Today, the twenty finalists of Brenda Drake's Show Me The Voice contest was posted. I, of course, was not one of them, and this was probably because, despite my haste, I did not email the entry. When I saw that I had until 12pm yesterday, the 23rd, I told myself I'll do some quick revisions and send it off. Low and behold, I check her website and its closed. That...sucked. I assumed signing the widget-thing with all the names was a possible entry, but I guess not...
Anyway, I want to sing my praises unto the master himself, Roland Yeomans, for his spot in the top twenty. Super-Mega-Ultra CONGRATULATIONS to the one and only Holy Orpheon!
I am fed-up of Orcs, Elves, Goblins, Witches, Wizards, Vampires, Werewolves, Trolls and Zombies.
I want something new.
We, the readers, want something new.
I invented nineteen races, including the Alterheroes, Portrayers, Flarions and Wisperits. I know nineteen is a bit much, but it was the most fun I've ever had writing.
Not everyone can do as such, however, there are too many resources for you not to at least try. It doesn't have to be fantastic, like Orcs, Vampires, Imperi or Thestrals, but quirky and bizzare like the Lionturtle, in Nickelodian's Avatar the Last Airbender; the Moose-Lion; the Rabaroo (Rabbit Kangaroo); or the Saber-Tooth Tiger Turtle. These were all superb; they enhanced their respective stories with a waft of fresh air.
We need that in these times, where the market is littered with derivative vomit.
Designing intelligent races is a great feat (took me 7 years to prefect all 19 of mine), but creating creatures to populate your world is as easy as mixing it up.
1) Think of a legendary creature (Dragon, Chimera...).
2) Get an image of it.
3) Study it well and contemplate its features. What is its color? Its size? Its weight? Is it good or bad?
4) Decide which part of it you can cut off and replace (head, chest, abdomen, tail...) with that of another creature or person.
5) If you want to go a step further (like I'm about to do), merge it entirely with another being or thing.
6) Get another image of the thing you wish to merge and put them side by side. Brainstorm possible outcomes.
Blue Dragon + Female, Becomes:
Congratulations! You just created your very first race!
Writing fantasy is a discipline that requires the utmost care and imaginative prowess. It is perhaps the most rewarding genre of literature and the most fun. Give readers something to expand their imagination - to respect the art of fantasy, and not dub it as a genre of used and abused elements. There are some creatures and things that will never get old, such as dragons and magic, but take the time to invent your own, and make your everlasting mark on fantasy literature.
Class dismissed. (LOL)