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December 20th, 2006, 09:00 AM
What do you all think of my idea of mining elves? They would live underground and work with all kinds of metals. Also they will have limited magic and will be a lot better at sword fighting than magic or the bow and arrow. Well please review and give me feedback. Thanks in advance.

December 20th, 2006, 09:51 AM
Wouldn't they then be called Dwarves? Both of which have been completely overdone in writing. I would suggest coming up with a completely new group of people that mine perhaps. Originality counts for lots these days, especially here where we have "seen it all". Just a thought.

December 20th, 2006, 01:38 PM
Well no for dwarves have no magic and mine would be taller than dwarves. Plus its only a subrace of elves that i may have. Oh well, yours is only one opinion. Thanks for it though I'm still thinking about how i can finish creating them in my head before I write the ideas down.

December 20th, 2006, 02:09 PM
It's true that the overall concept isn't very original, but still, you could make it interesting. If these elves have a highly developed sword-making technology, and sword-fighting skill, it might make sense that they would be into mining in order to get all the right metals needed to make the strongest swords. Their swords could actually play a large role in their culture or even their religion, depending on what you want to do.

Whether or not this sub-race of elves turns out interesting, or just cliched, depends on how you write about them. What other details about them have you come up with so far?

December 20th, 2006, 02:59 PM
Sorry about that, when I re-read my reply I realized it probably came across negatively and thats not what I was trying to do. Depending on how you wrote them it could be a very original idea. Do you have an outline yet? That could play a big part in how you want them to be portrayed.

December 20th, 2006, 03:08 PM
It's an unusual idea, given that it completely turns the stereotype of elves on it's head. Similar stuff has been done before however; the Drow (dark elves) in the Forgotten Realms universe live underground and are proficient with swords.

Doesn't mean you can't use a similar idea though.

December 20th, 2006, 07:29 PM
It always unsettles me when people suggest that a fictional race or species should be one way or the other - that "elves" need to be forest dwellers, or "dwarves" live in mines, or when someone suggest that "dragons" need to be one way or the other.


Unless you're writing in someone else's world, they are how you define them. They do whatever you tell them to do. Personally I think the best way to handle such things is to name them something unique. If your readers think, "Hey he's really talking about dwarves," that's left up to them to define from what they read. Ultimately, this will give you more creative freedom and will likely improve whatever you write.

December 20th, 2006, 10:42 PM
When you ask for suggestions and opinions you get them, Choppy.;)

James Barclay
December 21st, 2006, 06:57 AM
Be careful about this. If it comes across as merely a way of appearing different, it won't work. One of hte reasons we assume that dwarves are short and powerful is that this makes them very well suited to mining. If your underground elves are tall and willowy they will not prosper as miners.

I'm not saying don't do it but examine why you are doing it. Build reasons why these elves are miners.. perhaps a splinter tribe from a conflict that was forced to flee underground and managed to survive. Make it credible and your readers will buy it. Make it 'look at me, I'm doing elves in a different way, aren't I clever?' and they won't.

In any event, top marks for challenging stereotyping.


December 21st, 2006, 12:59 PM
Since you want to call them elves, then you have to find away to overcome the stereotype that comes with the name. Did their forests homes fall to something horrible and whatever is in those mines is the only way to defeat that enemy but it will take them many generations (even for elves) to mine enough of it to be effective?

What is in those mines worth giving up the forest? EX: A new metal that is strong and very light and maybe channels energy from the moon. EX: A new gem that grants a wish, varying in power, so the elves no longer bother with their own magic.

How do they mine? Do they do the work themselves or do they have slave-diggers? Are they the reason a certain type of 'monster' race has become rare upon the surface world?

Do they plan to remain a subterranean domain or do they plot to reclaim forests that once had been theirs by the might of their new swords skills?