Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Useful Dragon

There was a blog post a short while ago warning writers "Don't Fill Your Plot Holes with Dragons". (if someone finds the link, let me know and I'll add it). The writer made excellent points about realistic and unrealistic ways to deal with plot holes.

Just for fun, though, think of the advantages of using dragons.

Your character needs to be in a different location. Don't worry about climbing into a car or taking a train. Call a dragon.

Your main character is in danger with no way out. After cursing at yourself for writing yourself into a corner, remember your friendly dragon. Let him appear and scare the skin off of whatever is imperiling your character.

It's a cold night and your character is freezing. Hello, dragon! A bit of fire, if you please. Problem solved.

Your character has a deep secret, which you alluded to many times, but never actually figured out what it is. Solution? He has a pet dragon.

The dialogue drags. Talk about the dragon.

You discover your main character is, in fact, rather hum-drum. No one with a dragon is hum-drum.

Your main character needs a sidekick. How cool would a dragon sidekick be?

Your plot needs more conflict. The dragon can turn nasty.

Best of all?

Your main character is stuck in a deep hole. Oh, dragon??


  1. Reminds me of that great movie "Pete and the Dragon" that I remember watching in the theater with my grandmother. Fuzzy memories, but the kid had a rough life...until the dragon came along!

  2. Elizabeth; I have fuzzy memories as well, but it just goes to prove that dragons can be useful creatures.

  3. Oh, so that is why J.K. Rowling did it?

  4. I knew there was something missing from my story! Now I have to go back and add a dragon. How does my code crack solver her hardest code? A dragon comes and scares the key out of the villain. There's a chase through the forest, my dragon comes and picks up my MC and destroys all the bad guys with his fire breath. I knew something was missing...


  5. Clarissa; See how useful they can be? You've got the right idea! Thanks for adding to the fun.

  6. I think my dragon is very philosophical. She is tired of being considered flamboyantly flamable and has taken up crewel work. She likes to talk about the good old days and is willing to appear scary if needed but not really do anything. She has dentures but hardly anyone knows that.

  7. Jan; It sounds as if your dragon is very comfortable in her scales. That's admirable. Dragon-power!

  8. Oh, I love this, Elspeth! How about this? Your character is a rotten cook and can't roast food? Helloo.....dragon..... ; )

  9. Wonderful! I'm off to find a dragon.

  10. A dragon is definitely the way to go. Great post.

    Thoughts in Progress

  11. Awesome! That dragon's going to have a lot of fun in Steampunk England :)

  12. Margot; YES!! Dragon to the rescue. Has own barbeque; will travel.

    Carol; Good luck. Sometimes they hide. Look for caves.

    Mason; Thanks! Never discount the usefulness of a dragon.

    Jemi; He could disguise himself as a steam engine. Dragon incognito!

  13. Hmmm... Maybe dragons are really what are depicted on the Narmer Palette. If so, I could totally use them in my WIP! Dragons and ancient Egypt go together, right?

  14. Dragons! Of course! I KNEW something was missing in my new novel!! ;)

    Marvin D Wilson


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