So, when you are writing what amounts to an entire folkloric system which mirrors or shadows our own, plays on its conventions and uses them, skews them, honors them, subverts them, relies on them for a base point of reader reference from which to launch very strange and different narratives, at what point do you say: this thing has been done too much, and even though you found something for selkies and princes and quests and ghosts and all manner of overdone things, this you won’t even try?
Do I try dwarves? Trolls? Unicorns? Dragons, god forbid? Am I good enough to make of any of those into anything that isn’t horrifically bad and derivative? I mean, I did a Cinderella retelling I’m damn proud of a couple of days ago, and that’s got to be one of the worst fairy tales for overtread territory. But that doesn’t mean I can handle dragons, man. What the hell could I possibly say about them?
I’m not fucking touching elves, though, I swear. No pointy ears. This far, no farther.