1. Bjartskular
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    Bjartskular Member

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    Dragons.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Bjartskular, Jan 22, 2010.

    My book I'm writing is very centrally plotted on dragon/human conflict. I have painted the dragons as beings that can be matched by no other. They are these unstoppable, proud, powerful, wise, intelligent creatures.
    But I'm stuck as to how the humans will react to them. Should they be awed? :confused: Terrified? Scared? Or simply curious?

    How they react and portray the dragons is how the book flows, really.
     
  2. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    What do you want us to say? How they react forms the crux- the basis- of your story. There's really nothing that we can do for you here. This is your world, your world-building.

    If you need our help on this, we need more information. When and where does this story take place? What is the "normal" human culture in this world? Do humans know about dragons? What is their mythology like? What is the draconic mythology like?

    We also need to know more about your version of dragons before we can help you figure out how humans would react to them. Are they scary? Arrogant? Aggressive? Dangerous? Do they all wear the same "unstoppable, proud, powerful" hat, or are they varied by individual? How varied are they? Which ones do humans meet first? Which humans meet the dragons? Are they prepared for it? Are they armed? Where does this meeting take place? How long does it last?

    Et cetera.
     
  3. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    If all you've got for your story are these dragons, then you've got characters but nothing else. You need to work out the storyline yourself. That's what writing fiction is about.
     
  4. Bjartskular
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    Bjartskular Member

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    Wow, sorry bout that.

    The story takes place long ago, way before modernised human development, swords were the weapons, you had to build fires for heat and light.... You know, medieval?

    Everybody knows they exist (the dragons) but nobody has seen one except for the superiors -due to the resorces needed to climb mountains to find them-, hunters catch glimpses in the skies, mountains and caves. The dragons are your basic two-winged, four-legged reptilian based animals.

    Some of the dragons are defensive and aggressive because their was a giant massacre of th dragonkind. Others are open and curious to the humans. Others lay waste to their towns by tooth and nail.
    My protagonist is an adolescent female, called Bronnie, and she is the first to meet a dragon in my book. The dragon, called Avada, comes from a clan ruled by a female that saw most of the damage to their kind by the massacre. I am going to potray Avada as an aggressive, shut-off individual who grows close to Bronnie. Avada is captive by Bronnie's father.

    The meeting takes place in a couples of hours because Avada is about to be executed. It is dark, the dead of night, but calm. Bronnie is determined to move Avada to a hidden place in the forest because she believes the reasons for her soon-to-be death are not just.


    I'm only new so thank you for getting me to spill that out in the open as nobody has ever read or given me an opinion on my writing before.

    They just aren't the writing types.
     
  5. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    Some say in an idealistic bubble they cant wait to
    As they said, you need to write as it's your story. Maybe try a few reactions and then post a piece for review. But you should do whatever you think is most interesting....

    Are the dragons being seen for the first time? That could cause curiosity, as well as fear.
    If they are enemies, giant beast, than awe and fear are certainly realistic.
    Are the dragons master of the humans? Then the humans respect, revere, serve them...

    Only you can tell us. Or show us by your writing.

    By the way, I am very interested in stories that have dragons so if you do post something on here to share, I will keep my eyes open for it.

    We posted at the same time, so my post reflects a reply before your last one
     
  6. Bjartskular
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    Bjartskular Member

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    Gosh, thank you Coldwriter. That certainly helps. :D

    Ok I'll go through a couple of possibilities and post them. Thanks for your help everyone. :D
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There's no point in posting the ideas. You're telling the story, so how people react to the dragons has to come from your own vision of the story.

    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    Decide on your own what direction the story will take, and write it out. Don't go looking for opinions or approval before you start the writing. Writing by committee leads to lackluster results.

    Trust in the power of your own imagination, and exercise it.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And to add just a few other words to Cogito's response...

    As archetypal creatures, dragons have filled the roll of every one of the seven deadly sins. They have been used as vessels of ancient knowledge. They have been both the harbingers of doom and the bringers of creation. They have been both god and demon.

    You've said in your opening post that, "How they react and portray the dragons is how the book flows, really."

    You should be looking at it from the other direction.

    How the story is going to flow determines how your humans will be reacting to your dragons.

    So, I ask you: What is your story about?

    I know it contains both dragons and humans, but this is the cast, not the script.

    What is your story about?
     
  9. EclecticStyles
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    EclecticStyles Member

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    I have the distinct notion that the more experienced members on here will disagree with me to no small extent, but I don't see an actual `plot` being created. Nor do I see any `real` characters here yet.

    What I am seeing here and you may not realise it at the moment, is that you're trying create a `world` rather than specific characters or events or background.

    Maybe I've interpreted those words incorrectly, but I truely believe I have not. Just reading your responses up top, you do mention a world of sorts in greater detail than is normally present in creating the outline of a plot. You mention great wars between dragonkine and Humans... and cold relations between the two sentiant races. This kind of detail does not exactly `fit` into a plot creation thread, but then that's debatable.

    Anyway, I would say that you should simply forgo the characters for the while and actually start thinking about the world those characters would inhabit. It can help more than not to create the base world first and to be sure and confident about it and then develop characters around.

    You don't want to start saying "every dragon can fly!" and then later on say "only certain species of dragon can fly", do you?
     
  10. Bjartskular
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    Bjartskular Member

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    Ok, here I go...

    I want to apologise first about how I veered of the track of 'plot creation' and went to 'character development'.

    I'm not really sure how to bring the plot together by the dragons. Bronnie possibly saving Avada (Avada is a young dragon, barely a month old) could tell the vicious clan that not all humans are resentable, but the ruling mother is too prided to believe that her own offspring could set aside her dragon heritage and follow a human around.

    And as Wreybies stats- "As archetypal creatures, dragons have filled the roll of every one of the seven deadly sins. They have been used as vessels of ancient knowledge. They have been both the harbingers of doom and the bringers of creation. They have been both god and demon." I definetley want to follow down that notion.

    Cogito, again thanks for lending your advice about getting other peoples opinion on your own work.
     
  11. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Unless it is in the movement of your story, not every human being will act the same way. Some will run and scream. Others will jump up and down for joy. Still others will embrace the culture, and try to learn from it. Each independant one will most likely react diferently.
     
  12. Bjartskular
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    Bjartskular Member

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    Oh, Bronnie is most definetely interested in dragons, which is why I choose her to appeal to Avada.

    Maybe she'll be she sort of person that will be extremely glad and overwhelmed all at the same time...
     
  13. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    It is human nature to fear and hate what they cannot control or understand. (Of course there the occasional exceptions.)
     
  14. Bjartskular
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    Bjartskular Member

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    How do you move a dragon that is drugged into a sleepy state by a plant-based toxin several hundred metres away? You are one person and have no hope of physically moving it.

    An antidote maybe? A cart of some sort? If it to be an antidote it has to be natural or found in the medieval ages.

    Inkdream, that is so true...
     
  15. LondonX
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    LondonX New Member

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    In response to your beginning question, different people will react differently. What I mean by that: if you want to bring in some realism to your story and create characters that readers can identify with, you should answer that question on an individual basis. If someone's home was destroyed by a dragon they would probably hate/fear them. If their only encounter was seeing a glimpse of a dragon fly overhead when they were a child, they might have a sense of curiosity towards the dragons. The hardest part of the question is there isn't really a right or wrong answer.
     
  16. Bjartskular
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    Bjartskular Member

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    Thank you everybody really, for your inciting reviews and opinions. I've mulled everything over and have decided what to go with for my story.

    I just needed to confirm that I cannot put my work up for review until I had reviewed other peoples work first, seems fair, I just wanted to check. :redface:
     
  17. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Yup. Two reviews for others before you can be reviewed.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    More specifically, posting your own writing for critique pre-requires active participation in the Review Room critiquing workshop. Posting your own work is a stage of the workshop you can only take part in after you have demonstrated that you understand the mindset of constructive critiquing.

    You don't "get" critiques. You take an active role in the process.
     
  19. Evil Spock Pinyata
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    Evil Spock Pinyata New Member

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    It would be comparable to the reactions humans have to gods. In that some will want to worship them, others will be apathetic, and there will be others who won't believe until something happens, and then there'll be those who'll attempt to destroy them. If they are that powerful then there will be very little difference.

    In Dungeons And Dragons rpg, the remains of dragons are very valuable. A dragon's tooth is worth fifty thousand gold coins and dragon parts are also used as ingredients for powerful magic spells.

    When it comes to main characters though, you pretty much have to provide more details on what motivated them. Do they worship them because they want to be part of a larger group that is better than people? Do they have any kind of personal experience that would lead them to worship or hate them? Or maybe they were simply taught to be that way by family and friends or their society.
     
  20. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    They're humans, and you've just put them next to a race of sapient, carnivorious (?) lizards who are "unstoppable, proud, powerful, wise and intelligent." Of course they're going to be scared.

    That doesn't mean there can't be some kind of truce or even friendship between the two societies*, but the humans are going to feel intimidated on some level.

    *Note: Put some thought into how an actual dragon society might look like. If they are intelligent and social, they probably have some kind of culture.

    You might want to expand on that a bit. Do some research and decide what technology level you want the humans to possess.

    "Medieval" times was actually a period of some 500-700 years. Your human society can be anything from vikings to Renaissance-level.

    So, humans and dragons do not interact often? That can be good and bad, because it gives humans something to speculate on without really knowing a lot about the dragons to begin with.

    Massacred by who? Why? And -this is important- how?

    You just said they were unstoppable super-beings who lived in inaccessible mountain strongholds. It doesn't sound like they'd have much to fear from medieval-era humans.

    Yeah, see, laying waste to towns is seriously going to hurt dragon/human relations. Now it's not just a question of normal human paranoia - you've given them a bona fide reason to fear and hate dragons.

    That's exactly is the kind of thing that causes people rally together, wave pitchforks around, and forget small details like: "Not all dragons are like that."

    So, humans are capable of capturing at least young dragons. How do they do this? How common is it, and is it likely to provoke retaliation from the dragon clans?

    Why? I mean, these creatures destroy whole towns. What reason does Bronnie have to think killing this dragon is not justified?

    No, seriously. This is an important point of characterization: Aside from finding them interesting, does Bronnie have any reason to think killing one might be a bad idea, to the point of going out of her way to prevent it? For that matter, do any of the humans have a solid reason to appriciate the dragons?

    Over-all, the part I think sounds most dubious about this concept is the whole massacre bit. Aside form sounding a bit cliché, it doesn't seem to match your description of the dragons.

    Also, is there any level of diplomatic relations between the dragons and the humans? Perhaps the local human kings have some kind of deal with the dragon clan leaders, like a fragile truce or Cold War type scenario?

    See, it's true that we humans fear what we don't understand, but it's also true that we actually strive to understand what we don't understand. If the dragons can actually be reasoned with, then there's probably going to be some kind of communication.

    Again, if the dragons are intelligent, wise and social creatures, then they are very likely to have a society and culture. Don't just make them clever animals.
     
  21. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    If I had a nickle for every time I've seen Cog post this, I'd have a fair amount of nickles.
     

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