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I’m Just a Regular Guy (In a Wolf’s Body)

Curse of the WerewolfI’m wrapping up a short story about spaceman and wolf shifters, and one of the things that’s come up during the writing of the story is how wolves (or at least shifter wolves) think and act while they are in Wolf mode versus how they think and act in human mode.

For instance, in some shifter stories the human mind is entirely subsumed by the Wolf mind, and the shifter acts entirely is an animal, or almost entirely, when in Wolf mode.

In other stories, the Wolf is essentially a human in wolf form. And of course there are all kinds of shadings in between.

There’s also the question of pack mentality – would a pack of shifter wolves work the same as a pack of “regular” wolves?

And of course, this issue is not limited to wolves – many of the same questions would apply to shifter coyotes, shifter panthers, and even to my favorite, shifter sloths.

So my question today – what’s your take on shifters and human mentality? If you are a writer, and have written shifters, how did you square the difference between the human and animal minds? If you are a reader, what’s your take? Should shifters act more like animals or humans when in animal mode?

2 thoughts on “I’m Just a Regular Guy (In a Wolf’s Body)”

  1. I’ve done a story that had shifters. It had the half-wolfman stage in the story, but didn’t need full wolf in the novella version. I need to re-write it for publishing again, but I believe in allowing the animal inside sway in shifted form, but not to subsume the human mind. In human form, some of the larger traits of the wolf come into play, like scenting and growling, but are controlled. The edge comes from the animal, the tempering from the human.

    I think the fascination with wolves–and all shifters–is the way humans are allowed to give their primitive instincts a dominant part of their personality. The polish of civilization is gone. My wolf man might snarl at a rival and grab his mate to claim him with a harsh kiss… but he won’t piss on him or rip out his rival’s throat–unless the guy won’t take a hint.

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