Post by Divides the Waters on Dec 10, 2007 15:23:07 GMT -5
There are a whole slew of races apart from elves and dwarves that never really see the light of fantasy day. What about nixies, boggies, bugbears, tommyknockers, etc.? The list goes on and on.
For any Christian writing fantasy, and particularly those writing about elves and the like, I highly recommend reading Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories" and Lewis's chapter on the Longaevi in The Discarded Image.
I created my own race! I thought about my story and did some research and then decided that an oppressive dragon would definitely get "creative" with his enslaved dwarves. The result? A dwargon! I thought these beasties would make a great enemy army or fortress guards. Check out rackley.sean.googlepages.com/dwargon for an image and let me know what you think.
Post by Divides the Waters on Dec 16, 2007 0:24:53 GMT -5
In terms of mythopoeia, there is always a little blurring of the lines when it comes to what a true "invention" is. I always saw Hobbits as a kind of pre-leprechaun (since Tolkien establishes that they live in holes in the ground, and have diminished greatly in the times since the writing of the first book, and now avoid human contact). Certainly small, hairy people are nothing new in the annals of literature and myth. But Tolkien's name was new, and his treatment of them as little Englishmen was certainly a unique take.
The ents, as far as I know, are unique to Tolkien, but again, he was inspired by older literature (namely, MacBeth; he was always disappointed that the woods moving to Dunsinane Hill were simply clipped branches used as a disguise, and determined that he would write a story in which the trees really did march to war). Even the literary giants have stood on the shoulders of other literary giants... which is a comforting thing to the likes of me.
If pressed, I would have to admit that I invented nothing in my own novel. But I mixed and matched influences to the point that the creatures have felt new to most readers, which is the important point. Generally, fantasy novels take mythological elements and make them new to another generation of readers.
I'm toying with the idea of making Dwargons gender-neutral sterile critters. I'm not so sure I'd want them running/flying around making more!! I kind of envision them being analogous to demons with another creature I came up with being analogous to angels (the Naerie - I think I mentioned them in a previous post).
A thought on hobbits: I hadn't considered they were leprechauns. I always thought Tolkien had made humans from rabbits (H - bbits). They do live in holes and steal vegetables from farmers!
Post by The Blue Collared Philosopher on Dec 17, 2007 7:33:17 GMT -5
I'm coming in late, but if you ask me, using other peoples creatures is fine. Now, i don't know where Tolkien got all of his ideas, but if you have read other works besides the Lord of the Rings trilogy you will see that he had many other creatures, like in the Silmarilion. (Where do you think he got the Valar from?)
And, i have noticed that the books that do pretty good use a lot of Tolkien's creatures, like Eragon. I don't know if you knew this, but even Tolkien had Shades and Christopher Paolina just twisted what a Shade was to fit his story.
Now, i had a question, would any of you(anyone who is reading this)use creatures from C.S. Lewis' world? Because i actually have, i have created a world of combined creatures from other books and added my own creatures to it. It has become a very large world pacted with all sorts of creatures.
Live Pure, Speak Truth, Right Wrong, Follow the King
My current elfin heroine (more like a brownie type of elf) is about to get locked in a fairy dungeon under the great fortress. They have to lock her in a room lined with cobalt so she can't get out. The cobalt neutralizes her outward magical abilities, rendering her harmless. My fairy people (elves, dwarves, gnomes, goblins, hobgoblins, and trolls all living and working together in a sort of representative dictatorship) have Tolkien Elf Immortality Syndrome (TEIS) which means they live forever unless killed by somebody or something. They are only allowed to reproduce after a battle or some other event has caused a loss in their numbers. Thus, they keep their population levels fairly constant. They have a code they live by (or choose not to live by) that among other things, forbids them to kill humans or fairy people even in time of war. This means they have to disable their enemies and capture them. It is very very difficult to kill one of my fairy people-- their bones are made of a magical-biological metal alloy not unlike an aluminum/titanium alloy or something lightweight and strong like that. They can easilly be wounded, but as long as their central nervous system is intact they can be nursed back to health and even regenerate lost limbs. Often their healers reattach limbs on the battlefield. A loss of all their blood is only a temporary setback as long as a friend is nearby to help them heal. Healing does take time, however, and in extreme cases, magic. In many cases where humans would die, one of my fairy people would become dormant and comatose, waiting for someone to revive them. It could be many years. . . . . in fact they store dangerous criminals indefinitely in a comatose state since they may not kill them. Whadya think? Crazy?
Yeah, and I also know it's not original-- basically it's right out of Superman, but I like it. If you want to find something interesting, look up the origins of the word cobalt. That's why I'm using it in my story.