How to fit certain characters in a modern/futuristic setting

Fire&Light65

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Two characters I have, a circus contortionist fire dancing clown themed female character and a tribal female warrior from the Amazon jungles in a secret temple. Both characters have combat skills. What's the best way to fit them in a futiristic setting or at least a more modern feel? Also how to avoid them being cliche stereotypes?

Thanks again.
 

Fire&Light65

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Okay sorry you're right. I was going to give her an edc kind of vibe so she'd have more of a techno cyber-like style. How can u fix it to fit 8n more with today's pop culture? Same with the Amazonian female warrior from a sacred temple in the Amazin jungles?
 

tinkerdan

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First of all you set your setting.
Then you create the characters, not just what they can do or what stereo-type you might fit to them; but what they really are deep down internally.
Then you have to decide how they work within the setting.
Maybe your acrobatic fire dancer loves the culture she lives in and her choice of discipline was determined all around that.
Maybe the amazonian type is living in some past and has disdain for current culture.
Maybe it's the other way around.
Focus more on who they are rather than what you think they are .
 

CupofJoe

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If you are looking for some rough possible examples of how things might translate…
Anyone with circus skills will find a job. Anywhere from Cirque du Soleil or children’s entertainer. There may be some less savoury options available depending on your setting...
A tribal warrior could end up as a life coach, using their training and discipline as a template for purer simpler life.
Or as a personal trainer with the toughest of tough love approaches.
Then there is the straight forward bodyguard routes. Female bodyguards are often highly regarded.
 

Plucky Novice

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Are these characters to be displaced from their normal environment into one which is alien to them?

If so, then presumably you don't want to modernise them.

If not, then perhaps you don't want these characters per se. Maybe think about the traits you like in them and build some new characters from there. That should deal with the stereotype issue.
 

The Judge

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Is this a new story, or is it connected to your fantasy martial arts one or your cyber samurai idea? Because how you fit characters into a story rather depends on what the story is about and where it is set and who/what the other characters are. Or do you just mean what jobs could these women do in a future society? If so, why attempt to pigeonhole them by giving them such rather unusual -- not to say bizarre -- backgrounds? Why can't they just be social workers or lawyers or computer programmers or any one of a thousand other jobs which will still be needed in the future?

In any event, how are you getting on with writing the story/stories? Are you writing at all? Planning is all well and good and there are a lot of members here who plan their novels, and some no doubt plan in great detail, but if we're talking about how well characters fit in rather than just the jobs they can do, things like that tend to come well after the planning stage. But even the issue of jobs can be put to one side until you've actually started writing these characters and found out who they really are as opposed to automata confined within the strange identities you've picked for them. So if you're not writing, I'd suggest that you actually knuckle down to it now and worry about things like this once you have a first draft and your beta readers/writing group have commented on the characters.
 

alexvss

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There a number of ways for you to do that. I don't think there is a "best way". Ideas are just ideas; everything will depend on how you execute them.

So let me try to brainstorm you. In Horizon:Zero Dawn, A.I. has destroyed everything and almost everyone, to the point that the remaining humans don't have a clue how the world was before, so they live tribal lives in the wilds--they use high-tech tools as if they were natural, and robots run around like animals. In Sara Genge's Shoes-to-run (Asimov's Science Fiction July 2009), we follow a tribal girl who dreams of being a boy. The twist is that the story takes place in a refugee camp around a fortified, cyberpunk-ish Paris. In Derrick Boden's Hustle (Escape Pod episode 721), the characters live in a gig economy.

Takeaway: in all these amazing and extremely succesful stories, the characters are who they are, despite the technology. The clown in your story will keep doing her job, but not under the same job system we live today. Your amazon warrior will keep having her beliefs and defending the temple, but maybe she will do that with a laser gun instead of a silex spear.
 

G.T.

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Pris from Blade Runner meets those Wakandan royal guards. There you go, both characters as you described and both in futuristic settings.
 

Wayne Mack

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I would create a backstory for each to see how they came to be in the society. Where did the clown grow up and what caused her to decide to be a clown? Is there a circus culture in the future world? How does the circus culture interact with the rest of society? Do they travel from town to town? Do they have a permanent stage where people come to visit (think Las Vegas)? Same sort of questions for the tribal warrior.

The key is to make the characters interesting. A warrior from a secret temple has been done repeatedly, so it is hard for it not to be cliche. To overcome that, I want to be interested in the character herself and that will let me ignore the commonality of the trope.
 

Fire&Light65

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Focus more on who they are rather than what you think they are .
You're right. I'll be working on that.

from Cirque du Soleil or children’s entertainer. There may be some less savoury options available depending on your setting...
I wasn't sure because clowns ste seen as more scary these days than being popular with entertaining children. But she's supposed to be scary and evil so could these options still work?

Or as a personal trainer with the toughest of tough love approaches.
Then there is the straight forward bodyguard routes. Female bodyguards are often highly regarded.
I like this for the Amazonian. It would definitely suit her style in the civilian world, when she's not at her secret temple in the hidden jungles.
Are these characters to be displaced from their normal environment into one which is alien to them?

If so, then presumably you don't want to modernise them.

If not, then perhaps you don't want these characters per se. Maybe think about the traits you like in them and build some new characters from there. That should deal with the stereotype issue.
I would like this but how do I do this?

Is this a new story, or is it connected to your fantasy martial arts one or your cyber samurai idea?
I was going to use them for my cyber samurai story but I might have to scrap both the cyber samurai story and fantasy martial arts ideas because they might be seen too cliche and offensive, and I'm afraid to take chances with either of them. So this might be an entirely different story.

Takeaway: in all these amazing and extremely succesful stories, the characters are who they are, despite the technology. The clown in your story will keep doing her job, but not under the same job system we live today. Your amazon warrior will keep having her beliefs and defending the temple, but maybe she will do that with a laser gun instead of a silex spear.
I think these stories will definitely help me with some good inspiration. But I was going to avoid the Amazonian using any kind of gun and using high tech weapons that are Incan inspired. Think like Wakanda but South/Central America.
 

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