Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Writers' Guide
Or...something thought-provoking for your journaling today

I've been in the slow, arduous, horrific process of breaking up with an alcoholic who seems unable to understand why I want him out of my life. He's being "victimized," you see, despite the fact that he's a jerk when he drinks. (Hence the "get out of my life" necessity.) But I noticed something about myself this weekend when dealing with his obstinancy. I was acting quite obstinant as well. And this makes a great writer's blog because of this quote from Nietzsche:

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster...When you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."

How about that? Now, I'm not becoming an alcoholic. Far from it. In fact, watching this person's inability to stay away from liquor despite his desire to do so has soured me on the whole "I need a stiff drink" concept. You know how some days the stress just makes you want to chill out with a glass of wine? I don't really feel like chilling out with a glass of wine anymore.

I look at this person and see a shell of the person I originally met. It's like looking at a slumped-over creature that once was very full of life and vigor and an incredible sense of humor. The muscle tone and spring he once had in his step are gone. Depression from a job loss swung into a drinking binge that just won't stop and I'm watching this person, now back among the employed, making excuse after excuse after excuse for the booze in his life. He's fighting with a monster, and I'm going to stop fighting with him before his excuses and arguments and angry attitudes become mine.

And there's your journaling assignment for today. How do your characters fight with their monsters? Do they take on characteristics of the creatures they abhor? How do you keep the "good guys" pure when the "bad guys" are too close? How do we heed Nietzsche's advice and keep our heroes and heroines from becoming the monsters they fight?

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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