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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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Color My Dragon
Or...The Dragon discusses the importance of proper dragon coloring

Back when I was in high school, my dad gave me a book called What Color is Your Parachute? It was one of those self-help guides to help you figure out what you want to do with your life/career.

As a fantasy author, I use the concept when coloring dragons. You see, it drives me batty when authors put a couple dozen dragons together in a grouping, and then “color” them according to their jobs or skill set. This is insanity. A dragon should be colored according to its locale and climate so it blends into its environment. Camouflage equals long life, my friends. This is part of world-building.

Take our real-world dragons as examples. The water basilisk hides amid floating leaves and branches. He blends because he’s green and brown.

Bearded dragons have the colors of the sandy environments in which they live. Green iguanas hide their green bodies in green trees. Rock iguanas lounge their gray, brackish bodies among the dark rocks of the Galapagos. There are tons of examples of lizards using camouflage to avoid becoming prey items.

Those big ol’ dragons in our fave fantasy novels need to avoid slayers in much the same way. Green ones in the green trees; brown ones in the rocky mountains; white ones in the snowy regions. These dragons may get different jobs and skill sets, but would they all live together? Not if they come from different regions, right? In Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, readers’ favorite dragon Malachi is dark in color—purple, deep blue and black scales blend beautifully against the dark night sky. And guess what: He only comes out at night. It works.

So let me hear your opinion. What colors do you tolerate in the dragons you read about?

“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”
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