Posts Tagged With: dragon

Opinion time! Near-invulnerability in a protagonist?

I’ve been kicking around a new story idea for a while, and while I won’t give too much away, I can reveal that it’s going to be a middle-grade fantasy story with lots of comedy, adventure, etc.

Right now, I’m working on fleshing out the main character – who we will call MC for ease, as I haven’t worked out a name yet. The concept with MC is that his father is a sorcerer, but MC himself is absolutely incapable of doing magic — not just that he has no talent for it, but he literally has no access to magic whatsoever.

Now, MC needs a “shtick” — you know, that one element that makes him special, that gives him the edge he needs to be a hero. For example, Harry Potter may not have been a very good wizard (at least in the first books), but he was an excellent flyer, which he uses to navigate many obstacles through his various adventures.

The first “shtick” I thought up was invulnerability. MC’s father is called the “dragon sorcerer” — not because he’s a dragon, but because he just really, really likes dragons. My thought is that the sorcerer did some dragon-magic-funtimes to MC when he was a wee babby, and this ended up burning the magic out of MC, but in return gave him skin as hard as dragon scales. Note that his skin doesn’t actually look like dragon scales — it’s just magically tough.

Now, near-invulnerability … that has some serious pros and cons. The main con, of course, is that he’ll be invulnerable (or close enough) — which means that, whilst on his adventures, readers will never really worry about his safety, due to the aforementioned invulnerability. On the pro side, though, there’s lots of fun stuff going on here — he’ll be reckless, because he knows he can’t be hurt, which will get him into all sorts of sticky situations. He’ll have a hard time connecting with other people, because his dragon-scale-strong skin has always made him different, singled him out from his peers, and they might even resent him. And he’ll also have a sort of superiority complex — an aloofness, if you will — because on some level he knows he’s superior to others, at least in that one aspect, and that’s a dangerous thing for a 12/13 year old to think.

So I guess my question is — do you think that fairly major con outweighs all the pros?

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Free Short Story — “The Coin Collector”

I’m psyched to announce that after many hours of messing around with formatting and design and whatnot, my short story The Coin Collector is now available for FREE download from Smashwords! Click here to download it now!

Here’s the cover image again for your viewing delight:

the coin collector cover 1

And here’s an excerpt to get you irreparably hooked:

Pounding his fist against the dented metal door, Mr. Quimbly shouted, “Anyone in?”

“Just a moment, if you please,” a voice rumbled from inside.

After a few seconds, the door squeaked open of its own accord. A huge, gleaming claw attached to a scaly green appendage nearly the size of Mr. Quimbly’s entire body reached out toward him. Mr. Quimbly yelped, stumbling back and nearly dropping his file.

“Forgive my rudeness,” said the same deep voice, and the claw retracted back through the doorway. “I didn’t mean to startle you, little manling. Do come inside. I’ll put the kettle on.”

“I—I’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you,” said Mr. Quimbly, preparing to run.

“It isn’t, actually.”

The claw shot back out, hooked around Mr. Quimbly’s waist, and yanked him inside.

Mr. Quimbly landed on the floor of the dimly-lit warehouse with a thud and a groan. As he shakily retrieved his fallen spectacles and pushed himself to his knees, he noticed a glint of gold near his left hand. Picking it up, he realized it was a Spanish doubloon. How curious, he thought.

Then he looked up, and found himself staring at the scaly snout of a massive green dragon. The resplendent beast towered over Mr. Quimbly’s head, its horns brushing the ceiling. Its jagged viridian scales contrasted magnificently with the small mountain of gleaming gold coins on which it was nestled.

“Good heavens,” said Mr. Quimbly, dropping the doubloon. “You’re a dragon.”

Thanks to everyone who gave me valuable advice and insights on self-publishing and formatting and content and whatnot! If you feel like sharing my exciting self-publishing news with your respective friends/family/bloggers, I would obviously be incredibly appreciative. I would even bribe you with a free copy of the ebook, but … well, it’s already free. Cheers!

Categories: My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Sword and Laser Short Story Anthology — REJECTED!

In a tragic turn of events, the short story I submitted to the Sword and Laser Short Story Anthology competition didn’t make the cut. Obviously I wish my story had made it, but I’m not too torn up about it — can’t expect to win the very first short story competition you enter, after all! That would just be silly. And awesome. But mostly silly.

For all wondering, the short story was a whimsical fantasy rambling of mine entitled The Numismatist. I was thinking of posting the entire thing here, but I think I might try entering it into a few more competitions, so you’ll have to make do with a teaser excerpt instead:

Pounding his fist against the dented metal door, Mr. Quimbly shouted, “Anyone in?”

“Just a moment, if you please,” a voice rumbled from inside.

The door squealed open of its own accord, and a huge, gleaming claw attached to a scaly green appendage nearly the size of Mr. Quimbly’s entire body reached out. Mr. Quimbly yelped, stumbling back and nearly dropping his file.

“Forgive my rudeness,” said the same deep voice, and the claw retracted into the darkness. “I didn’t mean to startle you, little manling. Do come inside. I’ve already put the kettle on.”

“I—I’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you,” said Mr. Quimbly, preparing to run.

“It isn’t, actually.”

The claw shot back out, hooked around Mr. Quimbly’s waist, and yanked him inside. Lying in the middle of the dimly-lit warehouse was a massive green dragon. Its iridescent viridian scales contrasted magnificently with the small mountain of gleaming gold coins on which it was nestled.

“Good heavens,” said Mr. Quimbly. “You’re a dragon.”

“Well spotted,” said the dragon.

The Numismatist — Michelle Proulx 2013

There you have it! As you can imagine, the situation rapidly deteriorates into silliness now that Mr. Quimbly is stuck in a warehouse with a dragon. I’ll probably give it another read through, maybe make some minor edits, and then send it off to another competition. I figure I have to win something one of these days if I keep entering things, right?

Never give up! Never surrender!

Unrelated link of the day:

This is so cool. Seriously. Go to this site and mess around for a bit. It’s really awesome.

http://weavesilk.com/

Categories: My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Book Review: 2 Novellas by Keri M. Peardon

In this latest self-published book review, we turn our attention to fellow blogger Keri M. Peardon, who has written two delightful little novellas–The Last Golden Dragon, and The Widow.

The Novella

The Last Golden Dragon

The Genre

Fantasy/Romance

The Author

Keri Peardon graduated from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA in 2001 with a B.A. in History and a strong background in creative writing. She is a life-long resident of Tennessee and is currently employed as a legal assistant to a private-practice attorney. In addition to writing, she is active in medieval re-enacting and does too many handicrafts.

The Plot

Aine, a young Irish peasant girl, is looking for the last golden dragon. Whilst wandering about the mountains, she meets a handsome man named Eammon, who offers to take her to the dragon’s lair.

The Review

I thought this was a quick, sweet little love story. And the ending was adorable! I had great fun following Aine into the dragon’s cave and experiencing the adventure with her. Eammon was delightfully enigmatic, and his banter with Aine was quite funny. My one issue with this novella is that I saw the big plot reveal coming from literally the first page. Maybe I’ve just read too many fantasy stories, so I knew what was going to happen long before it did. Regardless, I definitely enjoyed The Last Golden Dragon, and recommend it to anyone looking for a light, romantic read.

The Rating

4 out of 5 stars

The Novella

The Widow

The Genre

Romantic Drama

The Plot

Ever since her husband died, Carol has been cooped up in her house. Her best friend solves this problem by signing her up for creative writing classes at the local community college. After her first class, Carol runs into a handsome local artist named Daniel, who offers her both coffee and sympathy. They begin to meet every week after her writing class, and eventually Daniel asks Carol to model for his next painting.  She accepts, and he proves to be the perfect balm for her wounded heart.

The Review

I loved this story. Unlike most romances, this one actually had a legitimate plot that kept me flipping the virtual pages to find out what happened next. I loved the author’s descriptions of the painting/modelling scenes. I could easily imagine Carol there in Daniel’s studio, posing silently as he brought her to life on the canvas with each brush stroke. Their romance is gradual, believable, and just wonderful to read.

The Rating

5 stars out of 5

Congratulations to Keri for writing such awesome novellas! Head over to her Smashwords page for more information.

Random tip of the day:

Forgot to lock your car, and don’t want to walk back? Car too far away for the remote to work? Try pressing the remote against your skull and pushing the Lock key. It gives your remote extra range, and I have no idea why.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Visual Writing Prompt + SpaceX

Picture It And Write!

M. Selene mentioned this very cool writing prompt thought up by Ermilia – check her blog out here. Basically, she posts a picture, and then you write a short paragraph of fiction about it and share it. I remember my grade 8 teacher used to make us do activities like this. I hated it back then, because I was in the eighth grade so what did I know, but now I’m psyched. Here is the image, and my contribution:

It was the first sign of civilization they had seen in days – a weather-beaten, clapboard house on a rough little island connected to the shore by a rickety bridge. As if they needed extra incentive, the clouds were catching up again. Within minutes they would cover the entire sky, and Darcy knew what would happen when the last gleam of blue was swallowed up. She refused to let that happen.

Grabbing Mikey’s hand, Darcy dragged her brother off the path and onto the splintery walkway. “It looks like it could fall down any second,” Mikey protested, digging his heels against the wooden boards.

Darcy continued resolutely across the bridge, trying to ignore the way it creaked ominously at each footfall. “It’s better than being caught out here when the clouds come,” she snapped.

Overhead, the skies had grown darker. The deceptively pleasant white clouds were now deepening to navy, and would soon be a roiling black. Only a sliver of blue peeked out from the distant edge of the horizon. It had happened faster than she expected. “Run!” Darcy screamed. This time Mikey cooperated, and together the children raced across the rest of the bridge and down the curving path towards the house.

Then Mikey tripped, not five meters from the partially-ajar door. Darcy, holding his hand, was dragged down with him. The stumble was a critical error. By the time the children had made it back to their feet, the skies had turned completely black. They made a desperate dash for the house, but the door slammed shut in their faces. Then the wind started to swirl around them, and the dark clouds crackled with malevolent energy.

They were too slow. It was coming.

 SpaceX Update!

Ladies and gentlemen, the first commercial spacecraft – aka SpaceX’s “Dragon” ship – has officially docked with the International Space Station! The Canadarm was used to dock the ship, and now the ISS astronauts are floating into the Dragon capsule to claim their 1,000 pounds of provisions stored inside. According to astronaut Donald Petti, it smells like a brand new car. I wonder if they stuck in one of those pine tree air fresheners?

How awesome is the name “Dragon”? SpaceX apparently has a rule when naming things:

“They are named independently, the rule is names must be cool.”

What really fascinates me about SpaceX is the man who runs it – Elon Musk. He financed a huge part of the project with money acquired from his roll as co-creator of PayPal. He also started Tesla Motors, which is an electric car company. Spaceships, electric cars… I want to nominate this guy for president, or something. He’s the kind of person I want running the world. Focused on improving technology, making the world a better place – not starting wars, or selling junk food, or whatever multinational corporations spend all their money on these days.

Thinking time!

Say I gave you a billion dollars. What would you do with it?

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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