Are your characters not talking to you?
Is that last book in the trilogy you’ve just gotten into not coming out for another eleven months?
Does your word-processing device of choice just lie there and suck your creativity into a bleak, desolate void devoid of all hope or output?
Is having to deal with actual people in real life, in the real world, getting you down.
My first introduction, outside the Pern series, was a wonderful little novel by Rose Estes, called Children of the Dragon. It made such an impression on me as a young reader that I went out and bought a copy 10 years later, to give to any hatchlings that I might spawn.
In Epic fantasy they’re majestic forces of destruction, dominating the skies and laying waste to whole nations. While in Urban have somehow shrunk to pocket-sized comic relief, often found setting fire to expensive things in the underwear drawer.
Either way, I want to write dragons… but I’m not that brave yet. Dragons have to be treated carefully, with asbestos lined, kid gloves.
So… Dragons? … a mainstay of fantasy that lifts us from the page and into the worlds on fire-wreathed wings? Or a tired cliché best left off the page? Thoughts?
Comments more than welcome…
EDIT: until I was about to write this I actually had no idea that Estes had written a whole slew of books. You live and learn.
1 In the beginning, the writer cleared the workspace.
2 And the story was without form, and vague; no words were upon the screen of the computer. And despair moved within the mind of the writer.
3 And the Writer said, Let there be a document: and there was a document.
4 And the writer saw the document, that it was blank: and the writer selected a font from the menu.
5 And the writer called the Font Times New Roman, and the document he called Draft 1. And the document with the standard font was saved, and this was the first day.
6 And the Writer said, Let there be a structure in the midst of the story, and let it divide the story into acts.
7 And the Writer made the structure and divided the story that was before the turning point from the story that was after the turning point: and it was so.
8 And the Writer called the document Draft & Structure. And the document with high-level structure was saved, and this was the second day.
9 And the Writer said, Let the first half be divided into beginning and middle, gathered together unto one arc, and let the stakes appear: and it was so.
10 And the Writer called the story-arcs plot; the gathering together of the structure called the acts: and the Inner Critic saw that it was coherent.
11 And the Writer said, Let the structure bring forth Situation, the set-up yield complication, and the middle yielding crisis after his idea, whose seed is in conflict, upon the story: and it was so.
12 And the structure brought forth Situation, and set-up yielding complication after his kind, and the middle yielding crisis, whose idea was in conflict, after his kind: and the Writer saw that it was not totally dreadful.
13 And the document was saved with a word count of 500, and this was the third day.
14 And the Writer said, Let there be a world in the story to divide it from the works of others; and let it contain cities, and characters, and locations and scenes:
15 And let them be for consistency in the story to give depth to the idea: and it was so.
16 And the Writer made two great characters; the greater character to be the protagonist, and the lesser character to oppose them: he made a supporting cast also.
17 And the Writer set them in the conflict of the story to give form to the idea,
18 And to rule over the story, and for the reader to identify with: and the Writer saw that it had potential.
19 And the document with its characters was saved, and that was the fourth day.
20 And the Writer said, Let the characters bring forth personality quirks and mannerisms that give them life, and the conflict may be fought in tavern or street, and with weapons and words.
21 And the Writer created great scenes, and every piece of dialogue that was spoken, which gave the scenes realism, after their kind, and every twist and surprise: and the Writer saw that it was good.
22 And the Writer cursed them, saying, I see grammar errors, and typos, and whole scenes that no longer fit, and I may have to re-write the beginning entirely.
23 And with much weeping, the computer was abandoned for the fifth day.
24 And the Writer said, I have a thesaurus and a writing guide, coffee, and chocolate, and time away from my day job: and it was so.
25 And the Writer made changes to his plot, and chapters after their kind, and every typo and grammatical error: and the Writer saw that it was better.
26 And the Writer said, Let us make the protagonist in our image, after our own self: and let them have victory over the villain of the story, and over the minor obstacles of the beginning, and over the crisis, and overall the conflict, and over every challenge that fills the story.
28 And the Writer cursed and said unto himself, There is no depth, and no surprise, and knew he would have to re-write his characters: and give them setbacks, and places where they failed, and a terrible defeat before the final victory otherwise the triumph would be meaningless.
29 And the Writer said, Behold, I have crafted a true story, which is filled with three-dimensional characters, and a good pacing, and an interesting world for all this to occur; to you, it shall be a good read.
30 And to every person on his friend list, and to every writing peer on the forums, and to everyone that had mentioned in passing that they liked this type of story, a message was sent, and this message was that the story had been finished: but it was not so.
31 And the Writer knew everything that he had made, and, behold, it needed a second draft. And the Beta Reader and the Editor were contacted on the sixth day.
(Might be vaguely familiar )
Also launched at Medium because I’m a sucker for new platforms
Smiley watches from atop the wall.
Jagged teeth, black and cracked give him his name. Teeth that rise from that dark mouth like tombstones in a graveyard.
Smiley knows where each small dead thing goes.
Of course he knows; he eats them.