Dragon in Progress

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Sketching out the enemy- a beginning

As I re-work draft one of my novel and wrangle it into a readable story, I’m re-imagining the enemy as a dragon.

I always think of dragons as good and had a hard time thinking of them as evil. But then, they represent chaos, and chaos and I have always danced quite close.

Writing compelling evil in a fantasy is much harder than I thought. The idea is, it’s a fantasy- do we really want to explore all the atrocities humans are capable of, when we read a fantasy?

Of course, I say this in the era of A Game of Thrones. But how much do want to explore the evils of life, how much do  want to break my reader’s hearts, or mess with their trust, the way George R. R. Martin does?

How much evil has to be done, to get the point across? That’s the question for any story, I guess.

That’s also the question for life. How much evil has to be done, before we wake up?

I guess that’s why we write stories- to find the answers to questions such as these.

If Everything Were Different…

What makes you unique? What are the things that make you different from everyone else? What are the things you love to do, that you squirrel away time and money for, that make the hours pass fully unnoticed? That pull you into a beautiful cloud of timelessness? What makes you you, different not in opposition but just in your pure uniqueness, at the fingerprint level, at the cellular level? What things move you, what things drive you to obsession, what things wake you up out of your slumber, cause you to sit upright, straight as cat, and listen and watch everything around you, eyes and ears new to the world?

The things that whirl inside of us, the stories waiting to be told, they need to be told. I didn’t think this for a long time- who can benefit from my stories, who cares? What can I possibly contribute to the cacophony of voices? But the truth is, we are trapped, we need new ways of living, new paradigms. How do we grow out of our moulds? We need to see other ways of living.

The more my way of life becomes unique- the more it becomes me-shaped, true to myself, the more I feel obligated to share my stories with others. Because there must be others out there like me, trying to find a way. If it weren’t for others telling me their stories, I’d have no idea I could live a different way. I’d still be stuck in the traps that I had lived in before.

It’s a sense of obligation, it’s a matter of conscience, that I tell my stories. If I can help anyone the way I was helped, just by hearing and reading other’s stories, learning of other ways to live- then that’s worth more to me than anything. It might be the highest purpose I can fulfill.

You can live a different way. It starts with asking yourself, what makes me different from everyone else, if I were stripped down to my very bones, if everything were different, what would have to remain the same? 

Then follow that thought until it becomes a path, and follow that path until you fear for you life, and then follow it more. Never stop following it, let it swallow you. And then you’ll come to the clearing.