There are some very common stereotypes for elves just as with any other common fantasy race. Some of the most common are thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle Earth and the elves that resided there, such as tall, ethereal, and more or less immortal.
Now maybe you do want Tolkien’s elves in your story, but you don’t want all the elves to be identical to each other, so the idea behind this was something along the lines of, “tall doesn’t mean coordinated.”
As someone who had a major growth spurt right around the time I started playing sports, I know what it’s like to not be as coordinated enough for my body as I would like. Much as I actually do love playing softball, I never was interested enough to dedicate all my time to it and I learned it during a time when I was trying to get used to be a lot taller than I was not long before that.
Oddly enough, this was not the inspiration for this prompt.
As I said above, it really was Tolkien’s elves and how so many elves fall into this stereotype. I wanted to play with that. Also I wanted to explore some activities we don’t hear much about elves doing, such as sports. When I think of elves, I usually either think of Santa’s elves making toys or the ethereal ones writing poetry or playing stringed instruments. Obviously no drums for those elves.
Now, as soon as I thought of the first half of the character description, I knew the rest had to follow. Not everyone is good at the things they love to do. Loving them is what makes us want to keep doing them and sometimes that can lead to enough practice that we eventually do get good at them.
But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes loving something and doing it a lot just isn’t enough to make us actually good at it. Sometimes you aren’t good at the thing you love, but you are good at spotting talent, be that a sport’s agent, an art gallery owner, a teacher, or anyone else. And sometimes that’s enough to satisfy your love of that thing.
Other times it’s not.
Sometimes you just want to keep doing the thing you love even if you are terrible at it. What do you think this elf did? How do you think the elves around him reacted? Who else was there besides elves? Anyone? How do you go about making a diverse culture that isn’t just one thing for everyone?