When I began writing the Dragonsbane series, I had an idea to add horns to one of the Elven Kings in my story. This change to his description was applied in the second draft, and there was a reason behind it (which I cannot divulge due to spoilers), but my BETA reader and my husband did not react as I had hoped they would.
This prompted me to remove the horns completely.
Fast forward to the third draft.
I came across a series on Netflix called The Dragon Prince. So far, I'm only two episodes in, but my kids and I love it. However, the first thing I noticed was all the Elves have horns, and they look amazing!
One of the Elves (pictured above) has the exact shape I imagined for the horns my Elven king would have, although I pictured them a bit smaller.
The response to this series has been amazing with hundreds of fans already sharing their creative cosplays and fan art across social media, and seeing this reaction prompted me to add the horns back on the Elven King.
Another idea I had was dragons breeding with other races, but I did not know how readers would react to this idea, and so, one again playing it safe, I left it out.
My husband started up a Rolemaster group several months back. We have five guys in our group, me, and my husband is the Game Master. They normally play D&D, but they wanted to try something different, and thus we decided to play Rolemaster instead, which suited my husband fine as he has been trying to get a game going for years.
However, we're not always able to meet due to work schedules. So, whenever someone is absent, we switch to Dungeons & Dragons and my husband is the Dungeon Master.
As I was reading through the different races, I came across "Dragonborn". I immediately thought of Skyrim, but these Dragonborn were much different.
I also came across a series on an app called "Webtoons". This series was called "Dragnarok", and it mentioned a dragon falling in love with a maiden, so he changed his form to be with her.
The response to this series and the Dragonborn were not as I originally feared they would be, and so I am now revisiting the idea I was once afraid to use.
Morale of the story: Write what you want to write, and don't be afraid. No, you're not going to please everyone, and there will be people who will hate your ideas, but you can't let that stop you. I let it stop me, and now I am seeing my ideas being brought to life by others, and it makes me angry that I let that fear get in the way of my story.
If you're too afraid to write your story, someone else will. So, write the story that makes you happy. Write something you can look back on with no regrets, because you wrote from the heart.
Uncage your imagination, give it wings, and let it take flight.