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Fantasy > Thoughts on dragons?

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Crawford (jasonpatrickcrawford) | 62 comments Their long lives and worldview. Dragons live for centuries, and have the patience to outlast their enemies...or to tell their friends that they cannot help now.

message 2: by J.T. (new)

J.T. Buckley (jtbuckley) | 158 comments Dragons are the ultimate beast in a fantasy world. They are what legends and epic quests are made of. Your fantasy world can survive just fine without them. If you don't want to include them, don't. Don't let others pressure you into a facet you don't want to add right now. Now if you want to add them later you can always have a legend about a continent filled with them.

message 3: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 65 comments Dragons, like angels, have been part of our culture for at least four thousand years, so they appeal to something deep rooted in people's minds. Don't let others sway you into including dragons in your story, if you did not originally plan to do so, however. It is your story, so you have to believe in and be inspired by what you write. My favourite dragon in literature is the dragon who guards the hoard in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf, which was the inspiration for Smaug in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Good luck with your story, anyway. I have found that if you concentrate on what you are writing deeply enough, your characters start doing and saying things that you did not originally plan, which is when the act of creating a story becomes magical, and which you alone can experience and understand.

message 4: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 361 comments Napoleonic war dragons: HIS MAJESTY'S DRAGON by Naomi Novik. An eerie blend of dragons and Trollope: TOOTH & CLAW by Jo Walton. Dragons as sex enhancers: McCaffrey.

message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine Hayton (ccmhayton) | 324 comments My absolute favourite dragon of all time is the one Disney created for the animated movie - Sleeping Beauty.

I was young and saw the original movie in an old theatre, but I will never forget the spark that dragon left in me - scary as hell and absolutely beautiful - at the same time. No dragon, on screen or in literature, has ever impressed me more.

message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Avery (sarahavery) | 10 comments Write the book you want to write. If you're not sure what that is yet, write the book you wish you could read, but that nobody else seems to have written yet.

You don't need to put things in because other people have liked them in other books. A fantasy novel that includes dragons because they fit in its world can be wonderful. A fantasy novel that includes dragons because it's trying to cover all the genre bases is less so.

That said, my two favorite current authors whose books have dragons in them are Naomi Novik and James Enge. Novik's dragons are smart and civilized, and many of them are steadfast friends of humans. Enge's dragons are disturbing and tragic, and to say more about them would spoil the surprises in A Guile of Dragons and This Crooked Way. Both authors are fun and worth your while, whatever you decide about dragons and their potential place in your own project.

Best of luck!

message 7: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 2784 comments Don't write dragons in to the story if they don't belong there, and don't write them in to the story if you're doing it only because you feel others would expect it; you can have a perfectly enjoyable fantasy story without dragons.

Also, if you're not even entirely sure what the appeal of dragons is, then perhaps they aren't the creature for you? I mean, readers can feel the passion a writer has for a creature, and if that isn't there for you with dragons, then your dragon may not feel like the impressive creature it should.

As for what the appeal is: they're scary-looking while at the same time being beautiful. They're enormously powerful, while at the same time having the potential to be extremely gentle creatures. They have the potential for both powerful magic and an impressive mind. Plus, on top of all that, they have the most powerful built in flame thrower weapon ever. What's not to like?

message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Avery (sarahavery) | 10 comments Naomi Novik's dragons are as morally and culturally varied as humans are.

Enge's dragons are cruel and cunning, with a metamorphic life cycle weirder than I've seen ascribed to them by other writers. Beings who begin as larval dragons are sometimes able to resist metamorphosis and retain their moral centers. He's writing secondary world fantasy, which frees him up to invent his own lore, but then he's also a classics professor in his day job, so his inventions arise out of tremendous erudition.

message 9: by A.B. (new)

A.B. Smith | 2 comments I have my first of what I hope to be many books involving Dragons coming out May 23. I take great pleasure in the personalities of them. As a gamer I feel Dragons often get the short end of a very large stick. So mine are a little more than just creatures to be dealt with. They are a living race and as such a very intricate part of my realm. Dragon's Tear is the introduction.

message 10: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 2784 comments In my experience, most dragons are portrayed as being evil, but personally I feel there's no reason why they have to be, and I enjoy when an author writes about a dragon that has a complete personality but is on the side of good. That was one of the things that prompted the creation of Daisy (the vegetarian dragon in my children's series called 'The Magical Chapters Trilogy').

message 11: by Lee (new)

Lee French | 2 comments Dragons can fulfill any character archetype from good to neutral to evil. They can be messiahs or villains, wise hermits or troublemakers. They can be the dominant race or a few lonely members left of a dying race, or just one immortal Dragon God type thing, or whatever else.

In some ways, it's actually more important to consider the impact of dragons on the world. These are generally very large creatures, and no matter what they eat - meat, morning dew, gold, whatever - they eat a lot of it. They take up large spaces for territory and lairs. They're powerful and impact the surrounding cultures and governments. Placing dragons in a fantasy world isn't so terribly different from placing population centers or countries on a map.

Unless they're cute and small, in which case your biggest concern is probably going to be avoiding Mary Sue issues.

Fantasy gamers love dragons because of Dungeons & *Dragons*. It's the granddaddy of gaming, and the type of gaming that the most people are familiar with. The people who write fantasy video games are all familiar with it, which is why they include dragons the way they do.

message 12: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2163 comments I like dragons when their not written as cliches. They tend to always be placed in the same time setting usually battling the same old foe, I think if done differently and done right, then dragons can make for a solid foundation in a book.

Anyone ever read or seen How to Train Your Dragon? I actually thought it was a good movie for animation, one thing I liked was Dragons with Vikings rather then dragons and knights.

message 13: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 2784 comments Justin: I've seen How To Train Your Dragon, and the sequel. They're great, and I also like the fact it's dragons and vikings rather than dragons and knights.

message 14: by Mark (new)

Mark Boyd | 17 comments Mark Boyd A Dragon's Tale - The Prophecy - Book 1 (A Dragons Tale) by Mark Boyd I have just completed book 2 in my trilogy - A Dragons Tale. I have put a new twist on the dragon theme. I invite you to check it out. The third book I have started is Dragon King - born of human/elven/dragon blood. There are so many options available. I love dragons.

message 15: by Maron (new)

Maron Anrow (maronanrow) | 18 comments One of my favorite new dragon books is Seraphina by Rachel Hartman:
Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman

I've always loved dragons for their beauty, ferocity, and grace (which is the same reason I love big cats--tigers, lions, panthers, cheetahs, etc.--but at least big cats are real!), but the dragons in Seraphina are very different in an awesome way (for example, her dragons can take on a human appearance). It's a great book. I highly recommend it.

message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Avery (sarahavery) | 10 comments Ah, speaking of dragons who are kind of human and humans who are kind of dragon, consider rereading Ursula Le guin's The Earthsea Trilogy so you can check out the two volumes she added much later, Tehanu and The Other Wind. Speeding through all five books in a month is a wild reading experience.

message 17: by Helen (new)

Helen | 347 comments Christine wrote: "My absolute favourite dragon of all time is the one Disney created for the animated movie - Sleeping Beauty.

I was young and saw the original movie in an old theatre, but I will never forget the ..."

Oh, yeah! Maleficent is an awesome dragon--and my favorite Disney villainess. Should be interesting to see Angelina Jolie in the new movie version.

message 18: by Helen (new)

Helen | 347 comments I wasn't planning on writing about dragons in BLOODSTONE, but since I started with petrified dragon's blood, the beasts as a piece of my world's history became organic to the plot. I think that's what some of the others are saying here: choose to use dragons wisely.Bloodstone Bloodstone by Helen C. Johannes

message 19: by F.J. (new)

F.J. Hansen (fjhansen) | 25 comments I love dragons. My interest in them blossomed exactly 10 years ago. After watching Dragonheart, I went on a search for more movies/books about Draco-like dragons--a search that led me to Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern and, ultimately, to me creating my own dragon world of Draconia.

I prefer good, honorable dragons, but I will accept bad dragons as long as the whole species isn't treated as evil. E.E. Knight did this well in his Age of Fire series.

message 20: by Janet (new)

Janet Doolaege | 18 comments Sarah, Just what I recommended the other day. Ursula Le Guin is brilliant. I wish I could write half as well.

message 21: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin | 4 comments I have always pictured dragon as Smaug from the Hobbit, but I read a book recently that changed that pictured. The was Guardians of Magessa, which is the first book of The Birth Right Chronicles series. The dragons in this story were trainable, which would have been a laughable thing to try with Smaug.

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