Book Update: Here There Be Dragons
It was inevitable. I have fallen behind on these posts. And now, here I am, writing frantically (I should really be asleep, for I must rise early tomorrow morning) at the close of Christmas Day to give you some sort of sense of what’s been going on in my strange world.
The third fable has begun. I have finished laying it out, and though a story always continues to evolve while you’re writing it (and sometimes even afterwards), I believe I have most everything that is of vast importance decided upon.
I have been delayed in the last few weeks by college work (networking, mostly) and holiday fiascos. But there were instances in there, a few of them, in which the rest of this story formed in my head.
I knew that going into this task of creating a book of fables there would have to be one that featured heavily a dragon. Why? Well, I adore dragons (they are undeniably the best mythical creature) and I have never really written one. At least, not in the traditional sense. And this dragon (whom I finally named Myrkrung because it seemed to be the only thing that fit) is nothing if not the greedy, proud, hyper masculine sort of creature that has been featured in countless tales spanning the yarn of time.
This fable is set up as a traditional one. It is about a dragon and a princess and a knight. But I have reversed some of the roles, and this has made the tale, if not unique, then, at least, fun.
The dragon in this tale does not serve as the enemy that must be destroyed at all costs to save the princess. That role falls to the knight. Indeed, the dragon is more of a neutral party in this story, for he is neither a hero nor a villain. He is merely a dragon, and therefore does merely dragon things.
The knight, a betrayer of the king, is the true villain here. After winning his lord’s trust, he steals the princess and a special sword (called Galaburn, and which can penetrate dragon hyde), and he aims to end the king’s reign by a most diabolical method.
I also knew that I didn’t want another story with a passive princess—one who really, truly needs to be saved or else she shall perish. That not only makes for a boring character, but it of course sets up the archaic notion of the helpless woman, and we’re past that, whether my story takes place in ancient days (which it does) or not.
So this princess is cunning. She’s quick-witted and strong, and she’s fierce. Really, she is the one who ties the story together, and without her there would be no tale here at all. I wanted her to be subject to the hyper masculine, and to have it come at her full force in the form of the knight and the dragon, who are decidedly on fairly opposite sides of the moral spectrum. And then I wanted her to take the brunt of that hyper masculinity and flip it on its head and laugh at it.
And so she does. And I think it’s wondrous.
I am inspired, in some ways, for her character by that of Tolkien’s Éowyn, who famously defeated the Mouth of Sauron in single combat after dropping one of the most badass lines in literature.
If Tolkien’s Middle-earth, which hosts stories locked in a time far behind our current one, can contain such magnificently powerful female characters, then so can mine.
I am excited about how this story is coming together. I feel that it will be shorter than the second, and perhaps closer in length to the first, which was around 6,000 words.
So, yes. Fear not. I am still writing, and there are ideas aplenty in my head.
Oh! And for those of you who miraculously made it this far in the post, I have a short story coming out for Free Lit Magazine this January. It has nothing to do with my book at all, and is a contemporary telling of a teenager who goes to a party and winds up in the strangest game of Truth or Dare that there ever was.
I think it turned out well. So be sure to look for that.
Until next time, have a happy holidays!