Draco. Chapter 26. Hollywood Moments.

I forced myself to stay silent as jagged rocks raked across my back, pulling at my skin as I crawled through the crevice in the mountain. Marcus’ dragon had apparently dug deep before going into hibernation.
The hole grew smaller the deeper I crawled, eventually to the point where I could scarcely fit my arm through the last portion.
As silently as I could, I dug at the edged of the hole, attempting to widen it enough to reach the end. I was counting on the dragon being in deep hibernation. Otherwise, things were about to get really messy.
Very slowly, I managed to widen the gap just enough to squeeze my shoulder through. Praying I was at the end, I very carefully reach in the hole, feeling my way around the edges. This had to be gentle.
At first, all I felt was loose gravel, but a faint odor wafted through the hole. That was a good sign.
My heart beat fast against my chest as I dragged my fingers further along the hole. Then, suddenly, I felt the unmistakable touch of scales beneath my hand.
Even though I expected to find it, I still flinched at the touch. This wasn’t Claire. I didn’t even know this dragon’s name. But it was an important step to getting Claire back from Miguel.
Softly, I felt my way down the dragon’s slender body until I found its head. Then with a steadying breath, I closed my eyes and connected with the dragon.
Immediately, the dragon let out a piercing screech, bringing rubble down onto my head. For the briefest of moments, I saw through her eyes as she awoke. I felt the fear course through her as she spread her wings and used all of her remaining energy to grow in size.
Suddenly, everything shifted as the space around me exploded. Still, I kept my hand on her face, clinging to the prominent scale on her forehead.
I struggled to keep my hold on her as she grew. Shifting rocks threatened to separate me from her, but I managed to grab her shoulder with my other hand and pull myself on top of her as she emerged from the mountain.
Still screeching, she spun in the air, distressed as she attempted to free herself from me.
I kept my eyes shut, focusing all of my effort on projecting images of Marcus. I was trying to calm her. To show her I could be trusted, but the barrage of images seemed to only confuse her as she struggled against me.
Desperate, she plummeted back down to the mountain and slammed her back against the ground, flattening me beneath her.
I nearly blacked out from the pain as several internal organs exploded from the impact. My legs went limp, but I managed to keep my hands firmly around her neck.
As the dragon flew back up into the air, I felt my body snap back into place, my skin resewing itself over the regrowing organs.
Furious, the dragon tried again, flying even higher in the air this time before diving back at the ground.
Afraid of completely losing consciousness, I swung myself around her neck just as she landed. As a result, we both collided with the mountain as the momentum was enough to loosen my grip on her scales.
For a moment she was free of me, but she was too dazed to escape. Before she could fly away, I grabbed hold of her neck once more, swimming my body behind her wing.
With a roar, she tried to claw me off of her, but she struggled to reach me. With a mighty effort, she managed to tear at my legs, ripping my muscles apart, but I never let go.
Both of us weary, she let out a weaker roar this time before launching us back into the air. This time she dove back toward the ground while simultaneously shrinking in size, digging straight down into the surface of the mountain.
I clung as tight as I could to her body, but she grew small enough that I slammed into the ground… but I still had a hold on her.
Barely managing to stay awake, I pulled her back above ground, using my superior weight to leverage her to the surface.
As soon as I managed to pull her up, however, she grew in size once more, pushing herself to her fullest capacity.
I knew she wouldn’t be able to hold it long without food, but it didn’t matter. I was on my back on the ground and she was towering over me with malice in her eyes.
One last time I projected the image of Marcus, hoping it would break through her daze, but it had no effect. There was only one option left to me.
Suddenly, her jaws clamped down over me, making me her first meal in years. I was in and out of consciousness as she digested me, my body forming and reforming as it fought against her digestive system.
This was by far my least favorite part of fighting dragons.

———

I want you to try something. Take a second and think about a movie you haven’t seen in a long time…

I chose Sandlot (Spoilers)

Now, let me start by saying: we are all experts. Nay, gurus at taking in media. We are media gurus… most of us.
We know what a good story looks like. We know what we want in a story. And if it doesn’t deliver, it’s “bad.” That’s why movies such as The Last Jedi are so divisive. Your expectations going in to the movie determine whether or not you will enjoy it. Not because the movie is objectively good or bad, but because it either did or didn’t deliver on your expectations.
The problem is, we all have different expectations and desires when it comes to experiencing media.
If you hate dragons, then you are probably hating this novel. If you hate fantasy stories, then you definitely hate this book.
But there are universal elements to a story. And one of these elements is what I call “Hollywood Moments.”
Most people define Hollywood moments as the climactic moment in a story. And that could be the case, but I define it differently.
For me, Hollywood moments are those moments in your story that your reader will remember. They define your story. They are what your reader will remember years later after reading it.

So go back to the movie you chose earlier. What are the moments that immediately come to mind in the story? How does your mind summarize the movie?

For me, these scenes flashed through my mind when I chose Sandlot:

Stealing the ball from his dad’s room
Ball going over the fence
The dog chasing him
The treehouse sleepover
“You throw like a girl”

And that’s pretty much it. You might think of different things, but those are definitely defining moments in Sandlot.

So, in your story, you want to make sure you have defining moments. Scenes that your readers will remember, let alone remember years later.
I know multiple writers that will go into a novel with virtually no plan except to incorporate different “Hollywood moments” together in their story.
Others will plan a general idea for a story and then, to determine what the plot should look like, they decide on their Hollywood moments and then plan around them.
By nature of this blog/novel, I haven’t done much planning, but I hope this chapter is one of those moments for this novel.
By allowing the dragon to devour him, he’s using the full range of his abilities, showing his courage and resiliency, and calling us back to think about the very first time we meet him in the novel. He does the very same thing of allowing the dragon to eat him in order to escape, but it doesn’t work. How satisfying if it works this time?
It’s also the first time we see someone attempt to Claim a dragon without the help of other dragons. PS. There’s also a ton of symbolism, but I digress.

The point is, make sure your story is meaningful. Elicit emotion, and make it count. These moments are the cornerstones of your story. If you take your time with these, the rest will fall into place.

Short Story: A Hopeful Sleep

Howdy, everyone. I didn’t have time to write a chapter this week so, instead, the following is a fictional short story I wrote for a competition. I hope you enjoy it!

It’s odd what one focuses on when staring down the barrel of a gun. My palms grew sweaty, my eyes twitching uncontrollably, but all I could think about were the smudges on the otherwise shiny weapon.
“I could polish that up,” I said, my voice shaking.
The man with the gun snarled, cocking the hammer. His hair was disheveled, his eyes wild and locked on my own. A police badge hung on his chest.
“Can’t clean it if I’m dead,” I said, trying and failing to lighten the mood.
“Stop,” he growled, shaking his head. “Just for once in your life, stop talking.”
“That’s not what you want,” I said, afraid to break eye-contact. “You can’t have what you want.”
My heart raced as the man tightened his grip on the gun, trying to steady his shaking hands. “Where is she?”
“I don’t know,” I said, my voice cracking. “I would do something if I knew. I’d save her. I’d save us both. But I just don’t know.”
The man fought to control himself, tears falling down his cheek. “Think,” he pleaded. “You know. You have to know. If you want to live, tell me where she is right now.”
“We’re out of time,” I said, breaking eye-contact with the man for the first time. “We lost. You might as well get it over with.”
I took one last look at the room as I accepted my fate. This was her room. My daughter’s.
Her bed was made with her favorite pink comforter and princess pillows. I’d made it for her after she’d been taken, preparing the room for her return. I’d been a fool.
The man observed the room with me, meeting my watery eyes after sharing a brief moment of grief.
“It’s over.”
“They could have been lying,” he said, his gun still leveled at my face.
“We couldn’t take that chance,” I whispered.
“So what am I supposed to do?” He yelled. “Should I pull this trigger, then? End it?”
“We could have stopped this,” I said, defeated. “We just had to find her.”
“We should have gone to the station,” he said his gun shaking. “They might have found her.”
“We couldn’t risk that either,” I said. “It had to be us.”
“But why us?” He asked. “Why take her? Why not just kill us in the first place?”
“I don’t have an answer. Twenty-four hours and still nothing.”
“It had to be about revenge,” the man said, his breath quickening.
“More than revenge,” I said. “Humiliation.”
“And you can’t think of a single lead!” He yelled. “Who hates us that much?”
“It could be anyone. We’ve put away hundreds of felons.”
“But who’s on the outside? Who’s been released? Anyone recently?”
“They’re all on parol,” I said. “They have bracelets. GPS Trackers. It’s none of them.”
“What about their families?” He asked, grasping at straws.
“It could be anyone,” I said again. “We have no leads. Just pull the trigger. End this.”
Just then, my cell phone rang, vibrating against the petrified wood of my daughter’s nightstand.
I took one last look at the man in the mirror before picking up the phone.
“Hello?” I said, laying my gun down on the bed.
…“I’m about to do it.”
…“No! Don’t touch her. I’m doing it,” I said, throwing the phone on the bed. I knew I wouldn’t get another chance before they started hurting my little girl.
Shaking even more than before, I picked up the gun, staring at the mirror. There was a camera behind it. They had watched my every move from the very beginning.
If I left the room, if I contacted anyone, they’d kill her. The only way to end this was by killing myself, and they would know the moment it was done.
A note lay in front of the mirror, a blank space still awaiting my signature. Cold, almost unthinking, I signed it, my mind thick with fear.
The note explained that I was a dirty cop. That I’d taken bribes and arrested innocent people under orders from a local gang. Nothing specific. Nothing I could tie to any specific case. But it would be enough to force a re-trial for every case to which I’d been assigned.
I couldn’t hold back tears any longer as I removed my badge, placing it next to the note.
My body shook as I raised the gun to my head, and again my mind was fixated on the smudges along the barrel of the gun.
Allowing myself one last moment, I pulled a cloth from my pocket and cleaned the smudge from my gun.
It felt good to do something productive. A feeble fruitless last act, but an act all the same. And so I cleaned the whole gun, attempting to take control over the last tiny portion of my life.
And then it happened. The gun went off in my hands.
Fear and sorrow brought me to my knees, my body convulsing with sobs as I realized I was still alive.
It was only after I settled myself down enough to stand, that I noticed the bullet had destroyed the bottom half of the mirror and the camera behind it.
“No,” I said, stricken with fear. “No, no, no, no, no!”
Crawling up to the mirror, I shoved my face against the glass. “It was an accident. You have to believe me. Don’t hurt her! If you can hear me, please don’t. I’m about to do it. I’m doing it right now,” I said, picking up the gun.
What if they can’t hear me? I thought, the cold tip of the gun brushing against my temple.
Panicked, I reached for the phone only to stare at the blank screen. But what if they think I’m already dead? Calling them would give it away.
Heart thumping, I looked back at the mirror. “Can you hear me?”
I waited, body shaking with anxiety. Then I spoke again, louder this time. “Please call me.”
Nothing. They can’t hear me. “Don’t hurt her,” I whispered. “Please don’t.”
Dropping the phone, I began to pace around the room, the gun shaking in my hand. They wouldn’t assume I’d killed myself, would they?
“No,” I said, beginning to hit myself with the butt of the gun. “They’d send someone to make sure.”
I continued to pace around my daughter’s bed, crippling sobs threatening to overtake me. “What do I do?” I whispered.
“End it,” someone said from across the room.
Startled, I snapped my gun up. I didn’t recognize the man.
“Where’s my daughter?”
“Far from here,” the man said. “If you want her back, you know what you have to do.”
“Why?” I asked. “Why are you doing this to me?”
“I don’t know any more than you,” he said. “Only that you must end this. Now.”
Slowly, I turned the gun on myself, but I couldn’t keep my hand still.
“You do it,” I told the man, lowering my gun.
He shook his head. “Be a man. Surely you want to see her again?”
“I can’t,” I said, defeated. “Why did you have to take her?”
“I didn’t take her,” the man said, his voice somber.
“Why did she have to go?” I whimpered, rolling into a ball on the floor.
“Because of you,” the man answered. “It’s your fault she was taken.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” I said, tears pooling on the wooden floor against my cheek.
“No man is innocent.”
“I’m a good man,” I whispered.
“Are you?”
I didn’t respond, afraid of the truth. Eventually, I lifted myself to my knees, prepared to beg for forgiveness.
“I cheated on my wife,” I said, head bowed.
“And she left you for it,” he said.
I nodded, cradling the gun in my hands. “I still loved her.”
“She was right to leave,” the man said.
I nodded. “She was too good for me. She trusted me.”
“And then you lost her baby.”
“I didn’t lose her!” I said, rising to my feet. “She was taken from me.”
“And you allowed her to be taken,” the man said.
I shook as I looked into the man’s dead eyes, setting with rage. Suddenly, I screamed as loud as I could and pulled the trigger, shooting the stranger until I ran out of bullets.
The rest of the mirror shattered, falling to pieces on my daughter’s floor. Still shaking, I lowered myself to her bed, dropping the gun on top of her pink comforter.
Dead inside, I took the picture from her nightstand and held it in my lap. The three of us looked back at me, smiles lighting our faces.
Our daughter had been missing one of her front teeth at the time, but her smile was all the more beautiful for it.
My wife had been happy too. There was no resentment in her eyes. Nothing held back. I had ruined things for all of us.
In a moment of lucidity, I realized I was losing it. Hanging on to reality by the barest thread of string.
And then I realized I was wasting time. Someone was coming, and I needed to be dead when they arrived.
I carried the picture over to the broken mirror, placing it next to the letter and badge. Ignoring the glass, I knelt on the ground, staring down at the picture as I raised the gun to my head.
I could hear movement outside the room. The sound of yelling and shuffling feet. I was running out of time.
Terrified, my finger trembled over the trigger. I tried to pull the trigger. I swore I did, but my finger wouldn’t move.
The noises were getting louder. “Pull it,” I whispered. “Do it!”
I pulled the trigger just as the door opened, the adrenaline of the moment shocking my body into action… but I was out of bullets.
“George?” Someone gasped, yanking the gun from my hand.
I didn’t respond. I couldn’t respond.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing!” She said, pulling me to my feet and spinning me around to face her. My ex-wife.
“Catalina,” I said, “what are you doing here?”
Her eyes were wide with fright as she examined my shoddy exterior. “Please don’t tell me you were about to… to kill…”
“I didn’t want to,” I said, trying to calm her down. “But I have to. They took our little girl.”
“George,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes. “That was weeks ago.”
“No,” I said, “there’s still time. I just have to kill myself before they hurt her.”
“George,” she insisted, holding me by the shoulders. “Ruthy…”
“Let me do this,” I begged, feeling oddly calm. “I need to do this for our girl. For you.”
“You can’t,” Catalina said, her mouth trembling. “It’s over, George. You’re alive.”
I shook my head. “You don’t understand.”
“No,” she said, looking into my eyes. “You’re confused. Let’s get out of here.”
“I can’t go,” I said, gesturing toward the shattered mirror. “They’ll know.”
“George,” she said, increasing her grip on my arms. “It’s okay. We found them.”
I blinked in confusion. “Found who?”
Tears rolled down her face. “The ones who… killed Ruthy.”
I nodded, trying to process her words, but she wasn’t making any sense. “Ruthy isn’t dead,” I said.
Catalina bit her lip, her face filled with turmoil. Then it finally clicked. Devastated, I lost the strength to stand, letting myself collapse onto the ground.
Tiny pieces of glass stuck my skin as I hugged the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. Catalina knelt beside me, her hands resting on my back.
“I’m so sorry, George.”
“George?”
I tried to open my eyes, to move at all, but my entire body had become frozen. Immobile.
“Can he hear us?” Asked a familiar voice.
I tried to respond. To give any kind of sign, but my body wouldn’t comply.
“You should assume he can. Hearing is the last brain function to deteriorate in coma patients.”
Coma? I thought. Who’s in a coma?
“George, it’s me. It’s Cat.”
Cat! My lovely Catalina.
“You stupid stupid man,” she whispered.
I know. I should have saved her.
“How could you do this to yourself?”
I needed to save our little girl.
“If you had died…”
Am I not dead?
Silence.
“There’s someone who wants to see you.”
“Daddy!” Cried a little girl. My little girl.
Ruthy! I’m so glad you’re okay.
“Be careful with him, Ruthy.”
I can’t feel anything. Why can’t I feel her? See her?
“What’s wrong with daddy?”
“He’s really really tired,” Cat said. “So he’s taking a very long nap.”
“When is he gonna wake up?” Ruthy whispered, worried about waking me up.
My heart ached to reach out to her. To hold her.
“When he gets stronger,” Cat whispered back. “But this isn’t like a normal nap. This is a special nap because even though he’s sleeping, he can still hear you.”
“Really?”
“And I know he wishes he was awake because he misses you very much. Why don’t you give him a hug?”
I laid still, trying to concentrate. Trying to feel my daughter’s hug, but I felt nothing. But when she spoke, I could feel her closeness.
“I love you, daddy.”
The breath of her voice filled my ears, and for a moment I could feel the warmth of her embrace.
I love you too, baby. And one day I’m going to wake up for you. I promise.

When I sat down to write this story I had no idea what it would be about. My only thought was that it would fun to tell an entire story through a monologue. Two hours later I finished this story.

Even though I wanted to write a monologue, it was important to experience actual relationships at the end in order to give life to the main character’s emotions. I had to sacrifice my original idea for the good of the story, because character is more important than ideas, no matter how short the story.

I hope you liked it! Back to The Immortals next week.

Draco. Chapter 24. Taking a Breath.

The day after the fire we buried the girl’s mother along with the rest of the deceased townspeople.
The girl became non-responsive after that, unable to do anything but eat and stare at her old broken home.
Every so often I would try talking to her, asking her questions, but she never spoke a word. She rarely even made eye-contact with me.
Jade spent most of her time collecting food. Whenever she returned with an animal, she would shrink and keep her distance from the girl.
By the second day, I found myself getting anxious, unable to do what I needed to and unwilling to leave the girl alone.
Eventually, I decided to make myself useful, making my way toward the girl’s house. When I first started moving through the ashes her home, she tensed up, watching me with haunted eyes.
Very carefully, I began cleaning up her house, clearing out the ashes with my hands.
For a while she just watched me. And then, slowly, she joined me, scooping up the ashes in her tiny hands.
Together, we cleaned the house of the remains until there was nothing left but two walls and a makeshift bed.
As soon as it was done, the girl collapsed onto the bed, immediately falling asleep despite the still waning light of the sun setting over the mountains.
For a while I watched over her from a distance, fighting off the exhaustion threatening to overtake me.
As the moon began to peak out from behind the clouds, Jade returned with a rabbit in her jaws, dropping it next to me.
Mentally, she signaled that she’d already eaten for the day.
I nodded, lost in thought as I picked up the rabbit. Finally, I made a decision.
Leaving the rabbit behind, I impressed onto her the image if the three large rocks on the side of the mountain.
She nodded her head, prepared to take me there.
I felt guilty leaving the girl by herself for the night, but I held onto hope that would get back before she woke up.
Suddenly feeling rushed, I hopped on Jade’s back and had her fly to the rock formation near the top of the mountain.
The temperature dropped significantly as we rose through the fog, emerging into the crisp mountain sky. Snow covered every peak, dead trees lining most of the range.
It wasn’t long before Jade dropped down next to the room formation exactly where I took her before.
“Good girl,” I whispered, petting her neck.
“Rocks?” I asked, pointing to the three huge stones.
Jade grew a little larger and set her shoulder against one of the stones, showing it as hard as she could until it finally flipped onto its side. Behind it, a sliver of a hole was visible, the rest of it covered by the other stones.
I asked again for the second and third stone and she did the same thing, moving each one just enough that the hole was uncovered.
Altogether, the hole was about my size. I knew it would be. Marcus and I always had been about the same size and shape. At least, we had been until he lost himself.
By the time I found him he was already under Miguel’s care, withered and being used for entertainment along with another Immortal I’d never met. It was in the attempt to save them both that I found myself imprisoned along with them.
In the end, I wasn’t able to help them, but I had managed to communicate with Marcus the same way we communicate with our dragons. And over and over again he showed the same image; his dragon underneath three large stones.
“Go back to the town and watch over the girl,” I said, picturing the girl asleep in her bed. “I’ll meet you there when I can.”
Jade nudged her head against my hand before taking off, flying back down through the fog.
I let out a long sigh as she disappeared, safe from whatever dangers were to come.
I’d claimed countless dragons through the years, but rarely by myself.
“This could take a while,” I mumbled, beginning my slow crawl through the hole.

———

If you read a lot of books, then you know what it’s like to grow attached to a character in a story. In some cases, they may even seem more real to you than actual people.

How does that happen?

There are many reasons story characters feel real, some of which we’ve already discussed in previous chapters. But one of the best ways to make sure your character feels real (to both you and your readers) is to give them a life outside of the story.

The plot technically begins with the inciting incident, but your character begins long before that. (Recall that your character is the most important part)

So what is your character’s story before the plot?

What were his motivations?

What are her quirks and passions?

What would they be doing if they weren’t going through whatever they’re going through?

In Draco’s case, we’re still discovering all of these answers, and that’s largely what this chapter is about; Taking a breath with Draco before he moves the plot forward.

Surprisingly, these “breaths” are often what people remember most about stories. They allow us the chance to connect and commiserate with the characters, giving us an emotional connection to what we read.

This is why some of the greatest classical movies have such simple plots. They weren’t worried about coming up with some complicated story. They were determined to tell a character’s story and they told it well.
So take your time with your characters. Make them real. Don’t be afraid to give us moments with them. It’s those moments that your readers might remember forever.

(FYI, The format of this Blog/Novel is such that I have to move really quickly at times and don’t take nearly as many “moments” or breaths” as I normally would. Definitely take your time with yours.)

Allie. Chapter 19. Reader Immersion.

Allie’s mind swam, struggling to make sense of her surroundings. Panic rose up within her as she realized she couldn’t open her eyes. Then the pain kicked in.

She let out a whimper as a burning sensation threatened to overwhelm her. Images flashed through her mind as she drifted in and out of consciousness, her body on fire until finally, mercifully, the pain subsided, giving way to fitful sleep.

“You think she knew?” Frank asked as he threw Allie over his shoulder.

Serenity didn’t answer as she commanded her dragons to heel. She no longer knew what to make of the girl. They were currently alone in a field, the city a distant dot on the horizon. Serenity didn’t want any witnesses. 

“Leave us,” she said, gesturing toward the grass. 

Frank grimaced, but did as he was told, laying Allie gently on the ground. 

“I’ll call you when we’re done,” she said, dismissing him. 

Frank nodded, walking as far as he dared while still within ear-shot

Serenity examined Allie as she lay fast asleep in the grass. The hole in her chest had already completely healed, though her dress had been ruined. 

With a sigh, Serenity commanded Kal, her oldest dragon, to lift Allie in the air. Following her instructions, Kal lightly gripped Allie’s feet between his teeth and lifted her into the air so that she was dangling upside down in front of Serenity.

Moments later, Allie’s eyes fluttered open as she regained consciousness. 

“Good morning, daughter,” Serenity said, smiling politely. 

“Wha…” Allie replied, still groggy and confused. 

“And what a good morning it is to be alive,” Serenity continued, overly cheery. “In spite of everything, I am happy that you’re alive.”

Understanding began to dawn on Allie’s face. “The fight…”

“You took quite a wound in the city,” Serenity said. “A mortal wound to most.”

Allie blinked, spinning slight in Kal’s jaws. “Something hit my chest.”

“A big chunk of stone,” Serenity supplied, nodding. “It caved in your chest. And yet… here you are.”

“How?”

Serenity peered into Allie’s eyes, scrutinizing the girl behind them. “You know how.”

“I’m…”

“You’re Immortal,” Serenity finished for Allie, watching her for a reaction. 

Allie seemed completely stunned, her eyes wide as she mouthed the words over and over again. 

“I’m curious,” Serenity said. “Did you really not know? Surely something in your past would have indicated…”

Allie shook her head, looking pale with sickness. “Can you let me down please?”

“Can’t do that,” said Serenity. “We have matters to discuss.”

Allie blinked rapidly, trying to keep focused despite the rush of blood to her head. 

“When did you first learn who you were?” Serenity asked, tense with anticipation. 

“I didn’t know,” Allie said, her voice strained.

“Which faction are you with?” Serenity asked, grinding her teeth. 

“Of Immortals?” Allie asked. “I didn’t know there were factions.”

Serenity studied Allie’s face before finally turning away, pacing back and forth in front of her. 

“There are only two,” she eventually said, a distant expression on her face. “My faction is scattered, using our powers to deliver justice to cities around the World.”

“I’m not with any faction,” Allie said.

“The other faction wages war against us,” Serenity continued, “so they alone can rule as they see fit, abusing their powers over everyone else.”

“I’m just a girl,” Allie cried, waving her arms. “I’m not with anybody and I know absolutely nothing. I just want to be free.”

“No,” Serenity chided, “you’re not just a girl. Not anymore. You’re important.”

“Immortal or not, I’m not important. I don’t want to pick sides.”

Serenity shook her head, a deep frown creasing her face. “It doesn’t matter what you want. What you do from here-on-out is important. If you run from this, you will be declaring yourself an enemy of justice and I will treat you as such. So this is your choice, Allie. Justice or war?”

Allie ground her teeth, feeling trapped in a corner. She found herself struggling to meet Serenity’s eyes as she slowly nodded. “I’ll join you.”

Suddenly, Kal dropped Allie on her head. She collapsed in the grass in a heap as her body readjusted to being right-side-up.

“Good,” Serenity said cheerfully. “Now run and fetch Frank for me, will you? It’s time to move to the next city.”


I’ve mentioned before about Tropes. for those of you who haven’t, Tropes are basically storytelling cliches that are used constantly in stories. The thing is, Tropes are Tropes for good reason. the key is understanding the reason behind the Trope rathe than blindly following it. 

In this chapter, I want to talk about the Trope of: 

“Wow! My seemingly unimportant main character turned out to be important all along! And they’re powerful! What are the chances?”

Turns out… pretty good.

Now, to be honest, I didn’t decide that Allie would be Immortal until a few Chapters ago. She didn’t have to be Immortal to be important, but I wanted her to be for one huge reason: Reader Immersion.

It’s all well and good to show off some fantastical aspect to your World: These people are Immortal, isn’t that cool??

But if you want the magic to feel real, you have to immerse the reader in it.

This means your main character, the one that’s feeling and experiencing the World for your reader, must feel and experience the magic. This, on a basic level, is accomplished through Draco being Immortal. And it’s because he’s Immortal that I didn’t HAVE to have Allie be Immortal as well. But she IS Immortal. Why?

Because Draco has been Immortal for a very very long time. Nothing is new to him. He isn’t surprised by anything. So, while experiencing the World through can still be fun, it’s missing something important… WONDER!

Allie has just discovered her powers. This means we get to explore the extent of her magic with her. That makes a huge difference in our experience as a reader. Suddenly there’s a sense of wonder involved when we read about the magic and we can get organic answers to the natural questions involved with the magic.

So don’t be afraid of making your main character important. The reader experiences what your characters experience. So why not include a little wonder?