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Posts Tagged ‘dragon’

Research can be a pill, but with the right attitude it also can be lots of fun (I imagine that Rick Riordan really enjoyed the research for his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series). I spent yesterday afternoon looking up a certain kind of monster that will appear in my third book, Xsardis. I first looked at images to gather ides for the structure of the monster. Then I used Wikipedia to gather ideas for its mannerisms. My research has only just begun but it was fun. The best part will be when I mix the legends, facts and my own imagination to create the monster you will meet in November 2011 (if all goes according to plan).

When I created Smolden in Issym, I knew a fair bit about dragons so I did not do as much research as I probably should have (back then I thought research was boring; I was wrong. It is like a game.) but I did use one source–the Bible. Job 41 does a really good description of the leviathan so I used that as a base.

My advice for research is not just to look at measurements and statistics but to read into legends and gather inspiration from pictures and conversations you have with others. Draw on what you found interesting, what caused dreams after you did the research. My dragon appeared in my dreams twice–just about scared me to death, but it gave me a better concept for him. I knew how he moved, thought, breathed and stalked. I knew the fear my characters would feel and their wonder at the mighty beast. Do not skip on research. Making your book believable is really important!

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The internet is not always good, but sometimes it is. People who do not know each other can unite to accomplish tasks because of the internet. Heroes in books are thrust into the same circumstances, are forced to bond with each other and then take on the enemy. But now we can choose to collaborate with people we do not know. On that note, check out of the song, Mathew 7. If it gets in the Top 5 views in the contest, its composer, Andrew Cunningham–a fellow rebelutionary, will donate $10,000 to a student-led missions organization. Most heroes have to give months of their lives to a cause. You just have to give a few minutes and be refreshed along the way. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAfych1zWsc

One of the hardest things for my generation of fellow teenagers (and everyone, really) is realizing that it is not okay to be passive. And further realizing that we are actually in a war. The first verse of Mathew 7 talks about problems and questions and selfish impatience–where the typical character starts out. Self-absorbed and yet aware that something is not right. The second verse says, “This is a me generation. I am selfish to the core. I want to put your kingdom first. I want to know you more. There is a battle that’s inside of me. God, I need the key to victory. And looking in Your Word is where I’ve found…” I will let you listen to the song to find the answer in the chorus.

The battle is raging around us and a few people and teenagers (like Andrew Cunningham) scattered across the world realize this. You do not have to step into a fantasy book to make a difference or to wage a war. Its waging around you and you are being drawn into it. Pick up your sword and fight! I may never fight a real dragon like the characters in my book, Issym. And I may never battle alongside a talking frog. But God has put me on this Earth for a unique purpose in a war that has raged for centuries and beyond and I had better do my job. But be encouraged by the chorus of this song because my God is a mighty God, Who is fighting right alongside us and never gives us more than we can bear.

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Another Francesca Battistelli song, Its your life, almost perfectly depicts where my character, Seth, was at the beginning of Issym. Having grown up in a Christian family, gone to church all his life, even attended Christian school, Seth was pretty good at doing the right thing–and not always just because he had to. But he could only go so long before he finally had to make the decision to give himself 100% to God or 100% to himself. Decision time came on Issym.

Verse 1: “This is the moment; it’s on the line. Which way you gonna fall? In the middle between wrong and right, but you know after all: (Chorus) It’s your life. What you gonna do? The world is watching you. Every day the choices you make say what you are and who Your heart beats for. It’s an open door. It’s your life.”

The entire continent of Issym was waiting for Seth to make that choice, but it was not about fighting the dragon, it was the every day choices. Walking through the open door was his choice alone. But wait! Wasn’t he a sports star, the leader of a Christian band, serving at his church… What more did he have to decide on?

Seth had to ask himself the second verse, “Are you who you always said you would be? With a sinking feeling in your chest, always waiting for someone else to fix you. Tell me when did you forget: (Chorus).” Was he who he always said he would be? Was he just meeting expectations or was he truly living for God? And suddenly he realized he was not where he should have been.

“To live the way that you believe, this is your opportunity. To let your life be one that lights the way: (Chorus).” Seth choice to let his life light the way–to live for God (and in the process fight the dragon.) This songs calls us non-fictional characters to do the same.

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