Critique Group – A Dragon Destiny

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A Dragon Destiny – by Hope

Thunder rumbled in the heavens, and a flash of lightning lit up the earth below for a split-second. Rain pelted down, drenching all in sight of the storm. A large silhouette perched at the edge of a cliff, it was tall and erect, like the statue of a lion. It was a dragon. Its scales were as dark as night, and its eyes were a piercing blue. His gaze drifted across the ravine below, searching for the item which he had lost. With his night vision, he should have found it immediately, but the rain was messing up his senses. Convinced it was not in the deep gorge, he spread his wings and leapt into the air. As he flew, he searched the land under him for the item.

Griffin trembled as he lay still in the ravine, he had cleverly covered himself with mud as a disguise from his pursuer. He slowly cracked open an eye to look above. The black dragon was gone. Griffin stood, still nervous, and jumped into the nearest alcove of rock, where he could at least stay a bit dry. He started wiping the mud off his gray scales with his talons, before thinking better of it. The other dragon could still be around, watching his every movement. Instead, he huddled closer to the wall and pulled his wings around himself, shivering. At least he had escaped from his evil cousin’s clutches, but for how long? Looking around scaredly, he pulled his wings tighter around himself and started to cry.

The next morning, Griffin woke to a chirping sound. He poked his head out of his wing-blanket and curiously looked around. Groups of robins, finches, and many other kinds of birds were flitting about, cheerily communicating to each other in their peculiar language. The terrain around him was muddy and wet, but that didn’t stop the birds. To them, it was the end of the dark and the beginning of a new day, a new, glorious day. Griffin smiled and stepped out into the sunshine, wishing it would last forever. The events of the night before were forgotten, thrown away like an old toothbrush. He smiled as he gazed upon the splendor of the new morning. This new dawn symbolized a new, free life for Griffin, not one where he was locked up his whole life in his cousin’s dungeon.

“Psst!” Griffin jumped at the voice which seemed to come from behind him. He turned to look at the voice. A light blue dragon was poking her head out of a nearby bush. “Hey, you! Come here!” she whispered.

Griffin tentatively stumbled over to her. “What?” he whispered. The other dragon didn’t answer but pulled him into the bush next to her. She peered up at the sky, warily.

“Who are you?” Griffin asked her. She slowly pressed a talon to her lips and then pointed to her ear. He recognized the signal and listened intently. A faint sound of wing-beats was coming closer. Griffin lowered his head as a patrol of dragons swooped over their bush in the direction of the forest.

After the other dragon was sure that they were clear of danger, she turned to him, smiling. “My name is Clover. What’s yours?”

Griffin, still slightly uneasy, responded, “My name is Griffin.”

Clover gasped. “Oh my goodness! You mean like Prince Griffin?! Are you him?” Griffin curled his tail shyly, nodding. “What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be in the castle with King Nightingale?”

Griffin pressed his talons together, “technically yes… but I wanted to see the country.”

Clover lowered her brow, “You know, rebellion isn’t exactly the most wanted quality for a king.”

“Well, he wasn’t exactly treating me fairly.”

Clover shrugged. “anywayyyyy… you probably shouldn’t be out here. Not all the people like the King, and that would cause dislike for his heirs as well.”

“Well I can’t go back. At least not right now.” Griffin argued.

Clover sighed, “Come with me. I’ll take you to my dad.” She looked at his mud covered scales. “but first, let’s clean you off.”

 

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4 replies

  1. Hello!
    I enjoyed this piece. You have an exciting opening, and the plotline you’re setting up seems to have a lot of potential. That said, there are two main things I’d like to comment on:

    1. Your opening is, as I said, exciting, but it jumps around a lot. First we’re looking over the scene in general, then we’re in the searching dragon’s head, then we’re in Griffin’s head. I found this pretty disorienting, and I think that revising so we either stay in Griffin’s head the whole time or else move straight from overview into Griffin’s head wold be helpful.

    (Side note on that bit of the scene: I like that you had him think to stay muddy to help with concealment. It’s sensible, and it reassures me that your character is actually intelligent— that sounds bad, but given how many books open with characters making stupid choices, showing me up front that your MC has a brain and can use it is super helpful.)

    2. Maybe I’m just missing some backstory, but why does Clover jump straight from “You’re out of the castle” to “REBELLION!”? Disobedience, yes, but rebellion, especially in a fantasy setting like this one, has connotations of more than just a prince disobeying whoever’s trying to keep him inside the castle.

    (Additional side note: I’m guessing that your villain is King Nightingale, and I’m going back and forth on that, because on one hand, it’s not exactly terrifying, but on the other hand, it’s so ironic and I kind of love it. So, yeah. I think it can be really awesome if you get it right.)

    There are some wording-specific things I could comment on, but I’ll leave it at that. Overall, good start to your story.

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  2. The introduction felt scattered. First viewing the scene then taking POV of the black dragon then POV of Griffin.

    I love the imagery you used with some really dramatic discriptions. There’s on description that seemed a little odd though. “A large silhouette perched at the edge of a cliff, it was tall and erect, like the statue of a lion. It was a dragon.” Maybe its just me but using a lion to describe a dragon confused the image you were trying to convey. Perhaps just describing the silhouette as being still and imposing, etc. and not bothering with a simile would convey that moment best. Using the awesome storm that you’ve described might add to the imagery here.

    Overall I really love your imagery! That’s so hard to make sound good outside of your head 🙂

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  3. Hope,

    This is an intriguing piece. I would continue reading.

    Here are some issues you should address:

    There are multiple point-of-view shifts.

    You often used adverbs that are unnecessary or would be better replaced by showing action instead of telling.

    You often punctuated dialogue incorrectly. You should use commas only with speaker tags, not with dialogue beats, at which time you should use periods.

    You sometimes reported motivations after reactions to the motivations. Motivations should precede reactions to them.

    I marked up your document with comments and suggested edits. You can see it here – http://www.daviscrossing.com/hopecritique.docx

    If you have any questions, please let me know

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