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Fantasy Races


Brayon

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In almost every fantasy story, there are non-human humanoid races, running about. From Elves, to Dwarves, to Trolls, fantasy races comes in all shape and sizes. In "universal lore" there are some common themes when it comes to these races. Elves are haughty, and aloof; Dwarves are greedy, and like to dig; Black Skinned Dark Elves are evil, and kill at a whim; and the list goes on from there for standard stereotypes. There are always exceptions to the rule, like Drizzt Do'Urden, Killi, and so on.

 

So, in your writing, do you include these fantasy races? Are they patterned off of universal lore? Have you changed it up, and reworked them to your world? If so, how do they different from the universal lore?

 

For me, I've always been partial to Elves. Though, I try to shake things up, and have them be more down to earth, and fun loving.

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I pattern things off from D&D which pattern things off from Tolkien's take on "universal lore".  Though I do mix things up a little in my lore. 

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I have written about fantasy creatures only they were based on native Indian folklore, myths and legends and totally removed from elves, dwarfs and fairies. These creatures were spirit beings conjured up through dreams and rituals, but still based on existing lore, just not the same one as you refer to.

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There is also Eastern European Lore, which is distinctly different from Western.  It can be viewed in The Witcher series of books/games.  (which are hugely popular)

 

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On 10/19/2017 at 10:41 AM, BHopper2 said:

In almost every fantasy story, there are non-human humanoid races, running about. From Elves, to Dwarves, to Trolls, fantasy races comes in all shape and sizes. In "universal lore" there are some common themes when it comes to these races. Elves are haughty, and aloof; Dwarves are greedy, and like to dig; Black Skinned Dark Elves are evil, and kill at a whim; and the list goes on from there for standard stereotypes. There are always exceptions to the rule, like Drizzt Do'Urden, Killi, and so on.

 

So, in your writing, do you include these fantasy races? Are they patterned off of universal lore? Have you changed it up, and reworked them to your world? If so, how do they different from the universal lore?

 

For me, I've always been partial to Elves. Though, I try to shake things up, and have them be more down to earth, and fun loving.

 

What stands out most for me in this post is 'standard stereotypes.'

 

I love reading sci-fi and fantasy... always have, and I like those stereotypes... they are comforting in many ways. Yet, as far as writing, I attempt to re-invent the wheel. I don't know why that is, but with my limited experience in writing this genre, my Santas were far from typical, and my shifter universe in Morningstar: The Malaise  didn't follow the norm. It was constantly commented on, but in a good way. But to stray too far in some of the most popular realms may be tricky. There is a strong loyalty to some 'universal lore' by readers, especially the ones you point out.

Still, I guess there will always be room for both. I have a sci-fi story in my head, and while much of it is unknown ground, which has great appeal for me as a writer, some of it falls within the expected confines of space travel and such. There is so much out there, it is nigh on impossible not to duplicate some of those 'comfortable and standard stereotypes.' 

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I am more acquainted with the gods and goddesses with different myths and legends various country mixed with the Eidolon that comes from the game, Final Fantasy of Square Enix. However, I am more well-versed when it comes to occult and demonology rather than magical creatures. There are a lot of "sub-species" for demons as well. And most of them are not pretty. Just a selected few.

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most of my fantasy races are based off of dungeons and dragons 3.5 edition. if i use something different, such as native lore, chinese lore, or the like, i will not use them in the same story line as one of my d&d worlds. While D&D does borrow a lot from lores of all cultures and other sources, they follow a lot of different rules and characteristics then from any other source, so in my experience, they really don't mix well. That and if i keep my characters to the dungeons and dragons type rules and behaviors, i feel it gives a lot more to the reader. you are a lot more likely to have a reader already know what a drow is, versus a reader knowing anything about Shiva and the creatures that take care of him. 

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I try to base my fantasy stuff on original source material from ancient myths.

 

For The Seashell I picked up an 'unfinished' myth after reading about merpeople and gay themes in ancient Greek mythology. The crossreference in Google came up with Nerites, a young god and male consort to Poseidon. I read his little myth blurb, more of a footnote as far as Greek myths go, and decided there could be more to the tale. I also wanted to track down where the Olympians went to and why we hadn't heard from them in millenia. Mixing into the story some of the tragedy and comedy of the gay Hyacinth and Ganemede myths I came up with the story. My thought on 'merpeople' was informed by a music album I listened to which started the whole thing off.

 

For The Thinning Veil I wanted to spin my take on Celtic myths and their connection to Aurthurian legend. In so doing, I recalled some interesting Irish tales that involved the war of the natural world against the Otherworld. In so doing, I was able to find myth-based redefinition for the people of the Otherworld, namely fairies and leprechauns. Again, I was long influenced by an Enya song called 'The Memory of Trees' and the album by the same name when concocting the story. It's my oldest one and will be tied into three volumes one of which is done and here on the site. I have most of the second volume done too. They are not long, but I enjoy telling these stories as they come from a very deep place in my psyche and from my people's religious and mythological past. 

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