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 Post subject: Small races
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 9:27 pm 
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So, I have a number of small humanoid races--anywhere from four feet tall to just a few inches. I had planned the MC of one of my many planned books to be a member of a race just a few inches tall. As I thought about it, I could see one problem--it seems like it would be kind of hard for a maybe-4-inch-tall person to interact with normal sized humans. I've thought about making this race bigger, maybe three or four feet tall. That made another problem more obvious--person from a small race goes off to save the world, sounds like Lord of the Rings. :P

Is it possible to do something like this without seeming derivative? Would it actually be better to keep the race a few inches tall, and deal with the problems of interacting with larger races? (Could actually make for some interesting situations, I suppose.) I've thought about making the MC and his people ordinary humans, but there are reasons related to the history of the world that humans wouldn't be living where he is. Except a few, but they're supposed to be a separate people group.

Any suggestions?

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 Post subject: Re: Small races
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 11:08 pm 
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I think it would be cool to have a super tiny race, just because of all of the complications and problems that come with being so small. It would be complex to work with humans (Would they have any sort of trade between them?), but that's really part of what makes it so interesting.

I say go for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Small races
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:40 am 
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Echoing Rin here. I think it would be cool to have a tiny race. It makes for some nice awkward interactions, like in The Silver Chair where Eustace and Jill are in the Giant House of Harfang. XD

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 Post subject: Re: Small races
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:02 am 
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Irtor wrote:
I've thought about making this race bigger, maybe three or four feet tall. That made another problem more obvious--person from a small race goes off to save the world, sounds like Lord of the Rings. :P

If someone wants to criticize you for using an idea that has "been done" before, they're going to, no matter what you do. "Small people saving their world" for values of "small" measured in inches rather than feet describes The Gammage Cup and (if I remember correctly) The Fabulous Flight, among others. (And then there was that series where all these two-inch-tall humans lived in the walls of our houses ...) But that shouldn't necessarily stop you from using "small people" of either size.

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 Post subject: Re: Small races
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:00 pm 
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Okay, thanks guys. I think I'll keep the tiny people for now and see how it works. :)
kingjon wrote:
If someone wants to criticize you for using an idea that has "been done" before, they're going to, no matter what you do.

Yeah, true. And I suppose there aren't many completely unique ideas, just ideas used in unique ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Small races
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 6:39 pm 
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kingjon wrote:
If someone wants to criticize you for using an idea that has "been done" before, they're going to, no matter what you do. "Small people saving their world" for values of "small" measured in inches rather than feet describes The Gammage Cup and (if I remember correctly) The Fabulous Flight, among others. (And then there was that series where all these two-inch-tall humans lived in the walls of our houses ...) But that shouldn't necessarily stop you from using "small people" of either size.


Oh, you mean The Borrowers? :D *Loved those books when she was little*

Kingjon has a point. :) People are going to criticize your work if they want to - all great books have great critics. So just write and create what you have in mind. Let the critics have a cow if they want to. ;) It's your world and you get to choose. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Small races
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 10:18 pm 
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Calista Beth Mimetes wrote:
kingjon wrote:
(And then there was that series where all these two-inch-tall humans lived in the walls of our houses ...)


Oh, you mean The Borrowers? :D *Loved those books when she was little*

I don't think so---at some point I became aware of a series of books by that name, but I don't think I ever read them.

Calista Beth Mimetes wrote:
Kingjon has a point. :) People are going to criticize your work if they want to - all great books have great critics. So just write and create what you have in mind. Let the critics have a cow if they want to. ;) It's your world and you get to choose. :D

Mm, that's going quite a bit farther than what I meant to say (and than what I would necessarily agree with). What I meant, and repeat, is that so long as you aren't actually making a straightforward copy of a large element from a classic (or, to a lesser extent, even a more recent) work, or you use it in a radically different way, you shouldn't worry about anyone who dismisses it because "it's been done."

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Author of A Year in Verse, a self-published illustrated collection of poetry: available in paperback and on Kindle.

My blog includes the following "departments":
  • Background on the Shine Cycle, my planned fantasy series, spanning over two centuries of an imagined world's history, several universes (including various alternate histories and our own future), and the stories of dozens of characters (many from our world).
  • Strategic Primer, a strategy game I'm developing, played by email, assisted by programs I'm developing. The current campaign (moving slowly, less than one turn a month) always needs more players.
  • My poetry.
  • Miscellaneous essays.


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 Post subject: Re: Small races
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Ah, well, pardon me for misunderstanding you. :blush:

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