1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Use a real creature or make up my own?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lea`Brooks, May 12, 2014.

    Hello all!

    So I'm writing a NA fantasy set about 400 years in the future. In this world, all of the creatures of myth have come out and are living among humans. The main creature I was planning on using was a golem. But I was going to change it, evolve it, to be able to survive in this new world.

    They wouldn't be brainless and slow. They'd be more like shape shifters. They'd look human, but they could morph into their golem-selves, looking more like Gollum (but still different) than traditional golems. The main golem type I was going to use was clay. I would have clay golems turn humans into golems, but since they weren't made of clay and they simply got the essence of golem, these changed humans would be considered flesh golems.

    I ran all this by my roommate, who is a huge fantasy buff, and he didn't buy it. "Those aren't flesh golems then," he said. So my question is, should I stick to my title of golem and just hope that readers will buy the evolution theory? Or should I not call them golems at all and make up my own creature name?
     
  2. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    I agree with your roommate - I'd invent some other species. Half the fun of doing something new is the freedom to say what they can do and how they evolved without restricting yourself to myth and preconceptions.
     
  3. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unless you are able to do something clever and interesting *while remaining generally within lore*, it would be better to create something than have everyone pick at your ideas.
     
  4. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds good! I figured this would be the case, because once I really started thinking about it, I knew my roommate was right. I just had an idea, and I found a real creature of myth and fantasy to fit what I was thinking.

    I've made some changes and fixed what was bothering me before (but I didn't want to change and risk going too far away from a golem).

    But now my new dilemma is this: will readers find my creature too similar to a golem?

    I'm keeping most everything I came up with. I'm only making minor changes (like their eating habits and how humans are changed into said creatures). But I wanted to keep the "clay" and "flesh" terms. Do you think that will be an issue for people who know golems? I can change it if necessary. It's just the easiest way to describe them.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't know much about fantasy creatures or Gollums outside of LOTRs and the Jewish Golem legend. But I do know about evolution. If you are going for technical accuracy (not that you would be in fantasy), evolution would not be that fast in a creature that didn't multiply in mass numbers with a short timeframe from birth to reproduction.

    Someone could breed a new Gollum if they reproduced like dogs or rats. That might be an interesting story twist. How about a hybrid some wizard created?
     
  6. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's where it gets fun. You could have some funny banter between two characters: one keeps absently calling these creatures golems, and this really bothers the other one, who insists they are NOT golems.

    I think whatever you keep from the actual myth/lore will be fine, especially if you don't make too much of an effort to make them sound different "just because." People notice more when you try to cover things up.
     

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