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Writing Books/how many races is too many?


in fantasy almost every world has a conglomerate of races on both sides of an epic conflict. (usually elves, humans, dwarves, etc for good. dark elves, orcs and goblins for evil) and i have a good idea of how many races i want in my world but i don't know if it's too many. (about eight or nine) dark elves, werewolves (really a fallen moon elf race) orcs and this magic race i created. wood elves, humans (romans summoned into this fantasy world) dwarves and a half elf race. too many?

Not really something I can answer for you, Patrick.  "How many is too many?"  It depends.  And this is true not just for races, but of characters in general.  If you can juggle eight or nine races without your reader becoming overloaded or confused, and without any two races seeming to be too similar, with each having an important place in your society... then do it.  Everything is dependent on the story.  And without seeing your many races "at home" in the context of your story, there's no way to really answer your question, other than to say, "No, it's not too many, so long as you can do it well."

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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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