Tag Archive | dragon slayer

Time of the Dragon Slayers (part 4)

Colton winced as Natlie touched his face again with the warm cloth and pushed her hand away. “I’m sure it’s fine.”

She gave him a hard look. “It still looks bad.”

He glanced at the small mirror she brought out and shrugged. “That’s just how it’s going to be for a few weeks I think. Until it heals.” He stood and glanced towards the door. “I suppose I need to do the chores now.”

“I can do them if you want.”

He shook his head. “No, thanks. I’ll be fine.” He shuffled out of the house.

Natlie glances at Justin. “He isn’t acting right.”

“Most men don’t when they just had to fight for something that should that they always thought to be as consistent as the sun rising,” Justin said from in front of the fire.

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Time of the Dragon Slayers (part 3)

Natlie laid her head against the rock, watching the sun slip behind the mountains amid a sky of fire. Although Colton said that she could go on home, she liked being in town more than home alone. Besides, it gave her more time to visit with Lita, although with it being dinnertime, Lita had too much to do.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were a dragon yourself,” Justin said.

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Time of the Dragon Slayers (Part 2)

The first part of the story is available in either a previous post or on the side bar as a page, and that will continue to be updated as parts are posted.


“They can call me whatever they want. I do not think it is  a wise move to even pretend to protect the dragons,” Justin said.

Colton glanced towards the back of the wagon where Justin sat. “I agree completely.” The horse drew his attention back to the road. “We actually look normal around here, but we worked hard to make it so. The last thing we need is another dragon coming down from the mountains, spraying its fire breath on a few crops and eating our livestock. If anything, I am more patriotic for wanting the dragons to be gone for good than for wanting them saved. It brings in more money all around.”

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Time of the Dragon Slayers (part 1)

Or “The Sentinels of Basham Heights.” I haven’t really decided yet. I think Time of the Dragon Slayers is better though.

Anyway, this is the first part of my Dragon Slayers book. As promised, I have finished it and I am going to post it. Comments from fellow writers are great to be quite honest. And for anyone who is keeping track, this is goal one of my March goals completed.

Now, the story:

Natlie slammed herself against the tree and caught her breath. The birds still sang softly above her, like they always did on lazy, late summer days. Besides that, only the trees’ whispers could be heard. Still, she knew when she recognized something abnormal in the woods, even if she couldn’t name it.

Silently, ever so silently, she pulled an arrow from her quiver and fitted it into the bow. Then, she just waited, her ears straining for the sound of something moving again. One slight movement and she could hit it. Living her whole life in the Dragon’s Nest helped her become an excellent marksman.

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consistency between stories

When we write, we all have ideas. Generally speaking, ideas and themes always have some common elements. However, it takes work to notice the common elements that are generally in a story. Here are some of mine.

Finding oneself: Who are you and what is your purpose? I find it interesting that is one of my predominate themes. Shad was making a way for himself in a world that didn’t really want him as a sweeper. Hope found out who she is throughout the whole story and where she fits in, as did Ka’yam in that same story. (Someday, I’ll write something about Hope.) Kontyo, again, struggling as a sweeper. Not so much in Dragon Slayers yet though. We’ll see.

Government is stupid: Yes, I have very negative opinions about our government right now, and many of those feelings leak over into my writing. In Hope, Ka’yam frequently made comments about the government would have won the war if they weren’t so stupid already. In Shad, the government underpaid the sweepers and kept them from doing more things. (However, common people were involved as well.) In Mindskill, if I ever wrote it, one of the main characters has a huge complain with the government an wants to do a major reform. Kontyo, because he left because the government didn’t maintain the prisons well. Again, not all. Dragon Slayers doesn’t have it as much (which is fascinating because that is my first political story), nor does Giant’s Wife, if I think about it.

Well-to-do characters: I don’t know why, but generally I have some well-to-do character involved, and not always as a pompous jerk. In When Darkness Swallows, Kontyo was rich. In Shad, Kontyo was again, from a rich background. (Keep in mind I wrote Shad before Kontyo). In Dragon Slayers, Justin is from a rich family. In mindskill, Vanessa’s father was extermely rich (takes to being a neural surgeon.) Heddwyn was rich in Giant’s Wife. (not raised well to do, but rich because of his job.) Interestingly, I’m a far cry from rich.  Maybe that’s why I do write it like that.

Some of these common elements, however, do hurt the story.

Weak guy/flakey girl: I’ve written two of these stories now. The generally idea is the guy is hurting for some reason, and the girl decides to help him and eventually, does so. The problem comes when the guy is a rather strong character and the girl is this pathetic, happy, careful individual all the time. I did this with Giant’s Wife is an easy one to point to.

I don’t know how much we should be paying attention and either avoiding or embracing the themes that we set. Obviously, if you consistently paint a false picture of one group of people, you are going to lose both credibility and readers. On the other head, if you always have the theme of finding identity, people who like those kind of books might be more likely to read it. I think that it ends up being something carefully balanced between good and bad.

And if you’re thinking that you don’t have any themes, think again. We all have biases and it is only logical that they sneak into our writing.

Anyone else notice themes within their writing?

Also, mini announcement. Starting either today or tomorrow (we’ll see what time I get home today) I will begin posting “Dragon Slayers” like I posted “Giant’s Wife”, one section at a time, every day. (Unless I get three comments telling me not to do that because it’s annoying and you’d rather read it all at once.) So keep an eye out for that. That becomes a bonus post every day too.

goals for my writing

This being spring break, of course I have goals. I’ve been looking forward it too much for there not to be goals involved.

That being said, I think that I should outline my goals, so anyone who wants to can check in on me and see how well I did when I say in May that I failed.


First off, with Dragon Slayers. I know, you haven’t read it. There are some parts of it that are really…. erm, yeah, but I’m going to finish that hopefully today (Tuesday) and give it to an English teacher at my school who I work with for her to read and comment on. If she comments on that quickly enough, I’ll input her commentary. If not, well, I’m going to do this anyway. At the end of the month I’m going to send it to Writers of the Future contest. I don’t think anything will happen with that, to be quite honest, because it isn’t fantasy enough, but I’m going to give it a try anyway so I can say that I submitted something somewhere.

Also, I’d like to seriously get into editing Shad. But that doesn’t happen until….


April 30th is actually the end of my semester and with it, when I want to be completely done with Shad. I might have more people read it but with a) this being so soon and b) I don’t have anyone to read it really, I’ll probably just let it be. But April is when I finish my first novel completely and totally.


I don’t think I’m going to have much time in May, because I have summer classes. However, I’m going to write a synopsis of Shad and that I will get proofread. The reason why is I need that to submit Shad to a publisher.


I’m sending Shad off. Obviously, it won’t be titled Shad by then but I have to do something. I keep writing and writing and writing and nothing ever happens. At least once I send it off, I have something to say that I did. It’s not a case of, “I wrote a book, just like the thousand of millions of other Americans who want to write a book but get distracted after the first draft is finished with ten thousand plot holes involved,” but “I wrote  book that I thought to be good enough to send to a publisher and guess what? I got rejected. But at least I did something. ”

I can do this. I like Shad, a lot. It’s not because it’s the first novel I wrote either, because I wrote Hope before Shad and I know that Hope is bad on so many levels. I like it because when I read parts of it, I get excited. I like it because the characters are good, the plot is good, and the ending is unexpected.

So, that’s my goals. We’ll see together if I get them accomplished. I haven’t heard from the writing contest either at school. I wish they at least gave me a clue about when they would be done judging them.

to outline or not to outline

For all my longer works, for example novels, I write chapter outlines so I can have the pleasure of departing from them later on. –Garth Nix

I’ve always outlined. But Dragon Slayers has been different and rather interesting. Explain why.

I’ve almost always have an outline. It’s usually just a list of events, such as:

  • Shad drops Dr. Przemyal off with the ship. The doctor promises him a ship.
  • The people gather for the news report of Dr. Przeymyar’s rescue. They  hear him lie and Shad storms out.
  • Shad steals the ship with the help of the guy who he talked to earlier.
  • The captain finds out about the ship
  • Now each point is usually a whole chapter by itself, but sometimes not. I do this to keep focus so I don’t add unnecessary scenes. Later on, when I tried doing a serious multi-character work, I had the outlines so I could go from one person to another to another and still keep each of their stories moving.

    However, in Dragon Slayers I didn’t outline. I’m not quite sure why. I guess I figured that it’s only going to be short (is about 30 pages right now), so I can keep track of everything in my head. I also never got around to writing it down, because I figured that what have to do to get from point A to point D would be difficult to figure out.

    So I didn’t outline and strangely, it worked out rather well. Actually, a surprising thing happened. I thought I had the ending figured out. Then, I started thinking about it because I was ready to write it and I forgot what my ending was exactly. (I knew the major points but the little details, I wasn’t sure.) So when I got around to writing it, I changed something that I never expected to change and I actually think it makes it so much better.

    So now I don’t know what to do. On one hand, outline worked fine with Shad and Hope and all my other stories. It let me see what actually had to be done and by when. However, I’m wondering if outline hinders me slightly too. Before, whenever I couldn’t decide what to write next, I always went back to the outline and wrote from that. When I didn’t do that with Dragon Slayers, it came out with a larger surprise, I think.

    I’ve said before that one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned was to let the characters talk and act as they please. I think that, although outlines might not be bad, I need to learn the listen to the flow of the story too. I should ask myself, NOw that I know this character, does this action make sense? Does this scene make sense? And I shouldn’t worry about whether or not it flows with the story because maybe, just maybe, the story is different than I think.

    It will certainly  be an interesting experiment.

    background characters–parents

    The common characters that one thinks about when beginning to write are easy. We have friends and siblings and strangers and work partners. However, one character that I suspect to frequently be overlooked are parents. The question is why.

    I doubt it’s based on how much your parents play a role in your life, because I have a really good relationship with my mom (not wonderful with my dad)  and I hardly mention moms. In one story I was going to write, (changed my mind) it was actually the dad who she had just lost within the last six months, the mom having been dead for ten years or so.

    I actually realized that none of my stories ever have major parent characters involved. in Hope (which I haven’t talked about a lot but that’s my first novel.) her mom died before the story began. In Shad, he was an orphan with unknown parents. (Father figure, yes, but no actual parents). In Kontyo, his father was never actually seen, only mentioned. In Dragon Slayers, parents are dead. In Giant’s Wife, his parents are dead and hers she has seen for three years.

    So, apparently, I jut decide to kill characters parents just because.

    I actually think it’s because they either aren’t an important part to the story or their death actually moves the story along. In the story that I mentioned earlier, her dad was suspected to be killed by a drunk driver but was actually assassinated. (Really important when she starts working for the guy who had him killed.) In Hope, her mom’s death was actually her fault, which she finds out later. In Giant’s Wife, his family being dead is what caused him the join the army. (Although I did give him a sister.)

    Which brings me to the next point. WHy is it that siblings are okay but parents aren’t? With the exception of Shad who we really don’t know where he came from, every single one of my characters had a close relationship with a sibling. Hope always wanted to see her brother Dave again. Kontyo worked closely with Felix. Heddwyn is close with Eva and tells her some things. Dragon Slayers, Colton is practically raising Natlie.

    Now this isn’t that surprising.  I get along with most my siblings very well (when they aren’t being thickheaded and spockish). I think that brother/sister relationships can be some of the best in the world.

    But why siblings and not parents? What makes parents so invisible? Is it just that I don’t know how to write forty and fifty year olds so I avoid it? But I do, because all I would need to do is write something like how my mom and I interact. Yes, people might not fully believe it, since we act like friends oftentimes, but that is still might be better than nothing.

    I do not have an answer to this. I’m also thinking that I haven’t read too many books where the parents play a major role either, which makes me wonder about that as well. Anyone else notice such a problem?

    many things she ought to understand

    I posted last about how I could not figure out how of my characters and how do you add depth to a scene. There was a comment (I don’t know if you want me to use your name.) about how you should add details like–like she squinted out the window and pursed her lips in thought before answering.  This is actually something used by authors, if you happen to notice it. Oftentimes it helps to let the reader know who is speaking without having a bunch of “Bob said”s.

    However, as I was about to answer her post, I realized what my problem was. My problem is pretty much that I don’t know my character. I honestly don’t understand Natlie.

    So I did the most obvious thing to myself; I interviewed her. It went rather like this.

    Me: So, Natlie, tell me some about yourself?

    My head as Natlie: Well, I like being outside and I like visiting people. I’m so glad that we don’t live in those far away farms where they hardly get to see anyone for ages. Well, months at least, but that’s basically ages.

    Me: How is your relationship with your brother?

    Well, we get along fine enough I suppose. It’s only the two of us. HE does all the work on the farm and I help him with some of the chores but not a whole lot. But we’ve survived well enough together. However, he hates that I go to town so much. I’m not sure why.

    Me: Does he not like you being an archer?

    Natlie: Oh, no! He understands that perfectly. I just think he doesn’t like being around people as much as I do. He’s always been really supportive of me doing it, even though it isn’t that ladylike. He didn’t mind buying this bow for me at all.  I think it’s because he figures that so long as I have a bow, I’m pretty much safe from the dragons.

    Me: So, if it’s just you and your brother, how did your parents die?

    Natlie: It… it was because of the dragons. They–my family–was herding the animals towards the cave that we hide it when they come. It had been a dry year and we had a strong south wind. The grass just caught as soon as the dragon blew fire and–poof!–no more.

    Me: Where were you when this happened?

    Natlie: OH, I ran away. Not literally mind you. My mother wanted me to kneed dough and I wanted to make flower crowns. So I told her I had to go out back and ran as soon as she gave me the chance. I was only ten then but I never really liked housechores. I just do them because I must now.

    ME: So how did Colton survive?

    Natlie: He was in the very front of the herd and managed to run fast enough. When I heard the dragon call, I ran towards the cave too. And Colton… I thought it was my fault at first–that they went out and tried to find me. But it was just us.

    So, that’s pretty much what I did. I guess it seems silly but it gave me a lot of good ideas. I think I now need to add two more scenes. One scene at the end of the story before the climax so that way people can see Colton’s and Natlie’s relationship and one scene where they see the dragons’ Crossbows burned, bot to make it seem real and unreal at the same time.

    Which reminds me. I am highly suspecting that the characters are going to think that this can’t really be happening but I’m not sure how to quite write that so it doesn’t seem like the character doesn’t have any emotions either. It’s a weird thing to write, but something that happens a lot to myself as well.


    Last night, because my brothers were watching HEROS, I listened to music while writing so as to drown out the TV show. This proved to very interesting in the fact that I was writing the climax and more so, a particularly saddening scene. I don’t normally listen to music, although I find music is very good for finding plots, for  a number of reasons. After doing this, I am almost tempted to try a few things.

    See, what I found was that although it seemed my concentration was not bad during the happier music, my concentration became much better during the sad, mournful  music. (Remember, I’m writing a sad scene.) It came to the point where I could see her standing on the dragon’s crossbow trying to shove the damaged pieces away while the ran fell and the tears ran off her cheeks, like a movie. (Actually, I think that Dragon’s Slayers would make a pretty decent movie, but I think that with almost everything I write. Worse part is, I never plan on letting them do that or if I do, they need to do very strict requirements. They always ruin the book.)

    Now, I’m almost tempted to make some playlists on itunes that are happy music when I’m trying to write a happy scene and sad music when I’m trying to write a sad scene and so long. Then, depending upon what I am writing, I switch playlists.

    The problem is that I fear my mind my determine that something is better than it actually is. One advantage that movies have over books is that they can put in soundtracks to slightly control a person’s emotions during a certain scene. I can’t do that while someone is reading. So although it might sound good with the soundtrack, it might sound rather poor without it.

    I suppose that I’ll actually see when I get back to editing it. Whenever I get frustrated I keep thinking about the one person who said that he can never tell the difference between a good day of writing and a bad day because they all end up turning out about the same. Unfortunately, that’s very depressing after you just had a good day.