I'd like to invest some time in writing a short story from the Pov of some sort of supernatural spirit connected to the real world, but with no specific alignment ie. Angel , Demon . Did some peliminary research, seems the Islamic and shamanistic philosphies of the world give me that flexibility , in Islam there are two orders of spirits , the angels and the Jinn . The Jinn are like humans but made from fire not dirt/clay , think 'Genie' . They have free will to serve God (Allah) or not . I'm really attracted to the idea in that 'He' is only as human as i want him to be ,free to use unrealistic poetic dialogue (which i love) , from stereotypes etc. Which will give me some freedom , though i will anchor the plot to human interactions . You guys have any advice? I'd think some experience writing from alien POVs would be nice , tips?
Posts: 51 | Registered: May 2006
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From an alien perspective, don't write like a human, though it can be hard. This is the case where you want to get into the charactors head well enough so that you become that charactor while your writing. You have to think, act and be the charactor and respond in the ways that that charactor would.
For an angel, you wouldn't do bad things, you'd only help with protecting those that need it and whatnot, but I believe writing as an angel wouldn't be as fun as writing as a devil/demon, we all have our nasty streaks
But the premise of the story is also religious and as such, we have to be careful on how we portray the charactor, but if it's written well enough, then no one can criticise you over it for writing religion in a bad light.
I like to write about angels/demons. But, I always get people who will call the reality I create wrong. They compare my angels/demons vs their mythology, forgetting that what I wrote was fiction.
With Djinn, you'd be up against everyone who saw Aladdin. So be careful that your spirit is not a 'genie'. T
There is a distinct difference in thought when mortality is not an issue. If there is no fear of death, patience become infinite. (Unless you are afraid the subject of your joke will die before the joke reaches fruition.)
Its hard to match the impulsiveness of the traditional media 'Genie' with their immortality. Age brings patience and wisdom, though probably slower to the immortal. Still if a genie learns patience and wisdom at 1/10th the rate of a human, by 2007, they'd be far more patient and wise than any human.
But your creations can have any personality that drives your story, just make sure you know the reason for their personality.
As a precaution - do not write from the PoV of the victim if the joke goes as planned. Having everything go wrong for a character because its really beyond the character's control makes for a very tedious story.
If it were an alien, I'd say: get to know the biology of the alien, and then culture, so everything gets seen through that lens. For example, an intelligent honeybee might be morally horrified by things that could threaten the queen. She might also not see the point in individual freedom.
This can also be cultural. In the Reformation/Counter-Reformation, people weren't (I think) so much horrified about people being burned at the stake for something as personal as religious belief (our perspective), but at people being burned at the stake for being right, by those who were wrong, thus promoting error.
I'll second pantros' precaution, but also add that the victim's POV isn't tedius if it is within the character's control. Meaning that the character didn't have to get into the mess, but they chose to anyways, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Oscar is a good example of this, because "Snaps" wouldn't have gotten into the mess he did if he hadn't promised his father he'd stop being a crimelord.
How does the genie's power affect him? (I'm assuming he has something to differentiate himself from mere mortals.) Is it going to allow him to play his joke on the humans, or is it going to backfire on him in an ironic twist? The outcome can affect the POV you use and how you decide to craft this story.
FWIW, I just ran across a reference to a "Djinn" reading The Mote in God's Eye. Funny how convergence happens, as I wasn't familiar with the term prior to reading this thread, and it was within 1-2 days that I came across that passage (which was a throwaway "can't put the djinn back in the bottle" type of cliche.)