Anica Lewis (anicalewis) wrote,
Anica Lewis

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Boy, Will Spell-Check Like This Entry

An interesting line of questioning struck me today.

I've already pondered the relative merits of rabbits and smeerps. Today, though, it occurred to me that I'm not sure the goblins in my fantasy world are so similar to the goblin archetype - what there is of a goblin archetype, anyway - that calling them that is the best option. So: calling a goblin a smeerp?

This is a slightly nerve-wracking idea, because my fantasy world includes my own versions of a number of common fantasy species, including elves and dragons, as well as original species that have names I made up because they don't approximate any fantastical creatures I know of. Calling goblins smeerps could be a slippery slope. While readers are unlikely, in my case, to say, "Hey, those smeerps are totally just goblins with a different name!", it's quite possible they would say, "Hey, those eerps* are totally just elves with a different name!" In a few cases, it would be just absurd. No matter how different its powers and behavior might be, a horse with a horn in the middle of its forehead is a unicorn, and to call it otherwise invites ridicule.

I've read fantasy that included monsters that were definitely orcs or goblins but were called Nar'kizul or Ur-gizen or whatever, and I'm not sure it added much to the story. On the other hand, I don't want readers' minds drifting in the direction of, say, the Gringotts goblins, or even the awesometastic Labyrinth goblins, while reading my stories.

So, something I'm thinking of at the moment.

*Because of the eers. Get it?
Tags: smeerpage, worldbuilding

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