Post by remadegold on Dec 18, 2007 23:34:58 GMT -5
I'm not sure I'd consider "swiping" a unique race from someone else. Though I'll confess to going through different mythologies, comparative religion studies, and what-not to mix-match and create my own. And tweaking existing mythologies for my own purposes. It's when you start deliberately doing it to Scripture for story-purposes that people get weirded out.
I'll admit to not really liking the Elves, so that was really never a temptation for me. They were cool when kicking butt. I wish Tolkien had used more of that and less of the singing Elves.
Ah well. *shrugs*Given I refused to call my stories fantasy until two years ago, I should shut up.
You might like the way I use elves. I always thought Tolkien's elves were too--present--in the story. In my mind, elves should be a rarity so in my world, there's only one elfin character and he's ANCIENT.
If you look at a previous post, my races developed from seeds being planted in different places. Elves were planted near the coast and immediately took to the sea and settled on an archipelago as far away from the mainland as Europe is from North America. I suppose they're a bit like vikings and pirates.
My elf character never got his sea legs and as such was quite the oddball. He was ostracized and exiled to the mainland, seeking refuge among the landlubbing races of men and dwarves. He's immortal and has a knack for not getting stabbed, crushed, or pierced to death. When the story finds him, he's several thousand years old and serves as a mentor figure to my main characters. Back in his "youth," he was an adventurer and dragon slayer. "Now" he's an author and sort of a shepherd.
The rest of the elves are quite removed from the story and mentioned only as background. If they sing, it'll be sailor songs...you know, really gritty songs of life on the sea, "YOHO!" They might even cuss like sailors but I'll be sure to show not tell. I guess other stories could involve interactions with them but I haven't gotten there yet.
Last Edit: Dec 19, 2007 0:22:46 GMT -5 by myrthman
Post by The Blue Collared Philosopher on Dec 20, 2007 13:53:27 GMT -5
myrthman, i like the idea of seafaring elves, but if i may say so, the common reader who just likes a good book would rather have an elf that was somewhat like the elves he had read of before.
What i'm getting at is, people who read for entertainment like to have things that are familiar to them. However, we(high and mighty wanabe famous authors) love this creative, out of the box stuff. But to everyone else, it's just boring and a little to out there for them if you see what i'm saying.
I'm not saying i dislike the idea of seafaring elves, it sounds neat and puts an odd twist to the story i'm sure, but unless you are an especially good author or already well known, people won't buy the book-right away at least.
(And, i might add that i have very little knowlegde when it comes to trying to get a book published and stuff like that.) i thought i'd say that since i have notices books that are...similiar to the Great Author's stories do well, and others who try a new idea seem to fall. (Smile, but i'm all for trying to reach the unreachable, thats why i came here, where the map ends.)
Live Pure, Speak Truth, Right Wrong, Follow the King
Like I said before, they're mostly out of the picture. I would like to include them in subsequent stories. So, do you think seafaring elves are too far off the map? I was really thrilled to learn that I was in uncharted waters (badumdum!). Ultimately, I'm not writing to sell a book, but if it were never to sell, I might reconsider.
And btw, which "Great Author" are you referring to?
Sea-faring elves, huh. That sounds cool. So what qualifies these as elves in the traditional sense? Are they what most people think of as elves? Why elves; why not give them another name? But, hey, these elves could perhaps redefine the terminology. I would enjoy reading about them. Have fun with the story.
Good point, scholar. But that line of thinking is what spawned this thread in the first place. Any suggestions for what to call them? I thought in general I'd call the three races the Seedling Races (b/c they came about from planted seeds).
One thing I like to do, whether it is coming up with names of peoples or places, is to go back in history. - specifically, languages. I have several texts with glossaries that i look to (Welsh, Anglo-Saxon, Latin). Tolkien did similar when creating Middle-Earth, using a lot of Anglo-Saxon terminology and basing some story lines on the Finnish Kalevala. Perhaps going through lists of legendary races or creatures on Wikipedia might spark something. You can always alter the name to suit yourself. * edit* or just browse cultures that are similar to yours, what were they called? what did that name mean? what did they call themselves? what did that name mean? * But if these elves are elves in the popular sense (only like the black sheep of the family with a different occupation) keep the name. Author's privilege.
But if all of this happened long ago in the story and really has no relevance to the plot, you can just call them elves and be done with it. Your readers will follow the story line and the characters. Some will concern themselves with background, but the majority of readers are reading for pleasure. But if there are more stories, just be consistent, or keep printing revised editions as Tolkien did.
Last Edit: Dec 21, 2007 14:47:13 GMT -5 by scholar
I never finished the Silmarillion. I should too. I just couldn't get into it at the time. Hope my thoughts helped a little at least.
For the world I created I had thought to use elves and giants and all the rest. Who knows? I still might. But those races really didn't fit into the mold of what I was thinking. I gave them different names: for my forest dwelling Celto-Native American peoples, the Heldor; and the giant technologically advanced race, the Bogur. However, like you Sean, I decided to place these mostly in the past, well before the arrival of men upon Aelios, so that contact between the various cultures at the time of my stories would be a rare event occurring deep within the forest or mountains and well away from the civilized ares of men. There is another race too perhaps, more elf-like, that I call the Kindrisi, but i haven;t really delved too deep into them.
Finish the Simarillion; it's an amazing piece of work. I've read it through twice and written several papers on it for college courses. If I ever get around to finishing my BA, much less an MA, my masters work will all be on the theology of the Simarillion. Love it, love it, love it.
But, as far as a name for sea elves; why not just that? Sea Elves? You've heard of Wood Elves; Dark Elves; etc, why not? That would distinguish them from your typical elf and make them a sort of distant cousin to the the "traditional" elf. Just an idea.
Speaking of seafaring elves, you all have read the Lord of the Rings, right? Don't you recall that all the elves SAIL off to the undying lands, that one of their greatest heroes sailed in search of the Valar, and got his own star for the attempt, that once Legoles heard the ocean, he was all but lost to Middle Earth, that most of the Elves who ended up in Middle Earth proper got there by ship, and were great seamen? So that's not such an original idea after all, but it is an idea that hasn't been explored as much as I'd like. Of course, in the story in question they wouldn't be explored much either, seeing as how the elf in question is a land lubber himself.
I'm a bit of a Tolkien purist, and I think if you're going to use middle earthian characters you should use middle earthian characters. I was so peeved when I first found out that other authors had created elves, dwarves, orcs, wizards, etc. that weren't like the Tolkien characters. I think dungeons and dragons, or world of warcraft, or some other card or board based RPG developed its own set of characters with the same race names.
and then a co-worker and friend told me about one of her characters in another game, which is called a seraphim, or some such, but has minimal if any resemblance to Biblical seraphim. I was, again, disturbed.
Some struggle through the desert because He said . . .[br][br]". . .If you would be my disciples, you must take up your cross daily and follow me"