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Writing Books/Basic rules of fantasy


Hi, I have been quite an avid fan of the fantasy genre and am now embarking on a journey which i hope will enrich not only my life but allow others to enjoy the world i am creating too. it may not be a new world or scenario but there are certain aspects i need advise on. I need to know whether there are any rules when it comes to the elvish language, can i just make it up as i go or are there actual texts and/or references i have to follow? is it the same for dwarves and barbarians? I just need to be sure of my footing before i proceed. Hope you can help :)

There are no "rules," but there is some degree of expectation on the part of many readers.  The "standard" (thanks to the entrenchment of Tolkien's races in our collective consciousness) is that elves are noble, with elaborate, musical language and that dwarves are a bit more grounded, with no-nonsense languages.

Not that you have to keep to these borderline stereotypes, of course.  It's fun to shake up convention and do something different than what's expected.  And in fact, when dealing with something as "common" as these races, shaking up the norm might go a long way to making your world unique.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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