Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dragons, a Dog and Mark Twain




So, how does one describe a story that has dragons and a mini dachshund as some of the main characters? Not to mention the gruff, axe wielding farmer who has a soft spot for baby dragons, or the stoic inventor who has a questionable past. And then there are the wizards, one of whom holds a terrible secret. Yet these wizards simply manipulate that which already exists. One has a way with fire, another with water.
Does the legend of a “magical” sword define this story as fantasy? But, wait a minute! Dragons in stories are meant to be slain. Not mine. They’re the good guys. At least most of them are.
Do the few elves make it fantasy? Shouldn’t they be arrogant, and long and thin with pointy ears? Oops. I have a short one with a feisty six year old, and another who is old, stooped, bakes cinnamon biscuits and serves tea. It’s the rebel in me.
I know! It’s the eighteen year old boy on a quest that makes it fantasy. He’s supposed to be the hero and save the day, then rule happily ever after....you’ll just have to read it to see if that happens.
There should be an evil, powerful bad guy somewhere in the mix for it to be fantasy. Well, there is. Sort of. You’ll love to hate him...and yet....and yet.... Wait until you meet his friends.
Another thing. Is there supposed to be humor in a fantasy story? If not, well I messed up. I just cannot imagine people, or dogs, without humor. Yes, the dog talks. So do the dragons. Probably the rebel again.
I haven’t even mentioned the evolving love stories nestled inside the adventure. Nor the dragon who really hates to fly.
Why do I bring up Mark Twain in all this? Besides liking a lot of his quotes, he said a couple of things that I take to heart. One is, that if you have a woman screaming in your story, bring her out and let her scream. The other was about keeping adjectives widely spaced and something about not being too flowery with words. I like that. I used the word pontificating once in my story. It was the only word my son had to look up.
So, do these elements make this a fantasy story? I suppose so, but it’s not typical. But then again, we haven’t met any dwarves yet...

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