Elves?

As I mentioned in my post on dragons, the novels I write are in a fantasy world. While each novel is a standalone story, all of them take place in the same world.

So far, all four of my WIPs take place in the human country of Tamryn. I’ve established that magic is real. Vampires are real. Knights smite evil and liches haunt the living.

I have not yet brought it elves. But elves sorta have a but of a reputation…

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Given some of the writing I’ve seen, that reputation isn’t exactly unearned. And I’ve gotta admit, coming up with elven-sounding names is the bane of this fantasy romance writer.

I’ve mentioned them in passing in my work, but I haven’t yet written a story about them much less set one in their magical home of Tanalear.

Part of the lack of story writing is me trying to figure out how to add them to my world. Do I just jump right in and give readers a story in Tanalear? Or should I write a different story that brings an elf to the human city.

Bringing an elf into human lands creates all kinds of issues for me. See, I’m not entirely sure I buy into this half-elf business. If you aren’t the same species, you can’t procreate. There would be no half-elves.

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Nope, not buying it. Not even beer can change the fact species can’t procreate.

While I’m a romance writer, and I can imagine a scenario of an elf and human falling in love, I promise my reader a happily-ever-after (HEA) ending by virtue of writing a romance novel. So, I’m hard-pressed to view a HEA with a hero and heroine where one of them is going to die in seventy-five years, and the other is going to spend the next thousand mourning them.

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Basically, I’m considering if I need to craft some sort of adventure that features an elven protagonist before jumping into the elven world?

This is even harder than the challenges I face as a romance writer because the Tanalearian elves are isolationist and xenophobic, still turned inward even after their empire collapsed thousands of years ago in the Great Cataclysm.

The last remaining vestiges of their once-great empire are protected by ancient magics. Part of their story will be re-assimilating back into a world that now contains humans.

So, yeah, it sort of feels like the elves meeting the humans should be a big, climactic thing.

But I don’t want to confuse readers, either. Readers are smart, but if they’re expecting knights and dragons, I don’t want to disappoint with elves.

I also worry that lots has been written about elves. I sometimes wonder if your civilization collapsed, if the archaeologists piecing it back together would think elves were real.

Given that so much has already been written, I need to give it a fresh enough spin. I like to think I have this mapped out in my head. Besides, it’s not like many stories are truly unique. Amateurs borrow and professionals steal, as the saying goes.

I have given a lot of thought to their queen (Tanalearian elves have a matriarchal monarchy), her son, and some of the new mages. Even a major villain has been knocking around in there.

But none of them want to come to Tamryn. None of them see the point. They have yet to see beyond their crumbling cities.

Hmmm, perhaps we shall have to have an inciting incident…

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How about you? Do you like elves? Tolkien or otherwise? Read any stories that take place in an entirely elven world? Did you like it? What do you think of half-elves and half-orcs? Is my science brain thinking too much on this?

10 thoughts on “Elves?

  1. Elves are one of those fantasy species that I think tends to get a bad/false rap. They tend to be seen as the sort of one note (Tolkien inspired-ish) species, but the reality is that there are a wide variety of elves out there in the genre, and the folklore. In fact, I’d say it would be possible to do just about anything with elves (or dragons, werebeasts, vampires [except sparkling] are still be “traditional”). I touched on this in a somewhat brief form a while back (https://worldsinthenet.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/species-in-fantasy-and-urban-fantasy-pt-2/)

    As for half-elves, those go back to the Norse. Hrolf’s Saga features the Danish princess Skuld (https://books.google.com/books?id=3tBXMXHS22AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Hrolfs+Saga&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiOjbGcoJrUAhXJ5YMKHfEZBhsQ6AEIODAF#v=onepage&q=Hrolfs%20Saga&f=false) and Thithrek’s Saga–the hero Hogni (13th c.). Obviously, Tolkien’s is more famous (Elrond), though rather different from how the idea’s used in most modern fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment on “sparkling” made me chuckle. So with you there! There should be a downside to something so powerful…

      I’ve seen evil fae, and then there was Terry Pratchett’s elves that were nothing like Tolkien. I guess Tolkien gets a lotta play in our house because of D&D.

      I will check out your post after work 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They sound cool. Hybrids of what?
      Not having humans automatically changes the Tolkien half-elf, I think. I still wanna hear more about Shadow Knights! Shadow Knights makes me think they might be bad guys, and I have a total thing for knights -in-shining armor in stories.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My protagonist is elf-djinn and my antagonist his half-brother is djinn-witch. Shadow knights is an umbrella name for all half-breeds because they’re forbidden. They’re feared for the unknown by all realms. That kind of prejudice shapes them in different ways. It also means I can play around with new shadow knights and their powers within the series. You should definitely bring elves into your work, I love all folklore.

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  2. Also: I just nominated you for the mystery blogger award 🙂 Don’t feel obliged to do it if you don’t have time, but if you do, the rules are on my latest blog post. Thanks for being awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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