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Fantasy world without fantasy creatures?

Endymion

Troubadour
So in my story there is not many fantasy creatures. There will be one dragon, a werewolf and some other creatures but it will mostly concentrate on people and on political and cultural issues. The fantasy creatures are dying out and people are forgetting about them. The wars will be fought by humans. The world and countries do not exist in the real world. So, does this seem like a dull idea (no unicorns =( ) or is it alright ( can it still be treated as a fantasy book? )?
 

Hans

Sage
So, does this seem like a dull idea (no unicorns =( ) or is it alright ( can it still be treated as a fantasy book? )?
Do it. Fantasy is not defined by strange creatures. It can have whatever you want it to have, or not to have. Do not limit yourself by what someone else think would be necessary.
 

gavintonks

Maester
you will be defined by the story and the writing which encompass your characters it can be whatever it must be, as long as it is well written and people want to read it.
Hamburger are not knew but many people run successful business making them so that people buy, and some pay more and sell more because people want more. It is simple logic, get rid of the fear and write a good story
 

T.Allen.Smith

Staff
Moderator
My personal taste as a reader leans towards less magical & fantastical content within the story. This might sound contradictory but for me it makes the moments when they are in the scene more magical.
I prefer people making the core of a story. People alone are treacherous or loyal enough to make great conflict in a story. In the end it's all about character & conflict.
On a similar note, I really like it when the magical moments actually create more conflict... That's when it's really interesting.
So.... Less can often equal more.
 

Claire

Scribe
I totally agree. For me, fantasy simply means crafting a story that exists in a world other than our own. Obviously there are a few other qualifiers that make it fantasy (versus say, sci-fi). But I think you can absolutely create a very compelling fantasy world without a lot of fantasy creatures.
 
As a side note, slipstream, magical realism, etc. don't seem to have much of a foothold on this site, but I think they fit the site's purpose pretty well. Works in those genres often have no fantasy creatures whatsover--just a few human characters with what may or may not be magical abilities.
 

Helen

Inkling
So in my story there is not many fantasy creatures. There will be one dragon, a werewolf and some other creatures but it will mostly concentrate on people and on political and cultural issues. The fantasy creatures are dying out and people are forgetting about them. The wars will be fought by humans. The world and countries do not exist in the real world. So, does this seem like a dull idea (no unicorns =( ) or is it alright ( can it still be treated as a fantasy book? )?

Reminds me of some original Star Trek episodes where the inhabitants of worlds have died out. All still classed as scifi or fantasy.

The conflict tends to be with humanoid remaining inhabitants or with Enterprise crew members. So even though you're on a new world without fantasy creatures, the issues still pertain to human foibles.

Not dull at all.
 

Liu Xaun

Dreamer
I like it. My own world is inhabited by normal looking animals. Though I'm getting tempted by the thoughts of a dragon. Maybe slipping in a fantastical creature after convincing everyone it's pretty normal could be interesting?
 
In my world dragons have long ago been hunted to presumed extinction, and no-one even knows whether unicorns ever existed. I'm thinking of having the protags stumble across a huge dragon skeleton at some point just for a bit of symbolism.
 

zizban

Troubadour
My world has no fantasy creatures. Just humans and a slightly longer lived human-like race, the Prakani. No elves, dwarves or dragons.
 

teacup

Auror
I'm doing something similar: the world is full of the common fantasy creatures like elves, dwarves, dragons etc, but the country it's set in is just like our world, but back around the medieval time period.
And like yours there are some werewolves (and other wolf like creatures) and one dragon in the later books.

So I obviously find it interesting, and I hope others do too.
 
I have nothing against fantasy creatures, but I rarely include them in my stories these days. The ones I do include are usually also people to some degree - vampires, for example. I think I simply write very character driven stories, so horses with horns or flying lizards aren't that interesting to me in terms of plot. When they do show up, they are usually symbolic.

I mean, it's not a conscious decision or anything. I'll happily read a story about dragons, and I'll happily write one if I get a good enough idea.
 
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Jamber

Sage
Most of the characters in GRR Martin's series are about as human as it gets, and the magic is fairly underplayed. I'd go for it.
 

Finchbearer

Minstrel
So in my story there is not many fantasy creatures. There will be one dragon, a werewolf and some other creatures but it will mostly concentrate on people and on political and cultural issues. The fantasy creatures are dying out and people are forgetting about them. The wars will be fought by humans. The world and countries do not exist in the real world. So, does this seem like a dull idea (no unicorns =( ) or is it alright ( can it still be treated as a fantasy book? )?
You can definitely create a fantasy world without ‘creatures’, although the two often go hand in hand right?

I read a book recently called The Binding, and I don’t know if it could be classed as fantasy, but it included the use of magic - which was an invisible force used by humans, and there were no creatures, yet the story still felt fantastical. The kind of book that inevitably gets described as ‘spellbinding’…which always puts me off to be honest but it was a pretty good book.

However, you sound like you ARE including fantasy creatures in your fantasy world? Nothing wrong with that but why imply that you aren’t? Your premise sounds interesting though. There are no set quantities of how many creatures must be included in any fantasy setting.

Finchbearer 🪶
 

Aldarion

Inkling
So in my story there is not many fantasy creatures. There will be one dragon, a werewolf and some other creatures but it will mostly concentrate on people and on political and cultural issues. The fantasy creatures are dying out and people are forgetting about them. The wars will be fought by humans. The world and countries do not exist in the real world. So, does this seem like a dull idea (no unicorns =( ) or is it alright ( can it still be treated as a fantasy book? )?
Fantasy is defined by inclusion of supranatural elements. So fantasy creatures are not necessary - just look at A Song of Ice and Fire (sure, there are Others and dragons, but books so far may as well not have had them...).
 
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