1. Earphone
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    Earphone Active Member

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    How do you see fantasy races?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Earphone, Aug 3, 2011.

    I know that everyone views races and characters differently, so how do you think the other races look? Or even act socially, and culturally?

    For example: I don't see Goblins as stinky, unintelligent creatures, whose only purpose is to fight until dead. If they have been able to survive however long the fantasy story says, they must have a system in place. I have a story, where there are different tribes of goblins scattered throughout the land. (Forest, mountains, water's edge.) Each tribe has adapted to their environment (in their appearance), and thrives by gathering and trading the local resources. And they aren't going to even play a big role in the story, it's just how I saw them.

    So what about you guys, how do you see the races?
     
  2. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    That's a good idea, even if it's minor that is very original. Im writing a fantasy novel as well, and i look at each creation differently as well. Expect im not using Goblins or Orcs, im using my own races entirely. :p
     
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  3. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    that sounds really interesting.

    i guess theres always been an achetype for each race. for example elves are considered wise and beautiful and elegant. lord of the rings i think as well as many other fantasy novels lead the way in helping shape the majority of the populations perspective on these different races.

    yes i like the idea of creating your own races too.
     
  4. Earphone
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    Earphone Active Member

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    Yeah, I have three races that I've created as well.
     
  5. Mr Mr
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    Mr Mr Active Member

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    Each fantasy race is unique to the author, although there are certain stereotypes people follow. Elves being immortal and gracious is one; savage orcs is another.
     
  6. Boriol
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    Boriol Member

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    I try not to follow archetypes. My elves have pointy ears and look nice, but that's about it.

    I haven't written dwarves, orcs, goblins, etc. yet, but I don't see why I couldn't draw a cute, innocent goblin who doesn't crave bloodshed. Maybe I could introduce a good reason why they always fight to the death no matter what. Maybe I could do away with it entirely.

    I try not to portray humans as the scourge of the earth, either. Just like in real life, there are good and bad people, and fantasy tends to demonize humans more than any other genre--even political nonfiction.

    How I actually imagine fantasy races is actually pretty stereotypical. When I think of an orc, I still think of the World of Warcraft orcs. When I think elves, I think Elwing and Xecty (+2 Internets if you know who those two are). Goblins? My first exposure to them was Runescape. Therefore, I think of little green dudes with no role in society other than to pester people and provide experience points. Yes, I change all of this when I write, but the first thought that comes to my mind when prompted with any given race will probably be its stereotype.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Bah! Warcraft stole their orcs from Warhammer (and much else besides) :D
     
  8. Shadow Reeves
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    Shadow Reeves Active Member

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    i see fantasy races such as marathons and cycling as pointless if you aren't really going to compete :)
     
  9. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Fullmetal Xeno - I think it's awesome that you create your own races. Not to slam on anyone who uses elves/goblins/etc, because anything can be portrayed in hundreds of various ways - but my own personal preference is that each fantasy world should be unique and different, right? Same with the races in it. Anyway, just wanted to give you kudos for being individual about it. I +repped you too.

    As for the post I quoted, I found it interesting that you say fantasy demonizes humans. I will admit that I haven't read immense quanties of fantasies, so if I'm totally wrong, then I will stand corrected. But I've found that fantasy usually portrays humans as people in danger who need to be saved, if not as the good guys. You know, all those stories where there's a supernatural battle going on that humans don't even know about but that could totally annihilate them. Or where the humans are nomads and scattered across a hard-to-live-in-thanks-to-evil-wizards world.
     
  10. Earphone
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    Earphone Active Member

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    It's usually the human who is the protagonist, because they are "normal"; not having the same powers as the rest of the races, and "evil bad guy". When all is said and done though, the human usually ends up with the power of a demi-god, so it defeats the purpose. (In my opinion.)
     
  11. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    To elaborate on the demonizing of humans - humans are generally the oppressive or most racist entity, especially in video games. Check out the Witcher 2 - while yes, there are several multiracial groups that do get along, the tyranny of humanity is ubiquitous.

    OT:(edit: On Topic)
    I generally view humans as dull, uncanny, emotionless mannequins that speak their lines in a monotone.
    Elves are humans with pointed features who love to prance about flinging flowers about with a fireball or two for good measure. Very arbitrary and capricious.
    Dwarfs are short and round, love to swear and have a short attention span. Very jumpy and aggressive.

    However, I create my own races. I'm writing a different story - I'll create some different races.
     
  12. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    What is OT? Not to sound like an idiot, I'm just not familiar with that abbreviation lol. :p
     
  13. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    I have made my own races. To me there are more than just trolls out there.

    I have made a race of faceless people. They wear Harlequin style mask, well decorated and fancy rich dress. To hide their ugly, hideous faceless body.

    Their veins look like paint dripping in their pale translucent skin. The paint on their mask is living, because of it's of their own blade. And each blood and artery that appears out of their skin is a unique marking to the individual.

    But they find themselves so disgusting they hide behind expensive fabrics and wear parade clothes. They pretend to be happy, most of their smiles are plastic happy smiles. While they wallow in sadness.

    Where as I have another race, that are more like elves and goblins. They have large bug eyes that look like diamonds. And horribly disfigured teeth that do not match up with one another and jut out of their mouth. They smell foul and horrible. They have claws. And they are hideous. I mean so foul.

    Parts of their flesh sag and wrinkle. But they believe themselves beautiful. They think they are beautiful. And create beautiful paintings of themselves. They are so self righteous and arrogant in their beauty they cannot see their horrible, disgusting, disfigured bodies.

    There are no humans in this story. Instead it's just a bunch of different races and exploration of their cultural and the wars between the races.
     
  14. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    ^ OMG! That sounds SO creepy and interesting....I want to read it..!!!!
     
  15. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    I have a race that is like mannequins too. Their range of motion is compromised, so they cannot move well, they walk very stereotypical robot. Their skin is like the scales of a dragon. And their eyes are stuck in a fixed position of madness, but their mouths are stuck in a frown.
     
  16. Shifty
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    Shifty Member

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    I live in my head with my characters most of the
    I've come to see the 'different' races in fantasy books. Especially in Lord of the rings as reflections of the human potential, if you understand.
    And try to incorporate that viewpoint into my stories. *I feel ashamed at boiing lotr down the one sentence, doesnt do it justic.

    I've read in the genre where their are races of perfection, all goodness and light and the other end of the spectrum where they are all evil and fighting among eachother. In my writig I try to avoid such steroytpical behaviour.
     
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  17. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Shifty, that's a very good point about the LoTR races. I never thought of it that way. +rep.
     
  18. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    Good point.
     
  19. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is a splendid on-line continuing graphic novel called Goblins which deals with this.
     
  20. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Jim Hines also wrote some entertaining and humorous fantasy novels from the point of view of the goblins.
     
  21. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I prefer chariot, ostrich, aerial dragon are much more exciting races.
    Dragons are very competitive, they will put you into a tree in wing beat.
    Some are poor losers though, occasionally a runner up will eat the man with the checker flag.

    Sorry, I read things from a different angle then most.;)

    I think each author should make their races their own creation. Same name or totally new name. But make them your creation.

    MY favorite author made her own races, I end identifying them by the first few letters as pronouncing them is to much work.
     
  22. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    No mention of the classic caucus race?
     

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