Why Can't I?

Every author has a style. Every author has a way of doing things. Every author has creative license.

And here’s mine. In Eli the Thief I capitalized my fantasy races. I’ve received a lot of “why are you capitalizing dwarf?” in my work. My answer is always: “why not?” I look at Dwarves, Gnomes, Elves, etc along the same lines as you would American, English, and French. Do you question why Americans capitalize these words? I don’t understand why I can’t capitalize my fantasy race. I’m not changing it. I’m capitalizing it on purpose. I know that all the fantasy authors don’t capitalize these words. But to them, they’re creatures. To me, they’re people.

So, is it wrong to break out of the norm? Am I wrong for wanting to do things my way? Maybe I’m not wrong. Maybe Tolkien was. I hope people don’t think that Tolkien created the words Dwarf or Elf. (And fyi, Rowling didn’t create Hippogriff, that one still bugs me.) Tolkien just used mythical creatures and formed a world with them in it. Did he make them popular. Yeah, I would say he did. But they’re not his creation. So I can use them in a different sense in my own book. Again, I do not treat Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Brownies, Druids, Merfolk, Goblins, Trolls, etc. as creatures. I treat them as beings. Therefore, they’re capitalized.

Maybe I should get an agent’s advice on this, but then again, it’s my unique way of looking at it that keeps me from lowercasing them. So, I’ll just continue what I’m doing. Why, because it’s not like I’m getting an agent anytime soon.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.


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