"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mrs. Carline Builds Her Dream Dragon

I'm spending today waiting for my new floors to arrive, watching the Turner Classic Movie channel, and working on the next book. (Side note for new authors: working on the next book keeps you from thinking about what is happening with the book you just completed. Mine's with beta readers.)

TCM is showing "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House", thus the title for this post. Cary Grant and Myrna Loy are a New York city couple who buy a dilapidated house in Connecticut and decide to fix it up, instead of razing it and starting anew. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

This is exactly where I am in the new book, although I'm not certain that hilarity will follow. I started writing a fantasy about a girl pirate some time ago. It began as a riff on "The Count of Monte Cristo." A young girl is betrayed by her friends and is carried off by pirates to be sold to a wealthy psycho. She avoids her fate, becomes a wealthy pirate, and returns home to collect her pound of flesh from her so-called friends. 

When I started writing, the book was in third person, and the young noblewoman, Lisette, is betrothed to another noble, but is more attracted to the village farrier. The farrier is teaching Lisette to fight with a sword, much against her mother's wishes. Lisette is an independent girl, straining at society's leash, but aware that her obedience is necessary to serve the family she loves.

My first change of heart was with the voice of the book. I've decided first person would be better. The reader needs to bond with Lisette. I went back through what I'd written and edited it to reflect "I, me, mine" instead of "she, her, hers."

Then I dreamed of dragons. I'm writing a fantasy - shouldn't there be dragons? Not just dragons for dragons' sake. My theme is revenge. Its cost. Its rewards. Vengeance is a favorite topic at the moment, if you read the news. But does the prize justify the price?

I invented a new myth, the myth of Blood-dragons. In my myth, blood-dragons are horse-sized creatures, and were once human. If a human has been wronged egregiously (either murder of a loved one or personal ruin), and cannot get retribution, they can appropriate the blood of one of these creatures. One drop on their lips will turn them into a blood-dragon.

They remain human during daylight, and only morph (dusk til dawn) for the 10 days from the waning crescent to the waxing crescent of the moon. To defeat their enemy, they have tough skin, long talons, fire breath, oh, and a little bit of magic, mostly in the form of hypnosis and mind control. And while they are a blood-dragon, they are immortal.

Once a blood-dragon either avenges their wrong or no longer feels the need for revenge, the spell is broken and they return to their mortal, normal human state. They have one year to fulfill their thirst for revenge. If they fail, or if their heart is still black with hate, they will remain a blood-dragon forever.

All this means that I must raze the old story and build a new one. Good thing I've got all day to wait for the new floors to arrive.

These have a general look of the dragon I'm dreaming about, with some changes.

What do you think? 

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