I’m so disappointed when elves in fiction are merely immortal humans with pointy ears, and dwarves are just short humans with beards. Perhaps others enjoy it, but I am bored of banal human conflicts and vices projected ad nauseam onto supposedly inhuman races.
I want to see things that really make me believe elves and dwarves and other fantasy races aren’t just disguised humans. Show me strange biology, incomprehensible minds, impossible virtues and unthinkable sins, oddities and curiosities of all kinds.
I think that’s what drew me to Tolkien’s races, who have exactly those kinds of quirks that set them apart from ordinary humans - like dwarves having only 1/3 of their race female, or elves being capable of telepathy. I love fic that explores the consequences of these strange characteristics most of all.