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The Dragon Mistress, Pt. 2

Sun, 27th November 2016

Work on THE DRAGON MISTRESS is coming along nicely. I'm now 60,000 words into the first draft, out of the 100,000 I'm aiming for. I'm also around two-thirds of the way into the story (maybe a bit less), and I can tell this is going to be a longer book than THE CURSED MAN. I originally had three POVs in the novel: the protagonist, Alysha; one of the antagonist's; and the dragon himself. Interestingly, I found while I was writing the dragon's POV that I was straying back into Alysha's. This made it clear to me that I was preferring to show the story from her point of view, rather than the dragon's. Therefore, when it comes to the the rewrite, I'll be cutting the dragon's POV out completely.

One of my aims when writing this novel was to attempt to create a strong female character. I wanted the lead to be someone who didn't just sit around and wait for things to happen, but was headstrong and proactive. It could be easy to think that this could be handled by making the girl quite fierce and a great warrior, but I didn't want to portray her as someone who was constantly grumpy, and went around punching men in the groin to prove her value. That's more of a behavioural attribute, rather than a personality trait. In fact, I've shown Alysha to prefer to avoid violence as much as necessary; she would rather not kill anyone, and feels regret about having been forced to do so whenever there was little choice in the matter.

While looking for examples of strong female characters, I, of course, found myself coming back around to one of the most well known: Ellen Ripley. In both Alien, and Aliens she proves herself to be capable, compassionate, and level-headed when under pressure. She faces up to the danger as needed, rather than cowering behind the marines and the other male characters, and still cares for all those around her. She didn't give up on Newt when she was snatched by the xenomorphs, either. Hell, she even went back for Jonesy, her cat, in Alien..!

I know how the the story of THE DRAGON MISTRESS will continue to play out from here, and I'm sure that Alysha will prove herself to be very capable indeed. I'm not seeking for her to be celebrated on the same levels as Ellen Ripley, Katniss Everdeen, or Buffy Summers (those are certain very lofty expectations), but more to be acknowledged as a character who is willing and able to step up and do the right thing, without waiting for someone else to do so.

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Mon, 22nd October 2018

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