Just a forewarning, this will be a little long but there is a reason. I am sorry it is so long winded but I wanted to put my opinion out in its majority so that i could get detailed feedback about this topic. It is one that I struggle with in my daily thoughts and is an issue (for me) due to things I have read and reviews i have taken notice of on this topic. Thank you for your time. : It seems to me that in recent years there has become more and more discussion against the use of stereotypical races in fantasy novels. Races such as beautiful elves, raging orcs, smithing dwarves, ect. In forums and especially book reviews it seems to be a major point when writers use the stereotype of a race in their novels and generally given a bad light. Generally it comes down to people having an issue with authors using some derivative of Tolkien's races. Recently I have been doing a lot of research into the mythology around the stereotypical races such as where they came from and how they were viewed and it seems to me that in mythology the stereotype as described in Tolkien's novels is relatively accurate. This is to say that mythology more or less lines up with the stereotype in many cases. There are a few examples such as dwarves being like mine fairies that help miners or warn them of danger. Elves being diminutive and helpful creatures that talked in riddles to humans and play with children. Though it can be argued that making up some crazy twist to these races or inventing entirely new ones would be a credit to your creativity as a writer, in my opinion the act of inventing entirely new races or twisting around an already set notion of a fantasy race seems somewhat tedious and annoying(to the reader). The reason I say this is because when writing about any race, either it be their physical attributes or their specific traits / abilities, the readers have come to see each race in a certain light (beautiful elves, smithing dwarves, ect.). The act of simply changing one aspect of a race doesn't seem to curtail the negative light given to writers who use the races, and (in my opinion) if you simply switch the races characteristics around (ex: beautiful dwarves, smithing elves) then would it not be the same thing as using the stereotype but calling the race by another name? If you change elves into creatures who love to smith but live in trees then in all reality you are doing nothing more then describing tall dwarves that live in trees. Like wise if you made gnomes ferocious evil fighters who are chaotic and war-like it would be the same thing as using orcs but simply calling them gnomes instead. To me this would only confuse or annoy a reader into thinking "why do they not just call them orcs and make them tall" afterall it would accomplish the same thing within the book, only it would make more sense to the readers imagination since they already have a stock of orc-like information to draw on to help pain the picture that is your novel. The reason I am posting about this is because I have done research into the origin of the stereotypical races and more and more find it almost necessary to use them as the stereotype that they are even if only to spare the reader the mental gymnastics required to sort out a crazy mismatch of them. These races are often used because of their stereotype and simply changing the spots on a leopard doesn't make it any less the ferocious cat that it is. That said I do believe in changing the personality of the races or in avoiding the over-simplified "always evil / always good" trope that can accompany the stereotype. Again I apologize for the long winded text above. I wanted to get my opinion out there so that I could hear the rebuttles and opinions for or against it. Please let me know if you believe in using the stereotype or not. Though i have no issues with creating my own races I have heard it said that familiarity within a book and easy to under stand references help the reader to paint your novel within their mind and understand the writing as you intend it without boring them with too much information. In my writing I have struggled to avoid using the base races such as human, elf, dwarf, gnome, orc, and hobbit, but find it increasingly difficult to do so without needing to invent some crazy variation of the above races with different body dimensions. Even so the more I do research on these races the more i feel that there's a reason they are used so often and in (at least a portion) their stereotypical form. They just fit. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear what your opinion is on the usage or the various ways you could or would change them or even invent new ones if that is your preference and how you would deal with the issue of explaining to the reader what or why they are the way they are.