I love Hobbits. I loved them before I became a writer, and I love them more now. In my way of thinking, the ultimate in creativity is to concoct legend, starting with legendary creatures. Hobbits are just such beings, springing entirely from J. R. R. Tolkien’s imagination.
Among Christian fantasy writers today, there are other writers who are in the imaginary creature creation business. Donita Paul comes to mind with her seven high races and her seven low races. Another such writer is Jonathan Rogers, he of The Wilderking Trilogy (B&H Publishing).
In thinking about how an author goes about creating an entirely other race, I see several components that both Tolkien and Rogers did. First, hobbits and feechies both have something distinct about their physical appearance.
The former are quite short, averaging three and a half feet in height, and they have curly hair covering their leathery (no shoes necessary) feet. They live long lives, somewhere around 130 years.
Feechies, on the other hand, are known “to be wiry and sinewy” according to Dr. Rogers. They have one long eyebrow that runs almost from ear to ear. Their ears stick out from their heads and their chins are weak.
Unique physical appearance, while necessary, is not the most significant part of these legendary creatures, however. Habits, habitat, and culture are more important.
Hobbits, for example, are known for their love of food. They are homebodies, living when they can, in holes in the side of a hill, and prefer to keep to themselves. Family lineage is quite important, to the point that clannish rifts develop.
Feechies are primarily denizens of the swamp, though there have been known to be beach feechies and mountain feechies. The key is that they live away from civilizers. Their lives are free from the restrictions of city life. They might best be known for their love of fighting.
Tolkien gave his hobbits unique traditions such as birthday parties thrown by the one who is celebrating. Rogers gave his feechies a unique voice. Their conversation is coarser, more honest, lighter, as evidenced by their feechie love poems that hold a prominent place in the Wilderking Trilogy. (For Dr. Rogers’ feedback in connection to the Feechie Love Poem Contest, visit Sally Apokedak‘s site.).
Interestingly, both hobbits and feechies have their own system of governance, not so different from human forms, and both are susceptible to outside forces that wish to harm or undermine their way of life for some greedy purpose.
Perhaps those are the only similarities. If I had to summarize each people group with a single word, I’d probably say hobbits are staid while feechies are wild.
That I can think of a single word to characterize these imaginary beings is a testament to the creative powers of their respective authors. May feechies become as well known in the years to come as hobbits are today. (For more information about feechies, visit the Feechie Film Festival).
I’d also like to invite you to visit other bloggers participating in the CSFF Tour for The Charlatan’s Boy
Thomas Clayton Booher
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Donita K. Paul