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Thread: captivated by dragons, why are you?

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Billycourty's Avatar
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    captivated by dragons, why are you?

    I love dragons, always have since I was a baby. It wasn't fashion or books that made me love them. I just always did.

    There are a lot of authors out there that write about dragons and I would ask you what lead you to them? Do you feel they exist somehow in the human conscious?

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    Jaymee

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    Girl Detective! TrixieBelden's Avatar
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    Are there any writers about dragons here? Speak up dragon writers lol.
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    Scribbler SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Would this thread maybe fit better in Science Fiction/Fantasy discussion forum, where other dragon lovers have been known to hang out?

    -Derek

  4. #4
    I think I am, therefore.... Royal Mercury's Avatar
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    It's odd to find a thread about dragons in the non-fiction forum, unless there is something that you know that I don't. They say that the bulk of the species on Earth have yet to be documented by people. Are dragons among them?

  5. #5
    figuring it all out hvysmker's Avatar
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    Have you though about a non-fiction book on dragons? At the very least, you'd enjoy the research. It might also give you story ideas.

    I wouldn't think believing in them is a part of human nature, but it's a world-wide idea. Mankind does seem to have an intrinsic fear of snakes, which is where I'd say dragons came from. It's not hard to mentally morph them to snakes with wings and/or arms.

    At the moment, I hear the idea came from dinosaur bones found during WayBack days. What would happen if a real dragon skeleton were dug up during excavation for a shopping center. One carbon-dated to the 1700s? Hey! An idea for a story.

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  6. #6
    little orphan anarchist Raventongue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrixieBelden View Post
    Are there any writers about dragons here? Speak up dragon writers lol.
    Me!

    First and foremost I think a lot of folks, readers and writers alike, are captivated by dragons because they represent the fantastical- everything your parents said didn't exist as a kid that you never really stopped believing in, or never wanted to.

    That said, I really write two kinds of dragons. In some settings I present them as formidable antagonists, as they have been in mythology and fiction for centuries. Here sometimes the allure is in how big and frightening they are compared to the hero, as a character who can slay a dragon and not pee their pants isn't someone to be taken lightly. Sometimes it's in what they symbolize- they may represent some abstract evil, or the sheer power of nature (earthquakes etc), or the MC's biggest (literally!) fear.

    But mainly when I write dragons they are intelligent (though still fierce), capable of communicating with humans beyond a growl, and capable of forming bonds with them. Here, a bonded dragon balances out the character they're paired with; mild-mannered protagonist and aggressive, blunt dragon, or grouchy MC and bubbly dragon, etc. Think of Jungian concepts (animus/anima for example).

    For loves of action, combat on dragonback is exciting to write or think about because the rules are so different from hand-to-hand, on horseback, trench warfare, etc.

    And if you like visual fantasy, dragons can be pretty, shiny, colourful and all that jazz. A guilty pleasure of mine, I must say.

    I'm sure there's more, but the overall point is that they're such a pervasive and enduring subject/concept and a lot can be done with them.
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  7. #7
    That hairy-handed gent
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    The closest thing to a dragon that has ever existed on Earth is probably the North American Tyrannosaurus rex and its similar cousins on other continents.

    Beyond that, I was wondering why this thread is in the nonfiction forum, too.

    caw

  8. #8
    careful...you'll end up in my novel RuthD's Avatar
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    Why T-Rex? It didn't breathe fire or fly.

    Pterosaurs were more like dragons. Pteranodons could have wingspans up to 30 feet, and there was a super-huge one called quetzalcoatlus which had a wingspan of 40 feet. It was named after the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. As far as breathing fire, we don't really know, do we? The oxygen content was higher back then--possibly so high that even wet vegetation could burn. Methane from their stomachs could have caught on fire when they exhaled ....
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    Benefactor Member Goldenleaves's Avatar
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    I believe that dragons, did exist. RuthD sounds right.

    There are stories about them worldwide so the probability is that the stories are based on fact. Modern man is frighteningly arrogant, believing we know everything in spite of being proved wrong on an almost daily basis.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Nogetsune's Avatar
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    In my main WIP, dragons play a central roll in the plot and one of the main characters in the story is, in fact, a dragon. Of course, you would expect this from a story called "Dragonspeaker." However, my take on dragons is different from most in the sense that I combine the "screaching/snarling beast" with the "intelligent dragon." Humans think dragons to be feral beast-like creatures with animal-level intelligence however, quite the opposite is true.

    Dragons are actually smarter then humans and higher evolved then them, so much that they are overflowing with magical power and able to literally cast spells AND talk to people in their minds. Most humans, however, are not magically gifted and thus are unable to understand and receive the dragon's telepathic messages so all most humans can get from them is roars and grunts, but the dragons can fully understand what the humans say(and can even mind-read to an extent.) However, some humans are born with enough magic to understand the dragons and thus can learn magic spells from them. They are known as, guess what? Dragonspeakers. Though dragonspeakers are EXTREMELY rare.

    Dragons are also central to the human society, as the human society in this setting is one that is in a constant state of total war fighting the "draconic threat" and dragons are the designated enemies of mankind that all humans fear due to the fact they wiped out most of mankind and the civilizations of old(which you later find out where our modern-day countries, since this world is actually post-apoc earth...though you don't find that out for a while). Also, it is an interesting note that the main antagonist of the story is an insane dragonspeaker who is within a position of power within the megacorp that rules the human society and believes himself to be a dragon reincarnated in a human body....to the point where his ultimate desire is to shed the "mammal carcase" that is his "prison" and become a real dragon. Of course he's also a master manipulator and nobody within the company really knows of his true insanity.

    Sorry about the tangent, I just really, really like dragons.

  11. #11
    Time Traveler mfarraday's Avatar
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    I've suffered from a stress related illness since last year and thinking about dragons, and writing (fairy tales) has been my coping mechanism. I can't explain why dragons attracted me so much. I guess when reality has shifted, in some ways, you look for symbols of that shift. And that's how a lot of my stories came to be.

  12. #12
    That hairy-handed gent
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    I like dragon myths and fiction about them (provided it's not too dreadfully clichéd). And the cultural mythology about them is intriguing, too.

    But, I'm by profession a paleontologist. Dragons are creatures of the human imagination, dwelling comfortably there with winged horses, unicorns, griffons, basilisks, cyclopses, sasquatches and the Ron Paul Presidency.

    caw

  13. #13
    figuring it all out
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    I have a few dragons in my novel. Okay hundreds but the one main dragon is named Shenlong who in Chinese mythology is a dragon of thunder, I chose him because he's unique and we all see dragons as fire breathing monsters.

    I don't believe they exist, I believe human beings have misinterpretaded dinosaurs into dragons a long time ago before science and people knew what fossils were. I love them because they are beautiful.

  14. #14
    Snarkenfaugister Friendly Frog's Avatar
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    There is a very interesting book by Adrienne Mayor, The First Fossil Hunters that I can not recommend enough for people interested in how humans have interpreted dinosaur and megafauna fossils through the ages and how those finds are tied in with mythology. Highly interesting and very well researched.

    That's about the closest I can get dragons to non-fiction.

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW
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    I think a possible rationale for this post to be in this nonfiction section is to explore the history of the fascination with dragons. I do know one thing. The European, Christian view vs the traditional Chinese views are vastly different. And no there is no desire for a theological discussion. I just want to point out, for the most part, in Western tradition dragons are bestowed a negative image. Witness St. George and Dragon. He is a hero because he kills the dragon. Conversely in the Chinese perspective dragons are images of good luck. Quite a difference in viewpoints. The only "dragon" I know of in real life is the Indonesian Komodo dragon. What ever makes your toes tap.
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  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW susangpyp's Avatar
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    In undergrad I wrote a paper defending Grendel's mom in Beowulf. It was one of my favorite papers. I'm not into dragons and never read a word of Harry Potter (nor saw any of the movies), but sea serpents are fascinating and have a rich history in fiction/non-fiction/mythology.
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