros.

Bonus points if the story reflects upon things like:
- what it means to be human
- how humans treat animals, and why we don't treat them the same
- intolereance & bigotry (interspecies relationships, anyone?)

* important note: "interact" can mean other things than "rape, torture, kill"

That was most likely the answer I was looking for, thank you. ^^
 

Atrak

Psychological Egoist.
A story that isn't an exact copy of our world. Think about what would actually happen if wolves developed opposable thumbs and larger brains before chimps did.
 

HidesHisFace

Chronicler of Holy Tear
Well - some characters have to be anthro - thats all. The problem is that many people seem to make characters anthros just because they feel like it. The fact of them being not human usually has no impact on story whatsoever, which is bad in my opinion. In such cases there is no point of having anthros as characters - humans would fit all the same and do their job just as well - even in some stories involving racism - just replace anthro with different skinned human - simple as that. Little things like mentioning such behavior as waving a tail does not change that much, it has to be something more to reasonably explain existance of anthro characters.

All I want to say is that in most cases the whole furry/anthro element is horribly underdeveloped and thrown just for the sake of it. So - if you want to make a furry story, just take generic human story and replace humans with anthros. You will please majority in that way and leave only few nerds unsatisfied. If you are going to make serious, well thought story, when character are anthros because of well developed world where this fact means something for storyline, than well - good luck, you have huge ammount of work before you.

My universe, featuring only two typical anthro species (but of totally different origins) is in progress for about five year and is far from being finished - though it is possible to write fairly decent furry/anthro related stories in it, as both species are well developed.
 

Deosil Fox

WoW Fanatic ^^
Well - some characters have to be anthro - thats all. The problem is that many people seem to make characters anthros just because they feel like it. The fact of them being not human usually has no impact on story whatsoever, which is bad in my opinion. In such cases there is no point of having anthros as characters - humans would fit all the same and do their job just as well - even in some stories involving racism - just replace anthro with different skinned human - simple as that. Little things like mentioning such behavior as waving a tail does not change that much, it has to be something more to reasonably explain existance of anthro characters.

All I want to say is that in most cases the whole furry/anthro element is horribly underdeveloped and thrown just for the sake of it. So - if you want to make a furry story, just take generic human story and replace humans with anthros. You will please majority in that way and leave only few nerds unsatisfied. If you are going to make serious, well thought story, when character are anthros because of well developed world where this fact means something for storyline, than well - good luck, you have huge ammount of work before you.

My universe, featuring only two typical anthro species (but of totally different origins) is in progress for about five year and is far from being finished - though it is possible to write fairly decent furry/anthro related stories in it, as both species are well developed.

So what you are saying is just having Anthro characters in a story just for the heck of it and have absolutely no impact on the story on a whole is exactly what many people seem to do and what anyone attempting to write an Anthro story should avoid? Thanks for that, I am pleased to see so many people actually offering advice. Also I hope that your story turns out well.
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
We've tread this ground quite a bit in this forum already, actually. It all depends on how much work you want to put into it. Like HidesHisFace said, you could go the easy route and just say "Blah Blah was a cat," and have that be as much detail as you ever put in, or you could go the hard route and research, philosophize, and try to put yourself and the reader into the head of an animal with human intelligence. Or you could go somewhere in between.
Don't get me wrong: I think the hard route is a lot more fun. It's an intellectual exercise; basically, doing your best to think like something other than a human being. And you don't have to worry too much about accuracy, because no one knows how other creatures think. No one can get an intimate view of that sort of thing. So you just have to make your best guess based on behavior, sensory sensitivity, diet, lifestyle, things like that. Actually (and I was reminded of this a while back from a thread at the Guild forums), Larry Niven does one of the best jobs of this in Ringworld, with the Puppeteer and the Kzin characters. Of course, he doesn't write the book from their perspectives, so in a way if you go the hard route on anthro writing, you'd be one-upping even that attempt and coming into White Fang territory.
Of course (and here's where things get funny), you have to keep in mind that not everyone is going to enjoy reading something from the perspective of, say, a snake, or a raccoon, or whatever. If you go too far and make it too alien, you'll turn off a lot of potential readers. It's the reason in movies like Star Wars you always have a main protagonist who's human; in strange worlds with tons of weird creatures, people like to feel like they have a guide they can relate to. Imagine if Star Wars was shown from the point of view of Jabba the Hutt. Would it make any sense at all? What would you have to do to make it make sense? That's the kind of exercise we're talking about, here.
 
T

TakeWalker

Guest
If a story has to be 'made' furry, then it doesn't need to be furry. This is mostly what others have said, but in a shortened form. :V
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
I mostly agree with the points above, although I don't want to see:

- how humans treat animals, and why we don't treat them the same

What I would like to add, is that 'furry' includes aliens and fantasy races. A furry story is inherently speculative fiction, thus furry stories should endeavor to be good speculative fiction by not just sticking furry characters into a modern realistic setting for no reason. The furry race(s) in a story need to be developed the same way alien races and fantasy races do, showing how the non-human aspects of their nature have shaped their culture and continue to shape their individual experiences of the world and interactions with each other.
 

Lobar

The hell am I reading, here?
A story that isn't an exact copy of our world. Think about what would actually happen if wolves developed opposable thumbs and larger brains before chimps did.

Yes, this. If you write a story in a universe filled with only furry characters and everything's still designed for humans, your imagination has failed.
 

Pliio8

Has No Compassion
By making nearly all the characters in the Story Anthro, and have a universe Designed for the Anthro's. Bird's can't use the regular guns we have, at the same time, an Otter would be better suited to having both above and below surface weaponry. At the same a time, a futuristic species like a Lombax would probably have a DEW, like a plasma rifle or something, while the elder species like a Dragon would probably keep better to a more Medieval world, with swords and bows and whatnot.
 

jinxtigr

Feline Miscreant
Sometimes when the background is so worked out it's like an RPG, you have the opposite problem, and you need to make your furry, STORY ;)

I've got these feline characters and one of my favorite bits recently was with one of them having breakfast on a balcony where she felt like 'this is our haven, the lupine people can't get up here because there's only a climbing pole'. One did, joining the breakfast, and the feline was like D: even though she was okay with the lupine in another context- her mind ran on a whole set of expectations and protocols that she expected not to be violated, so she got into this very catlike freaked-out state.

That was pretty 'furry', what would make that 'story' would be using the scene to establish what she was like and what she wanted out of life, and then throwing conflicting stuff at her and having her come to terms with it and grow and adapt- and indeed I have some vague ideas of that nature. Since she is the MOST intolerant of some things, she is also the best target for showing change in them, and could become more unlikeable or more likeable based on how she handles herself...

The 'what' is background. The 'who' is story. The 'how' is furry.

Actually the Who is what Horton Heard, but that's another story entirely- I just wanted to come up with an uber soundbite whether or not it was really generally accurate :)
 

Aeturnus

\m/ Rock on \m/
I'm going to be serious for a moment.

It's your story. Label it whatever the hell you want, and don't let the fandom tell what it is and isn't. If you want to consider your work 'furry' fiction, go for it. If somebody in the fandom tells you it isn't 'furry' cause of some stupid reason, just laugh in their face.
 

HidesHisFace

Chronicler of Holy Tear
Aeturnus;1992946 It's your story. Label it whatever the hell you want said:
Well, thats true, at least partially, because there are some criteria that sometimes must be fulfilled if you want call your work in one or another. You can't add label "furry" to the writing that has no anthro characters or furries whatsoever - thats pure logic, right?
Also, you can't call one page short piece of writing a novel etc. Well, basically you can, but it will not change the fact that it will not become a novel just because you said so.
Of course - sometimes people can be just annoying and refuse calling something in the way it should or fail to spot calling thiongs in the way they shouldn't but it happens everywhere.
 

Glitch

SLUDGE FACE
That depends on how many members of FA actual gives a damn about the story itself.

This.

I like reading smutty-type stories, but only if they have a plot going up to it.
I'm writing one for the hell of it, and I'm making sure I have time for plot and character development, etc.

Of course, there'll be those furs that skip to the reason the thumbnail is bordered in red.
 

Lucien Pyrus

Fire and Ice
A story is anthropomorphic if it contains anthropomorphic characters in it. -captain obvious
BUT! A good anthropomorphic writer will contain animalistic elements to the characters such as specific behaviors, rituals, and relationships. Furry stories may sometimes be interchangeable for humans, but sometimes with controversy. Occasionally an author will use species like race or ethnicity. In that case.. the main character being racist might be a put-off to readers or villanize someone who isn't a villan.
 

nybx4life

A training artist
Yes, this is true.

A good example of this is in "Maus", if you have read the graphic novels: Jews are mice, Germans are cats, French are frogs, Polish are pigs, and Americans are dogs. The species replace the nationality of different characters.

Back to the question at hand...


A furry story is more than having characters animals instead of human. It applies a purpose to these characters being the species they are.
A story may be furry if the majority of the characters in the story, or a good amount (not too sure) are animals.
 

Fenrari

Prince of Wolves
Any story can be made "furry," it only needs to have the right mix of descriptive characteristics mixed into it.

Because if you think about it, take out the fur, the paws and the tail, a furry is just a human. A good furry story must have the same elements that a regular story has. Well developed characters that aren't perfect, a plot and most importantly descriptions that make the reader want to read further.
 
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