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I need some help figuring out what's more fitting for my story

bob1thousand

Minstrel
I need some help figuring out what's more fitting for my story.

So some context, my story is about an alien who comes to earth and lives with a human woman and her little sister. The alien (who they name Lucy) is from a race of asexual shapeshifting creatures similar to the blob. Each member of the species stays on it’s own planet due to their destructive hunger.

Excerpt from my story:

“Soooo, Lucy.” Asked the young girl.

“Yes, Rachel?”

“What planet are you from?”

“My original planet doesn’t have a name. Not that it matters since no one lives there anymore.”

“Really, why?”

“It is completely baron of life.”

“How did that happen?”

“My race are apex predators. Just a single one of us can wipe out an entire planet of all it’s life in just a few Earth years if we were trying. Less than a year if there was more than one. That’s why we don’t stay together.”

As time goes on and Lucy becomes closer and closer to the humans she is staying with, she starts to resent her own race and their destructive nature. Her species has the capabilities to create things and have emotional bonds but they spend their lives alone, mindlessly wiping out entire planets of life without a single bit of remorse.

One day, Rachel is doing homework and Lucy asks what it is. Rachel tells her about the deer in Yellowstone and how they continued to eat and eat until they almost wiped out all life in the area (true story). Lucy seems to get very invested in the story and a little upset, but when Rachel asks about it Lucy brushes it off and leaves.

Later that night, Lucy goes into the forest and finds a deer.

I’m not sure if she should:

Kill the deer

Or

Pet the deer


Each choice has its own deep meaning and I’m not sure which I should choose. Could you please help?
 
Neither?

Maybe she first intends to kill the deer, but then she lets it go.

And where does she find a solitary deer, at night? Deer travel in herds, and they aren't nocturnal. They're mainly crepuscular. In the woods, at night, a deer would be bedded down with its herd. In the daytime, or dawn/dusk, it would be walking around with some other deer. If you see a single deer, there are always others close by.
 

Chasejxyz

Inkling
Is this a story for little kids or for adults? Because that's going to matter a lot. If it's for kids then she should pet the deer. It would be reminisicnt of The Iron Giant, which your story is in many ways.

However if this is for adults then you're probably going to have to work on your idea some more. Most forms of life kill other life forms to exist, but there's mechanisms in place to stop them. Viruses can only reproduce so quickly, if they're too good at killing their host, then it can't spread and it dies out (a fictional disease that kills you in 5 minutes means a host can't drive somewhere else or get on an airplane. Covid, meanwhile, has you infectious for about 2 weeks, even before you feel sick). Most animals do not kill for funsies, even "mindless eating machines" like sharks are not constantly killing things. Even fire, which destroys anything in its path, is part of the life cycle for certain plants and there are animals that have co-evolved to take advantage of the situation to hunt. Fire is in no way sapient but it still cannot burn the entire world for various reasons.

So if your alien is of a species that will kill all life on a planet in a few years....well how does it get to another planet? How many habitable planets are there in the universe? How close are they to each other? How did they evolve to be like this in the first place? If they were created by another alien species as some sort of super weapon, then, again, how does it get off the planet? Why is it capable of forming relationships with other sentient beings and making decisions?

I have a lot of questions, as what you've presented to me is unbelievable, and not in the good way. As things stand there is no reason for the alien to give a hoot about humans, besides that's what the plot says it has to do. Characters doing things because the script says they have to and not because they, as fully fleshed-out characters, have made those decisions based on their morals, values and experiences are flat and boring. People don't like stories like that.
 

bob1thousand

Minstrel
Neither?

Maybe she first intends to kill the deer, but then she lets it go.

And where does she find a solitary deer, at night? Deer travel in herds, and they aren't nocturnal. They're mainly crepuscular. In the woods, at night, a deer would be bedded down with its herd. In the daytime, or dawn/dusk, it would be walking around with some other deer. If you see a single deer, there are always others close by.
Hmm, maybe she starts to strangle the deer, but see other deer from it's herd nearby and lets go of it.
 

pmmg

Vala
I am not sure why she would do either. Last time I saw a deer it snorted at me as if to say, take another step closer and its on. If she approached, it might just run off. I would say pet the deer seems more likely....why would you kill the deer just cause you saw it in the woods?
 

bob1thousand

Minstrel
Is this a story for little kids or for adults? Because that's going to matter a lot. If it's for kids then she should pet the deer. It would be reminisicnt of The Iron Giant, which your story is in many ways.

However if this is for adults then you're probably going to have to work on your idea some more. Most forms of life kill other life forms to exist, but there's mechanisms in place to stop them. Viruses can only reproduce so quickly, if they're too good at killing their host, then it can't spread and it dies out (a fictional disease that kills you in 5 minutes means a host can't drive somewhere else or get on an airplane. Covid, meanwhile, has you infectious for about 2 weeks, even before you feel sick). Most animals do not kill for funsies, even "mindless eating machines" like sharks are not constantly killing things. Even fire, which destroys anything in its path, is part of the life cycle for certain plants and there are animals that have co-evolved to take advantage of the situation to hunt. Fire is in no way sapient but it still cannot burn the entire world for various reasons.

So if your alien is of a species that will kill all life on a planet in a few years....well how does it get to another planet? How many habitable planets are there in the universe? How close are they to each other? How did they evolve to be like this in the first place? If they were created by another alien species as some sort of super weapon, then, again, how does it get off the planet? Why is it capable of forming relationships with other sentient beings and making decisions?

I have a lot of questions, as what you've presented to me is unbelievable, and not in the good way. As things stand there is no reason for the alien to give a hoot about humans, besides that's what the plot says it has to do. Characters doing things because the script says they have to and not because they, as fully fleshed-out characters, have made those decisions based on their morals, values and experiences are flat and boring. People don't like stories like that.
it is very much for adults. also, I said that a single member of a species could wipe out a planet in a few years if it WANTED to. The creatures do not have traditional stomachs. Everything they eat is digested in minutes and can be turned into mass very quickly, meaning they could just eat and eat as much as they want. The reason Lucy hates her race is because of their appetite. If they only ate what they need to survive, then they wouldn't wipe out planets.
The aliens do have spaceships that they take with them from planet to planet and are able to hibernate inside for long travels. There's a lot of information the audience doesn't know because Lucy doesn't know herself. These events she talks about happened tens to hundreds of thousands of years ago and Lucy wasn't there for them. Everything she knows is stuff told to her by her parent.
Lucy is a very young member of her species, she is only a few decades old while her parent was well over a thousand when she was born. The only planet she was on before Earth was the one she was born on with her parent. The thing that sparked Lucy's change was Lexi, the main human character. In the story, Lucy in human form gets attacked by a mugger and Lexi steps in to defend her. Even after Lexi finds out she's an alien, she still offers her to stay at her place. Lucy doesn't understand why someone would help another creature, let alone a different species. She agrees to stay with her in order to figure out said reason.
I hope i was able to explain myself well. Please tell me if there's something else that doesn't make sense.
 

bob1thousand

Minstrel
I am not sure why she would do either. Last time I saw a deer it snorted at me as if to say, take another step closer and its on. If she approached, it might just run off. I would say pet the deer seems more likely....why would you kill the deer just cause you saw it in the woods?
She didn't run into the deer, she went out and looked for one after hearing the story because it reminded her of her own race, which is why i wasn't sure what she should do next
 

pmmg

Vala
I say kill the deer....or perhaps pet the deer, but not knowing her own strength or such, kills it anyway. Being that the deer is shown to her to be a destroying creature, and she mistakenly feels she is protecting other life by doing so.
 

Gwynndamere

Dreamer
Being an alien, can she communicate with the deer? Deer don't have territories, per se, they roam significant distances. And they can be alone, especially in the spring before they give birth. Young bucks that have been kicked out of their own herd can wander alone looking for a new herd, or a batchelor herd - other bucks only.

If she can communicate with it, perhaps she tries that first to get it to range outside of the park so they don't eat all of the food. And then perhaps she gets frustrated since the deer may not be listening, or interested in what Lucy is saying, so Lucy then kills it.

Maybe Lucy just wants to go and observe the deer to see how much destruction they are causing. She may find that the destruction of the grass and plant life is nothing compared to what her species destroys, and leaves the deer alone.
 
I have the same feeling as Chasejxyz that the reason this alien even bothers talking to the human is "Because plot". Why would an apex predator capable of eating a whole planet and traveling from planet to planet even need rescuing? Why would she even feel the need to talk to the human afterwards and why would she consider the nature of her race as evil instead of simply the way things are? Also, why do the aliens eat? Is it because they're hungry or is it just something they would be capable of but they generally don't bother.

As for the deer, it depends on what your point is with the scene. Why do you want to show this to the reader. Both are a decent option but they lead to slightly different stories.

The obvious one for me would be that she kills the deer. If she has come to hate her race for eating their way through a planet and she wants to protect the eart then she will kill the deer. It even gives you a nice and obvious character arc for the alien where you can have the same scene at the end of the book and she lets the deer live. it might be an easy answer though, which many readers see coming.

Another option is that she decides to observe the deer and see if she can teach it stuff to make it less hungry or something like that. A sort of searching for redemption for her race kind of story.

Rachel tells her about the deer in Yellowstone and how they continued to eat and eat until they almost wiped out all life in the area (true story)
As a side note, this is not unique to deer. This is pretty much true for all creatures. Remove their predators and they will simply keep breeding and eating until they all die of starvation and the whole things starts over. There's simply not enough predators in Yellowstone to keep the deel in check. Something with humans killing them all.
 

bob1thousand

Minstrel
Being an alien, can she communicate with the deer? Deer don't have territories, per se, they roam significant distances. And they can be alone, especially in the spring before they give birth. Young bucks that have been kicked out of their own herd can wander alone looking for a new herd, or a batchelor herd - other bucks only.

If she can communicate with it, perhaps she tries that first to get it to range outside of the park so they don't eat all of the food. And then perhaps she gets frustrated since the deer may not be listening, or interested in what Lucy is saying, so Lucy then kills it.

Maybe Lucy just wants to go and observe the deer to see how much destruction they are causing. She may find that the destruction of the grass and plant life is nothing compared to what her species destroys, and leaves the deer alone.
the deer wouldn't be smart enough to communicate with, but she could try.
 

bob1thousand

Minstrel
I have the same feeling as Chasejxyz that the reason this alien even bothers talking to the human is "Because plot". Why would an apex predator capable of eating a whole planet and traveling from planet to planet even need rescuing? Why would she even feel the need to talk to the human afterwards and why would she consider the nature of her race as evil instead of simply the way things are? Also, why do the aliens eat? Is it because they're hungry or is it just something they would be capable of but they generally don't bother.

As for the deer, it depends on what your point is with the scene. Why do you want to show this to the reader. Both are a decent option but they lead to slightly different stories.

The obvious one for me would be that she kills the deer. If she has come to hate her race for eating their way through a planet and she wants to protect the eart then she will kill the deer. It even gives you a nice and obvious character arc for the alien where you can have the same scene at the end of the book and she lets the deer live. it might be an easy answer though, which many readers see coming.

Another option is that she decides to observe the deer and see if she can teach it stuff to make it less hungry or something like that. A sort of searching for redemption for her race kind of story.


As a side note, this is not unique to deer. This is pretty much true for all creatures. Remove their predators and they will simply keep breeding and eating until they all die of starvation and the whole things starts over. There's simply not enough predators in Yellowstone to keep the deel in check. Something with humans killing them all.

She didn't need to be rescued or helped. Lexi saw what she thought was a woman in trouble and stepped in to try to help. Lucy wants to know because she's spent her life thinking it's survival of the fittest. She needed to know why she would do that. The aliens do need to eat food to survive. The reason Lucy resents her race is because they eat more than they need, which causes unnecessary destruction.
I think kill might work better, especially if i have it appear again. thank you for the suggestion.
also, i know that it happens with any animal, i just choose deer because its one of the most famous real life examples. Humans killed all the wolfs so deer didn't have anything stopping them from breeding and eating. the problem was only solved by bringing in wolves from Canada.
 
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