Tag Archives: Skyrim

For Love of Dragons

Hey everyone!

Lately folks have been asking me something: why dragons?  Why The Sword of Dragons?  Why Star Trek Dragon?  Why do I love dragons so much and include them in most of my writings?

It’s difficult to trace back exactly where my fascination with them truly began – to me dragons are integral to fantasy, and I’ve loved fantasy all of my life.  But what truly made me fall in love with them?  One dragon, one movie, stands out above them all for me:

Image Source - Google Images
Image Source – Google Images

None other than Draco from Dragonheart :D

I was just a kid when I saw this movie, and I instantly fell in love with dragons.  Mind you for me, this was the most unique take I had ever seen on dragons at the time.  Before Dragonheart, I had only seen dragons as evil killing machines that hoarded gold and kidnapped princesses.

But Draco?  He was good to the very core, wise, caring, and passionate.  And my image of dragons changed forever.  And yes, this meant I became almost obsessed with dragons for a long time….perhaps I still am, heheh.

If you were to come over to my apartment, you would see the usual: couch, TV, bookshelves filled with both novels and movies…and then you would also see dragons.  Dragons everywhere.  On the book shelves, in a display cabinet, paintings on the wall.  Dragons are pretty much a part of my life.

I have a print of this painting hanging above my fire mantle :D
I have a print of this painting hanging above my fire mantle :D

And that is why I include dragons in most of my writings.  Why my fan fiction was named Star Trek Dragon, featuring the USS Dragon, a large, graceful starship with an exemplary crew.  Why my first attempt at a novel was called Star Dragon Legion, which evolved to Sword of the Dragon, eventually to become The Sword of Dragons.

It is also why Star Dragons are portrayed as the most powerful beings in the universe in The Sword of Dragons, pure of spirit and heart, the only species that comes close to a polarization between good and evil.  In a universe where everything is grey, they are pure…as are their counterparts, the Dark Dragons.

Types of Dragons – Why European?

This is a wyvern, not a dragon. Art by http://a3raziel.deviantart.com
This is a wyvern, not a dragon.
Art by http://a3raziel.deviantart.com

If you’ll bear with me, I’m going to step onto a soap box for a moment – dragons have four legs.  Not two.  They aren’t giant lizard-bats.  While I usually won’t actually say something out loud, when I see creatures like the one featured in The Hobbit, or the ones in Skyrim, called dragons, it bugs me.  Two legs and wings means wyvern, and four legs and wings means dragon.

The two legged variants always look and move with far less grace than their four-legged counterparts.  They look clumsy.  On the flip side, they generally stay low to the ground when walking, and this can look menacing, so I can see why it is a popular choice for ‘evil dragons.’

Artwork by an unknown artist
Artwork by an unknown artist

Having said that, I’ve also had long discussions with people about why I prefer European-styled over Asian.  And the simple truth is aesthetics.  Not that I don’t like Asian-style dragons, I have several statues of them, too :D  Not to mention, there may or may not be an Asian-style ‘dragonkin’ species that’ll be introduced sometime in the Sword of Dragons series ;)

asian-dragon2In this case, it really is a matter of personal preference, and I’m not entirely sure I can qualify the underlying reason.  And it is also important to note that just as there is a very wide array of styles for European dragons, so too can it be said for Asian styles.  There are styles of European dragons I like over others, and the same is true about Asian styles.

With all of that said, ultimately for me it comes down to one important factor: how much thought was put into creating the dragons?  Are they portrayed as mindless killing machines, or as intelligent, complex life forms?  If it is the former, I’m not a fan.  If it is the latter, then you’re likely to hook me.

Which Are Your Favorites?

toothlessWhile Draco will forever remain in my heart as the best dragon out there, there have been a few others that I really enjoy too.  Second only to Draco for me is Toothless :D  I love that little guy, he has so much character and personality for a dragon without speech!  Also, for all of the movie’s shortfalls, Saphira from the Eragon movie was such a gorgeous dragon, and Rachel Weisz was the perfect voice for her :D

I’m curious to know what everyone else thinks.  What style of dragon do you prefer?  Why?  Who is your favorite dragon?  I love hearing from you all, so please comment below!  :)

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

Guns vs. Swords – Writing Modern Fantasy

Hi everyone!

Tonight I wrote the climactic scene of Chronicles of the Sentinels, and wow, what a rush that was!!

Image Source - www.fanpop.com
Image Source – http://www.fanpop.com

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten such a huge rush from writing the climax of a novel.  In fact, The Sword of Dragons – Burning Skies had a heart-pounding final battle between two massive dragons battling in the skies above two armies.  I hope to some day see some artist renditions of that battle, because I think it was pretty incredible and the images are iconic!

This brings me to another interesting aspect that I’ve become aware of over the last few days – the difference between writing battle scenes in High Fantasy and Modern Fantasy.

Guns vs. Swords

Image Source - Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Image Source – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Over the past decade or so, I have become accustomed to writing High Fantasy, and the battles involved swords, bows and arrows, Wizards casting elemental attacks, that sort of thing.

However, for Chronicles of the Sentinels, I have had to pretty much leave that behind.  While still a fantasy genre, Modern Fantasy is a whole other character.

Why?  Because in this day and age, battles are fought with pistols, automatic rifles, grenade launchers, and occasionally a knife for close-quarters combat.  Interestingly enough, I have more knowledge and experience using firearms than I do swords, so in a way it was something I should have been more comfortable writing about.

And yet, it was so radically different from what I’ve written in the past that I found I had to adjust how I wrote it.  At first I wrote those scenes like they were a military action novel.  Then I realized I needed to focus less on those aspects, and more on the characters and the action itself.  After all, my target audience isn’t the same as the Bourne novels’ audience (although those are pretty awesome books!)

Image Source - www.nexusmods.com
Image Source – http://www.nexusmods.com

On top of this, there was also the challenge of writing about modern technology mixed in with magic.  It’s not uncommon in High Fantasy (Skyrim anyone?) but enchanting an automatic rifle?  What happens when you do that?

I’m sure my novel isn’t the first one to have done this, but I’ve never ready anything like it before.  My initial thought was to go out and read how other writers did it, but then I thought, “No.  No, I don’t want to emulate other authors, I want to do this my way.”

I’m pleased to say I think it turned out pretty great :)  However, we’ll see if my opinion holds when I go through my proofreads…

In any case, I hope this is something quite original and intriguing to readers.  I love to capture readers’ imaginations, like so many novels have done for me in the past :D

Chronicles of the Sentinels Update

The final climactic battle took place in chapter 23, which leaves me with only 2 more chapters to write tomorrow :)  Keep an eye here for that announcement!

Word Count: 69,238
Page Count: 213

Good night everyone, thanks for reading!  :)
-Jon