The Trouble with Elves/Dwarves etc
In this month's flash fiction competition, some of the feedback I received has started me worrying about an element of the novel that I am now quite a long way into writing. It is a fantasy novel, and borrows from the "epic fantasy" tradition, although in what is hopefully (i.e. intended to be) quite a fresh way. A consequence of this, however, is that, while not a central part of the story, it does involve Elves, Dwarves and other traditional fantasy elements...
Like some of the people who commented on my flash fiction entry, I have always regarded these elements as very much embedded in the Middle Earth/ Tolkein(esque) story-telling (although of course they originate from much older Germanic and Norse traditions). For me though, that presented a challenge, to see whether they could be reimagined in the way that other classic figures (Vampires/Wizards/Superheroes) are able to be reimagined, and to be made more relevant to a modern audience.
What worries me is whether by doing this I am likely to alienate a proportion of my potential readership, by including elements that would turn them off from wanting to read the book.
As such, I would really welcome the comments of anyone who can relate to the instinctive reaction that I am describing, to help me understand whether I am creating problems for myself by going down this route, or whether actually people would be interested in reading something that tries to take a fresh approach to these classic fantasy ingredients.
Thanks in anticipation/apprehension,