1. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    The necessary creatures

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Man in the Box, Jun 30, 2014.

    I don't remember where, but I know it was on this forum, that I read that you should only use a creature if you need it. For example, you may want to have elves and dwarves in a Tolkien-ish setting, but, if you don't need the dwarves for something, like forging a sword (something dwarves are known for), then it's pointless to have them.

    But what if you want to add them anyway, for the sake of variety? Harry Potter has so many types of creatures, for example (Rowling even wrote an encyclopedia on all the creatures found in the series), some are monsters, others are smart, but are all of them absolutely necessary, or could some of them be replaced with something else without making any difference in the story?
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Sure, you can add different races just for variety. It's their world too, even though the story isn't about them. Maybe your MC meets a dwarf bartender or an elf wrestler? I would find the setting much more enriched and exciting if it had more than just one type of race. :D

    As for the wild monsters? Well, same thing. They live in that world, so if your character stumbles upon one, or hears someone talking about one, mention it. It'll show that outside of your MC's head and life, there's a world that's going on at its own pacing without the MC; time isn't frozen for everyone but the MC. Maybe he/she overhears a kid talking about how daddy once fought a giant shark-like beast with fangs and claws? Or your MC spies in the distance two lumbering elk/elephant-like creatures grazing peacefully on the bushes.
     
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  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like Link the Writer indicated. A creature or race doesn't have to make an appearance within a novel to be mentioned or exist. And if you're writing a series, everything that exists doesn't (and shouldn't) be mentioned.

    Having a world that is bigger than the POV character(s) direct experience is valuable/has merit.
     
  4. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    @Man in the Box
    Was that someone me? :p

    I didn't mean it as harshly as it may have sounded.
    Obviously add whatever races you want and do what you like but what my issue was with certain kind of writers who add dozens of different races because they are cool rather than giving them a cultural place and making use of them.

    Basically, they are forced in there and not written in with any sort of forethought or tact.
    What I was trying to say in that post was that during world building (mainly fantasy stuff) you should find room where other races naturally fit in and give them a purpose for existing rather than being there just cause you randomly willed it or you think the whole dwarf/elf conflict is epic but never once really touch on it in your story. I wanted those writers to think critically about what they need in their story rather than adding fluff.

    Is this making sense to anyone? I feel like I'm being wishy-washy :p
     
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  5. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    @A.M.P.
    It was!

    The reason I asked is because I think in the process, you have the idea of a creature first then build the world around it. Now I understand your post better. I actually agree with it in some parts.
     

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