FANTASY RACES – Terrible Writing Advice

Want to make a fantasy world? Great! The magic and mystery are at your command
while shaping a fantastic world full of exotic wonders. Yet who will live in this marvelous fantasy
world? Why, we need to make some fantasy races. But there are so many wonderful fantasy races
in numerous stories across many different mediums. How do we stand out from the crowd? By ripping off J.R.R Tolkien of course! Now some of you may think that the genre of
fantasy is an excuse to free one's imagination to create truly alien and bizarre races. But that is utterly wrong. Fantasy is all about being derivative and
not getting out of your comfort zone. It is very important that the genre of fantasy
remain sternly under the shadow of Tolkien and make no attempts to push the boundaries
in any way. We do this by copying Tolkien's fantasy races
while making sure to completely miss the point of Tolkien's themes. And of course, never should we actually bother
to read the original mythologies that inspired Tolkien to create his works. No one uses primary sources who wants to be
taken seriously. Just copy and paste. Let's get started! The first race we want to add into our fantasy
world is the Elves. Tolkien's elves had a sordid and violent past. However, we have only watched the movies so
let's make our elves just like that; ethereal, beautiful, and impossibly smug. If fact, we can apply many of the lessons
of making a perfect protagonist to the elves. Make sure they are flawless in every way. I am sure their ageless wisdom will come across
as endearing rather than condescending. Be sure they use their heritage as an excuse
to lord over the other races. I can't see any historical parallels at all! So now that we have our eternal and perfect
elves, what do we do next? Why we add more of them! If readers like one race of smug, pretentious,
and lecturing immortals who are always right, then they will love to have a whole bunch
more! Want to preach about environmentalism? Use wood elves and make them tree hugging
hippies! What to make your elves edgy? Send them trough a goth phase and add Dark
Elves! Why stop there? Keep adding new elven races until there isn't
any room. Or until we run out of ideas. Speaking of running out of ideas, Dwarves
are the easiest fantasy race. Just copy them directly from Tolkien without
changing a single trait. We may need to give them a Scottish accent
to save time rather than creating a whole distinctive language. Need a source of steampunk technology? Dwarves will be the go to origin of any mechanical
devices within the setting, but don't bother to explain why they haven't used their technological
edge to conquer all of the other races. Make sure they stay within their underground
halls, not having anything to do with the plot. But don't leave them out either. We can't deviate from the theme of ripping
off Tolkien. Next we will add in Orcs. Remember to make the Orcs' nature fundamentally
evil. Some may find the moral and philosophical
implications of a race that is inherently evil to be rather problematic as it brings
up deep questions about the nature of evil as well as call into the question the influence
of society and culture upon its members. This presents troubling conundrums like would
an Orc be evil it he was raised in an environment that taught kindness and mercy while renouncing
violence? If evil only destroys, then how can it create
a race at all? If Orcs were once elves twisted into darkness,
then could it possible for them to find redemption under the right circumstances? How would a society that is utterly evil and
dedicated to destruction even function? Tolkien himself struggled with these very
questions, which is why we are going to completely ignore them! Now let's look at Halflings! Ditch them! You heard me. Remember what I said earlier about ripping
off Tolkien, well here is where we ignore that rule and completely remove Halflings. Halflings are boring and they will have no
place in our fantasy plot since our conflict with the dark lord will be resolved in a one
on one duel with a teenager who is secretly the heir to the human kingdom. We can't have meek, ordinary folk actually
rise to the occasion and selflessly risk their happy lives to save the world. After all, average people can't accomplish
anything and the fantasy genre certainly wouldn't waste time pandering to those people, now
would it? Why would they need an escapist fantasy? Now we have all the fantasy races we need
to populate our very original and creative fantasy world. Some might worry that we stray into unfortunate
implications by creating 'races' who have specific 'abilities'. Especially when we say that some races, like
say blond hair blue eyed elves, are better than others. But don't worry. No one calls anyone else a racist on the internet.

30 thoughts on “FANTASY RACES – Terrible Writing Advice

  1. I liked the way Dragon Age approached the usual Elf and Dwarf conondrum. Elves were, once upon a time, the usual snooty variant… but then fell to infighting, and remnants got the shit kicked out of them by more unified human nations. Those that hide in forests these days are hilariously hidebound and useless since they just refuse to change in meaningful way (almost skipping out on stopping potentially world-ending threat despite having agreed to help against it), and generally seen as gypsies of the world. Those that live in cities are generally speaking inhabitants of the ghettoes, more or less at mercy of their human overlords.

    As for dwarves, fair few of them actually live on surface as traders and criminals, and the way the majority hide underground is explained by them being forced to constantly wage war against the previously mentioned world-ending threat that is steadily wiping out their civilization…and that wouldn't happen if they were more open to change and equality rather than strictly adhering to ridiculously restrictive Caste rules.

    For cherry on top, it is the humans and an original fantasy race that rule majority of the world.

  2. If you find a book or other written fantasy that is not ripping off real Mythology, you simply did not know enough about them. Tolkien was not more creative than anyone ripping him off. If you go back enough, you will find Dwarves, Elves, Orcs and etc in real mythology. It is just search deep enough.
    Humans are always the "balanced" and "adaptable" ones because the source from where even Tolkien got his from are made by humans, and they (I say they because I talk about past humans) made these races and characters to depict the apex of their virtues, like Eastern mythology introduced the concept of human avatars or daemons of virtues, and then western Mythology got their "Gods" of virtues. So the other races became singulars of virtues in apex level which humans have in "average" levels. There is no race bearing a complete foreign virtue humans dont have. Even the modern and so cherished Vulcans, the Elves of futuristic Sci Fi, they are from the start said not to lack emotions or just use reason, they are said to suppress it. Even the freaking Borg who could and should have gotten rid of human virtue concept, instead, are a race longing for individuality, freedom, and etc, something they could easily get rid of once they assimilate a being.
    Still to see one race in any work of fiction that is not ripped off from real World mythology, even Lovecraft is, however well disguised it may be.

  3. What if i was to write a book in a world of norse mythology?
    Light elves, dark elves and dwarfs are all races in that world. I can't simply create different races because they are used a lot, and just delete 3 somewhat big parts in norse mythology

  4. Tolkien didn't invent Elves, Dwarves, or Goblins. They all originated from various mythologies. Hobbits were the only race that was truly created by Tolkien and even then they're basically Gnomes.

  5. I write fantasy like it is medieval times, maybe some of the non-human races are real, but are mostly folk tales.

  6. This is why I love the Eberron setting, it defies traditional fantasy stereotypes and allows us to not be locked in rigid definitions of race and considers settings in a more modern light in comparison to medieval fantasy settings.

  7. I made a story plot, here it goes:
    K so basically there is a young teenage girl named Marina Suerre with long brown hair who gets bullied at her magic school but suddenly finds out she is a hybrid between a fairy wolf dragon and witch. She uses the powers and the ancient prophecy to fight the evil dark lord along with the other edgy outcasts in her class and finally gets equal rights for the kitchen sink elves and physco midgets. After that she gets stuck in a love decdrehedron with fellow war fighters and students but dates the hot bad boy vampire, who is an antihero who killed the bullies, and becomes queen of the dragon kingdom.

  8. To avoid the Orc problem in my D&D campaign, I made them more Nomadic and split them into clans with unique banners or symbols to indicate their heritage. Some are more aggressive, but most groups are pretty chill and have a good relationship with humans and elves. Still not perfect, but it's better than just saying "oRCs ArE EViL"

  9. I did a short from elves from RotLW back in the day. Basically thousands of years later it turns out they forgot what happened since true immortals forgot nearly everything after 3 thousand years or so. Because when you actually live forever you forget everything beyond a certain point.

  10. I've made the generic races but added a twist.
    Like, dwarves are really fast and they live high in the mountains. You often see them with their pet mountain goat.
    Elves are these big grey creatures that usually slump over, if they stood up they'd be 9ft tall. They have tusks and live in tunnels underground. They eat roots and bugs.
    Orcs are skinny people who live by the ocean and are very good at swimming, the coloration of their skin is similar to a shark, light on their front and dark on the back. They eat a ton of fish.

  11. ………I may have screamed when they mentioned feanor. I may have screamed…….

    totally not still screaming

  12. Every fantasy story ever: An orphaned, brown haired teenager lives a simple life in a village and is either a farmer or black smith. Then some strangers come the village and are probably wizards or elves. Then orcs come and burn down the village, forcing the strangers and the main character to begin their journey to find the mcguffin and defeat the dark lord. Somewhere down the road, it is revealed who the protagonists true parents are. They are either the dark lord, the king, or the wizards.

  13. These videos are creative writing made fun again. Also, I wish my philosophy classes in highschool had been 2.7% as instructive and entertaining at the same time. Thank you for sharing your work!

  14. How about a species I made: Bunyats.
    Basically, imagine a dark orange humanoid wolf with rabbit ears, and a fan of feathers for a tail and bird claws for feet and is slightly taller than most humans. They all have absolutely no eyes, so they often wear cloaks or blindfolds to cover where their eyes would be. To make up for their blindness, they have psychic abilities, the ability to sense anything within a certain distance around them, and other psionic powers, such as basic telekinesis and weak telepathy. They have 2 primary societies, Binöl and the Gnarvaashin, with the Binöl primarily being similar to Victorian England, and the Gnarvaashin having a stereotypical pirate-like society.

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