I normally don’t put much effort into research for my works of fiction—I like to cite intelligent reasons, such as “I don’t wish to constrain myself by other people’s established lore” but a large part of it is also laziness—but tonight I decided to hit the library to do a little research into centaurs for my new screenplay. I only looked at a few books that provided a general overview, but I took away three basic premises:
- There aren’t that many stories involving centaurs;
- What stories there are usually only provide one type of characterization for them;
- And they’re intelligent yet violent creatures that also frequently rape when they lose control.
None of these things are particularly traits that I want my characters to have… at least not the main characters. But this can be useful. I only wanted to research the topic so I could flavor the writing in order to please the mythology nerds out there. Now I’m finding that the flavoring could help explain why my characters are more varied and peaceful (most of the time). At some point I’m going to have to address the fact that the lead centaurs in my story isn’t violent unless he gets drunk (and even then, he’ll probably be violently pathetic). The centaurs I’m writing are playing against type and I never would have thought about that unless I did the research, as basic the research was that I did.
Unicorns, on the other hand, seem to be harder to find information about outside of fantasy novels. Granted, they play a much smaller role in the story but it would be nice to find something for the lead to strive for other than the magic that would come with his missing alicorn. Then again, the guy starts out as a bit of a dimwit. Maybe I could use that to my advantage.