I was really interested in the way your books turned the narrative. In your first book, you had dragons completely vilified. These creatures nearly stole Earth from humans, they destroyed almost 7 billion lives, wiping out human society. These were evil creatures. However, then you moved into the idea that not all of them were evil. Some of them were benevolent or at the very least, repentant for their awful actions. Next, you went full swing, turning humans into the bad guys and making dragons the victims.
I’m just curious what, if any, development went into that and how you managed to make us all feel for the creatures that had almost wiped out humanity in your books? That’s not an easy thing to do.
It’s always a good twist when a writer can pull something like that off. When you can make people feel for a character they previously hated, it’s truly skilled writing. Say what you will about the writers of Game of Thrones… and there is a lot to say, they turned us from absolutely hating Jaime to feeling horrible when he died at the end.
For me, it was simply a manipulation of some fairly common human tendencies. Think about it, how often do people associate everyone who shares certain characteristics with those who cause problems as guilty by association? It happens quite often. So with the dragons, it doesn’t really matter that by the third book, the majority of the dragon populace were born after the Red War, they were the bad guys, and that’s all there was to it. However, Qira opened the door to give people pause. My challenge was to make her a good character. I didn’t want her to just be a damsel in distress, but I did want her to be an innocent. I wanted to see her be young and naive at first, but then grow to become the strongest character in the story, one that my readers would love.
She did all that and much much more. Qira was the damsel in distress, she was weak, naive, unable to defend herself, timid, and sad. As time went on and we see Radley slowly try to fight his demons and pull away from him, Qira became an integral part of that. She hardened a little, learned to fight, and was actually forced to contend with the truth of her own history. This made her even tougher.
By the end, she actually knocked out Raiya as the face of the Drakin series. I get more fan messages about her than I do any other character. So it wasn’t a huge stretch to then turn the dragons into the victims in the next book.
Anyway, I hope this answers your question! Readers, what do you think? Is it hard to change the narrative surrounding characters? How do you challenge these notions?
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
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