Last week, I wrote briefly about creating your own fantasy world. Since I love dragons, my fantasy world wouldn’t be complete without a dragon. Since we are working with an imaginary beast, you have the creativity to do whatever you want. They can be small, large, friendly, menacing, have magical powers – the possibilities are endless. You can portray them as a snake-like creature like a Chinese dragon or a lizard-like beast with huge bat-like wings. I prefer the latter.
When visualizing my dragons, I mainly imagine them to be like the Windstone Edition dragon statues designed by Melody Pena (photo on right is my Emperor Dragon) or the dragons of Peter Pracownik. Though in the end, I don’t know that my dragons look like either of these but these are just some great images to pull ideas from.
Though dragons often are portrayed as evil, in my novel, Summoned, I opted to create dragons as cooperative. I made them large enough to allow the other characters to ride on their backs. And while many books or movies have dragons that don’t communicate, there are instances where they speak like we do (think BBC’s Merlin TV series or the movie Dragonheart) or even telepathically (such as Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series). I happened to want my dragons to communicate and figured it would be more realistic to have them be telepathic.
In many stories, dragons breathe fire but here again I decided to go a different route. Here is an excerpt of when my main character, Lina, first meets the black dragon Zoot. The dragons have been exiled for almost a thousand years so Lina knows very little about them.
Lina turned back to the dragon. His huge yellow eyes stared at her. She broke the gaze and turned back to the trap. “Couldn’t you break these or breathe fire and burn them?” she asked and hesitantly touched one of the ropes and then glanced at the dragon.
Still telling that old story, huh? Nope. We never could breathe fire. I believe that story started when one of us knocked over an oil lamp. Some poor servant saw it and started exaggerating. You know how it goes.
Lina smiled. She had never heard of that story. She had just always believed they could breathe fire, especially since the phrase “dragon’s fire” was so commonly used.
Zoot is introduced near the end of Summoned and plays a more active role for the remainder of the trilogy. Of course as the trilogy has progressed, I have added more dragon characters but Zoot with this gruff, sarcastic attitude will always be my favorite.
So as you create your own dragon, feel free to go against the norm. Create a unique creature to enhance your story. And remember, you are really only limited by your own imagination.