Monday, July 25, 2011

Do You Need a Dragon?


This post first ran on May 20, 2010. It's the summer. I'm rerunning!

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??

10 comments:

  1. And if you just discovered whilst revising that your MC is too stupid to live? Well, problem solved :)

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  2. Thanks for the rerun. I'm off to go hunt down a dragon for my WIP.

    Terry
    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

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  3. Elspeth - Oh, I loved this post the first time you ran it and I still do! Thanks :-). And hey, if your plot needs a diversion, so your main character can pull a fast one, dragons make excellent diversions.

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  4. Oh but you need so much space if you invite a dragon in. How about a miniature dragon? I think I'd like that. Useless but enjoyable. Hope you're having a grand summery time.

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  5. Sarah; You've discovered another use for a dragon! Well done.

    Terry; Remember, dragons come in all shapes and sizes.

    Margot; You're absolutely right. Dragons make fantastic diversions.

    Jan; Try a baby dragon; they're smaller but just as scaly. This past weekend was our first summery one. Today is still sunny, but only in the low 20s. Perfect.

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  6. Just don't invite two dragons. I hear they are as fertile as rabbits.

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  7. I actually did this last year during Nanowrimo. I had plans to introduce a dragon later, felt stuck, and thought -- hey this is my story, I can stick a dragon in Right Here if I want! And I did. And she turned out to be wicked cool, too.

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  8. What a hilarious idea. I think that maybe I could do with a dragon in my life.

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  9. Carol; Wise words.

    Kit; That's excellent!

    Rosalind; Welcome! I'm sure most of us could use a dragon from time to time. They just need to be trained.

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  10. I love this post! Saw the title on the sidebar and had to take a peek. Anything with dragons is great in my book!!!

    Dragons lend themselves to all sorts of fun in stories. I've always heard that when things are going slow in your writing, kill someone off. I think I'll revise that to "just add a dragon!"

    Jen

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