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Ambiguously Human vs Half Human Hybrid:
Long story short, I've got a character who's probably not a fully fledged member of the human race. Their physical abilities are more or less within human capability but they come to them much easier then they should (ie their 'baseline' abilities are the same as what someone who trains every day can do), they come across as strange bordering on creepy (well, until you get used to them anyway) and there's a number of other subtle (and not so subtle) hints that they are far from normal. However, I'm of two minds as to how to deal with it, so I thought I'd seek a second (and third, and forth, and fifth) opinion on the matter to help me make up my mind. Should I actually have it revealed that the character in question isn't 100% human or should I keep it to hints and speculation by other characters (the idea of there being a 'what the heck is Alex' betting pool does amuse me somewhat) and leave the reader to draw their own conclusions?
All Guns SparkingI think it depends on how important Alex's inhuman status is to the story. Is his race/ability/nature something that has a dramatic effect on the plot (i.e., does it have some sort of Secret Legacy issue, or is it something that ties in with The Reveal)? On a certain level, I'd say you should follow your first instinct and leave it ambiguous. I suspect there's plenty of fun to be had between Alex and the other characters when they don't know what he really is — how do they cope, how do they react, do they trust him, things like that.
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From the information you give us, I'd say make it ambiguous. It has potential for both dramatic and comedic situations, and adds some mystery to the character.
@Voltech: There isn't a Secret Legacy, but there might be some sort of other dramatic effect on the plot, depending on how things develop (I've decided that if the first book sells I'm going to try and make it a series). Two things that should probably be noted; one, Alex doesn't have a clue as to what she is either, although like those that know her she does have her suspicions (although she isn't too bothered about it either way), and two, in this 'verse, hybrids of humans and something else are actually fairly common (mainly because I'm going to be drawing heavily from British folklore, which is chock-full of situations that tend to lead to hybrids), although the non-human part is usually fairly small (1/16 or less), and for those in the know it's not really that big a deal (for those who are just finding out about it on the other hand..).
Nah. Nice idea but it would go against the 'rules of the 'verse', specifically the one that says that after four or five generations a hybrid is indistinguishable from a 'normal' human unless you know what to look for and look really, really close. Alex is rather obviously not a normal human, although not so much as to be blatently inhuman. Anyway, after careful consideration, I think I'll be going with the 'ambiguous' option, mainly because it gives me more wiggle room and potential for humour (such as the above-mentioned betting pool), but also because one of my mini-ambitions is to be popular enough for my work to warrent a WMG page (sad I know) so the more there is to speculate about the better.
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