A Brief Classification Of Dragons

Hello everybody! Welcome back to Fluff About Fantasy. Today, I’m going to try something new. We’re going to talk about dragons.

Dragons!!! Get excited.

Thursday night, my boyfriend and I were throwing around some ideas for fantastical short stories. I’m trying to get back on the fantasy writing horse after a very busy half a semester. We were swapping various ideas, and at one point, we settled on the discussion of dragons. I have always been fascinated by dragons. They’re a very protective mythological creature, and I’ve always seen their strength as something to be celebrated. Their physical form captivates me; I own five different dragon statues ranging from small, singular dragons to entire families in which the father’s wings surrounds his mate and his child.

I am also highly interested in the concept of dragon shapeshifters in which very sexy mortal men can turn into dragons in romance novels, but that is a story for another day.

Anyway, Daniel and I were swapping some awesome images of different kinds of dragons, and he mentioned that one of them was called a Leviathan. I had never heard of one before, and he gave me a basic explanation of the creature (see below!). But when he mentioned drakes later and I still didn’t know what he was talking about….

He pulled out a figurative blackboard (literally, in asterics. *pulls out a blackboard*) and said, “Cady. It’s time for a comprehensive training on dragons and classifications.”

I was so ready for this. It’s so much fun to see my boyfriend nerd out over things we can be fascinated by together. And I’m excited to share that information with you for your fantasy writing endeavors. This article will be a short list of the types that we discussed and some basic information. I’m hoping to expand it as I explore the topic more. But its current form will be a good list to start with and hopefully inspire you to write new stories or go do some research of your own.

Dragon Classifications: A Partial List

Chinese Dragons: In Chinese culture, dragons traditionally symbolize power and strength throughout Chinese mythology, folklore, and East Asian Culture. A variety of dragons can represent balance, intense power over the elements, and luck. Chinese dragons usually have long serpentine bodies and are often brightly colored. Although they are without wings, many have the ability of magical flight.

Leviathans: An oceanic behemoth, much like the kraken, in the form of a sea monster. Originates from Jewish belief and is referenced in the Hebrew Bible. Often depicted as an aquatic dragon. 

European Dragons: Usually consist of the modern conception of dragons. Large bodies, flaming breath, and reptilian wings characterize this form. In traditional folklore, these dragons’ blood contains magical properties that can poison or heal depending on the dragon or the story. Generally found in an underground lair.

Drakes: Smaller lizard-like creatures usually portrayed as wingless. An example of these would be the Komodo dragon, a minotaur lizard originating in Indonesia. Tend to keep low to the ground.

Wyverns: No forelegs or arms traditionally with a tail often ending in a diamond- or arrow-shaped tip. Faster, more aggressive than territorial as opposed to drakes and European dragons.

Nāga: Originates from India and is common to all cultures influenced by Hinduism. May have several heads depending on their rank. Traditionally have no arms or legs and more resemble large snakes, but the ones that do have limbs look similar to Chinese dragons.

Slavic Dragons: Resemble the European dragons, but are multi-headed. Represent evil.

My First Publication

I am so pleased to announce that I am officially published in the historical field. The World War I Centennial website is currently being archived by the US Government for future research and therefore counts as a professional publication. I am absolutely ecstatic. To be published in my field at my age is a huge deal, and I’m incredibly proud of this piece. Please enjoy!

https://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/communicate/press-media/wwi-centennial-news/6411-cornell-university-tompkins-county-ny-had-outsize-wwi-role.html

Author Update!

Hey everybody! For today’s post, I want to take some time to go over what’s happening in my life right now, both the writing news and the life news.

Chasing Fae is Complete!

Monday night, I finished my novel, Chasing Fae! It’s finished! I’ve done four different revisions on this book from first draft to the final draft (draft five!). It’s been a real learning curve, learning how to edit properly. I’ll definitely be pulling information on revising and editing your novel for a blog series for you guys because I had enough difficulty trying to figure it out on my own research. I did my final readthrough and grammar check over two days to make sure I caught any remaining mistakes.

I’m incredibly proud of this novel; it has been a long time coming to get from idea to where I am right now. I want to thank everyone in my life who has supported me throughout this journey: from my parents, to my little sister, to my amazing boyfriend, and all my friends over in the Writing Community. I wish I had the time to thank absolutely everyone who was involved, but you’d be here all day!

Next Stop: The Querying Stage

Starting Saturday, I’ll be sending out my first batch of queries. Six, to be exact. I’ve read that it’s good to send out between six and eight at once. I’ve already picked my first six literary agents to query to, and honestly, I’d be pleased to work with any of them. I’m feeling confident about my query letter itself; the professional editor thought it was very strong. Now, it’s all up to fate! Wish me luck!

My First Writing Conference

On Saturday, I will be attending the Chesapeake Writing Workshop right here in DC! I’m so humbled to have the opportunity to attend this writers’ conference. I’m going to be sitting in on various lectures from professionals on a variety of subjects on writing and publishing. I also have the opportunity to pitch my book to a literary agent for the first time and get feedback on the first ten pages of my novel, which is usually part of your standard query package. I can’t wait!

Professional Publication

I’m super excited to announce that this week, one of my articles I wrote at my internship is going to be published on their website this week! Because the website is being archived by the government, it qualifies as a professional publication. I’m so incredibly proud. To be professionally published in my chosen field of history at nineteen is crazy. I can’t wait to see it. Let me know if you want me to link it on the site!

Getting Geared Up For Fall Classes

I know it’s almost two months out, but I’m already getting ready for fall classes. This fall semester is going to be a big one for me. I’m declaring both of my majors, history and anthropology, which means I need to start thinking about who I want to be my advisors! That’s gonna be a difficult find. I’ve also got a really great line up of classes. I found a way to take three history classes because one of them is under the classics department. Sneaky, huh? (They don’t typically recommend doing that, but I know what I want!) I’m taking a Greek Civilization class, a class on the Crusades, and a class on historical method. I’m also continuing on with French while simultaneously starting German. Yes. I know I’m crazy. But hey, if I’m looking at grad school, I want a good head start.

Thanks for reading! See you on Saturday where I’ll be catching you up on what happens at the writing conference!

Third Draft Complete!

I am incredibly excited to announce that the third draft of Chasing Fae is finally finished!

I’ve had a decent amount of time on my hands after working at my internship during the daytime. I’ve had many an afternoon and evening to concentrate on making this book the best that it possibly can be. Major structural changes have been made that I believe really transform the reader’s experience in the world of the Three Realms. From character arc clarification, to new plot points, and a renewed sense of urgency in the storyline, the changes I have made make me very proud to be a writer.

I tried a new technique this time of working with two drafts side by side. I started an entirely new document for draft three and wrote alongside draft two, making large changes or copying and pasting between drafts. I felt like this really allowed me to watch the writing expand and shift directions. I could really see the movement of the story much better than any other revision technique I’ve used thus far. With a very clear to-do list in hand, I wrote and rewrote and wrote anew. The novel length increased by over eight thousand words. This puts it in a fantastic range for YA fantasy without going too far.

There’s nothing more invigorating than seeing your hard work finally come together on the page.

So what happens now?

I’ve sent off my book to three new beta readers who I’ve met through various #WritingCommunity projects. I’m going to give two of them a quick shoutout here since I know them well enough to do so: my wonderful friend, Hill T. Manner over at steamblogger.com (who I’m now collaborating with in admin on his site!) and the fantastic CJ Landry who I collaborate with over at All in the Pantheon. (She’s also just released a new poetry book, which I’m going to link here.) I’m super grateful to all of them for taking this on for me. I’m really excited to hear their feedback.

While I’m waiting to hear from them, I have a variety of tasks on my author to-do list! I’m going to spend some time working on the website to build up more of a following. (So if you’ve got some friends who you know would love this site, please send them a link!) I’m going to focus on Aphrodite’s storyline over at All in the Pantheon and make some decisions about who I want her to be. Finally, I’m going to work heavily on my query letter and my synopsis to make sure that those will be ready for querying this fall.

The writing never stops! But that’s what we love about it, isn’t it? We never have to stop.

Thank you for your constant support, everyone. Much love. <3

This Week in The Publishing Process: March 16, 2019

Hey guys! Sorry for the short (and late!) post today; I have been super busy doing logistics for next semester and this summer.

For most of this week, I have been lying in anxious wait for my boyfriend, and extremely helpful beta reader, to finish reading my novel. This week, especially on Friday, I have had such a drive to create. Having set aside my novel for almost a week and a half really put me in a creative mood. I kept bugging him to finish so I could get back to work!

During the week, I focused on my magic system. I had been working previously with only categories of magic, such as energy magic, elemental magic, and flight magic. I realized that I really needed to modify this system to make it more specific. More magic needed to be incorporated into my world to make the fantasy feel real. So I broke down each category into specific types of spells, specific magical actions that would fall under each category. After three days, I could see real progress in my magic system.

Feeling like the master of your story is very powerful.

I have also begun to look into literary agents. While it’s a little early for me to be looking heavily into this, I believe it’s a good idea to go into the querying process with your eyes wide open. Working with a guide that I bought a few months ago, I’m working on a master list of literary agencies and agents that I would like to query. I love to make organized lists of details; I’ve got a table going along with details of what needs to go into each submission package.

Something that struck me during that research is how diverse the submission packages can be. Some agencies want a query letter and the first ten pages, one wants a partial manuscript right off the bat; I even found one agent who wanted a query letter, first three chapters, a one paragraph pitch, and a list of similar books that could be comparable to yours. Who knew?! I can’t even fathom where to begin.

But luckily, it’s not quite time for that yet! 😀

Tonight and tomorrow, I’ll be receiving feedback on my book from my boyfriend, who has been incredibly helpful and critical so far. Tonight, as I write this, we’re working on revamping my universe’s economy (which could not hold up, let me tell you; I’m terrible with economics). Every comment he has made so far has gotten me to look at things in a new perspective, and I could not be more grateful for that. I will update you guys with the beta reading results once I sort it all out!

Thank you all again for following me on this wild ride. Much love. <3

Cady Hammer