Why do Dragons fascinate us so much?

For as long as people could write and think up stories, Dragons have been in existence. Some people believe that they once flew the skies for real, others hold differing opinions, from those who believe them to be pure fiction, to others that believe that they are creations from the imagination with origins a little more mundane. There is no doubt that creatures once existed on earth that you could easily mistake for a dragon. The Megalania Prisca (otherwise known as the giant ripper lizard) was apparently able to reach a length of over seven metres. It ate medium to large sized animals.

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Today, living large lizards, such as Monitor lizards would still give you a nasty shock (and much more) if you were caught alone with one in a dark alley.

For my mind, dragons at some stage did exist, but perhaps we have romanticised them somewhat and crafted them to fit our stories. After all, Dragons fly but not lizards. However, there are close cousins to the species that ‘jump’ large distances, gliding between trees. Birds are the mammalian version and distant relatives to lizards, so further down the evolutionary tree, lizards do really fly once they evolve from a cold blooded to a warm blooded species. It is an interesting debate and the very existence of such magnificent beasts existing for real is quite thrilling. That is why I believe that they fascinate us so much. They are also known for their intelligence. For example, Varanid lizards have been proven to possess the ability to count (at least up to the number 6) from various feeding experiments. Intelligent, powerful and deadly? A successful recipe for an age old fascination.

Dragon_Henry Wagner 1925 death of author plus 100 years

When can you let go of a book and move onto the next one?

Having published Book One of the Nemedian Trilogy, I was wondering if I am unusual in having difficulty in ‘letting it go’ and moving onto the next one in the trilogy.  The trouble is, if you are really passionate about something, it is never perfect and you are always tempted to make changes to ‘fine tune’ it.  It could eventually become something that you never stop wanting to fine tune but when do you say that ‘enough is enough’?

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This is probably a very difficult question to answer as each piece of work will differ, as will the number of people involved in reviewing your work or contributing to the final product. This can also include issues such as book covers and general artistry. To my mind, the most important thing is to listen to your ‘gut instinct’. It will tell you when you have something right and you will then feel the call of the characters beckon you forth to continue their story. Book Two is now underway, so that is certainly a good sign.

Why do some books and movies create miserable endings?

Hello Everybody,I guess I have a query to which I would love to know what everybody’s thoughts are.  Why do some authors and movie makers think it’s a good idea to create a decent book or film and then (in my humble opinion) go and spoil it by having a miserable ending?

To me, this leaves a sour taste in my mouth. 

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Spoiler alert **Movie Arn: The Knight Templar (2007) ** after trial and battle after battle he looks healthy and is even chatting with his sweetheart after the final battle then flips over and dies within the last two minutes.  What a disappointment.  It doesn’t have to be all fluffy, but miserable ‘and then they die’ endings turn me off completely and actually angers me quite a bit. Lets have some intelligence injected in decent endings. He was the healthiest looking dead man I’ve ever seen.

Writing Books: The Crazy Obsession of Words PER MINUTE (we are not secretaries!)

Hello everybody and firstly let me wish you all a very Happy New Year.

O.K., lets get down to the reason for the title of this particular new post.

As an author, I am both amazed and rather irritated at the unhealthy (and misleading) obsession with word counting.

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What exactly do I mean? I hear you saying that it’s perfectly reasonable for new authors to ask what the average (or expected) length for their type of book for their genre should be. I agree entirely. These are perfectly sensible and intelligent questions.

What I am actually referring to is the number of people who fixate on how many ‘words per minute’ or ‘words per day’ etc they write. Most of the time, novels by first time authors with an enormous word count are likely to be either full of extensive exposition or other unnecessary text. Now don’t get me wrong, their books may well be good (in most part) but I get a clear sense that many state their enormous word count figures as something to boast about rather than feel ashamed of.

For myself, I find it difficult to write a page a day that I am satisfied with. I am able to write at great speed but what comes out is often poorly crafted. I edit and re-edit my text before I feel satisfied enough to move on. I don’t waste words or use additional ones just for the sake of it. Ernest Hemingway once said that all he did was ‘sit at a typewriter and bleed’. His books are so concise, so perfectly crafted. No extraneous text or verbose prose. It was almost surgically concise but with lots of soul. I just wish that more blogs concentrated on quality rather than quantity and guided new authors along that path. There’s nothing worse than boring readers with spaghetti text now is there?

Thomas Mann made this point very succinctly:

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people”.
Essays of Three Decades (1942)