December 2017 I went from trying to finish Kai's story to work on Pyromage. I've finished Kai's story and also The Silent Road which leaves me to finish Pyromage before I feel I can move onto another story. Even though I've posted THINGS I'M INTERESTED IN WRITING here.
But Pyromage needs to be done right. I love this story and want to make it great.
So, I went back and looked at it. I found it needed more. I'd been doing Homura's POV but I realized others needed to be brought in so that readers could see the connection between everything.
I went from one POV to George RR Martin.
There are now four characters that have vital roles so that readers don't get blindsided by events. When I read sometimes I think─well that would've been nice to see the ramp-up so that I knew what the hell was going on. I'll be on a part and then WHAM! I'll get hit by a writer going George Michael's trying to create a plot-twist that doesn't work.
By-the-way, plot twists are highly over-rated. Predictability doesn't make a story boring. Suspense is key. It's about the drama. The action. The struggle. Tension.
If there is tension a story can be predictable and still be great. Not all the elements need to be in a novel. You can have one thing missing and still have a best seller─CHANGE MY MIND!
I'm firm on this notion. I see so many ruined novels, movies and tv series obliterated because the writers thought they were going to blow everyone's mind with this plot twist.
All they wind up doing is pissing EVERYONE off.
Don't you people know that audiences like a predictable story? They just want to be wrapped up in the drama. The tension is what keeps their mind off the ending. A satisfying finish is too hard to find these days already and now you want to cock tease us with your stupid twists?
You know what I say to that...
Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't know how this machine worked.
I don't want to do a stupid fling surprise on my readers. I don't mind the how are they going to get together after this!!! type of twists as long as they make sense.
True life is stranger than fiction. I've heard your stories and some are something nobody would think of. Truth lies in ridiculousness, sure. But let's not go twilight (Twilight Zone or otherwise).
In that respect, I have a small excerpt that may or may not remain. In fact, this will most likely change significantly in its final form.
As usual mistakes are my own.
This isn't edited.
Everyone's a critic and going to email me why I'm a horrible this that and the other. I don't care. Blah, Blah, Blah...
Just know this. It's still copyright.
Excerpt from WIP title: Pyromage
No part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted without written prior permission from the publisher. This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, events, incidents and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
This is a totally unedited chapter. It may or may not stay the same after final edits and it may or may not remain in the story.
If you find any grammar, spelling or punctuation errors, please let know via the comments!! I may not get to them right away, but I will get to them. Thank you!
If you are totally lost & would like to start at the beginning of (working title) PYROMAGE, click the button below.
WARNING! PYROMAGE IS PART OF THE DARK HEART HEROES LINE AND CONTAINS NON-CONVENTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MEN.
Even council members didn’t escape sheepherding duty. I didn’t fight the chore. Getting out into the open, where the winged flew, the miles of ocean spanned in an endless horizon and the breeze playing with my tattered robes, freed me of thought.
My brother’s cutter was due but hadn’t arrived. Patrols such as mine warned of the blue and white sails upon the horizon. His rations the only indication he was still alive. That and his notes. The enchanted, crewless boat arrived periodically, every available space filled with food, water and the list of items we asked for, leaving with whatever we thought he could barter. Wool, salt, and glass were a bulk of our trade.
The dragon we called home would be forgotten as a mountain if my brother didn’t fulfill his quest. At times, I was sure Aleenia herself did not remember we were crawling within her folds. Our mesa above the sea. Prison and sanctuary. Protector. Enslaved but safe. We called it Narrows Peak.
Fluffy white bodies pressed their black noses against the tough mountain grass. Up this high morning dew collected on the only foliage able to live near the ocean. Which was Paspalum.
The sheep were brought inside at night not because of predators. Or rather, predators other than me and my people. There was nothing but saltwater as far as the eye could see. Our dragon island stationed out so far from land there was nothing to hunt them. Except dragons.
Funny how most drakes thought dragons of old were extinct. Especially since we lived within one. Especially since our kind came from dragons.
A metal clawed hand grasped over the ledge before me. The hand met with another. A broad chest and shoulders rose over the bluff. The armored suit adorned by one of The Chintan, one of The Four, gleamed in the bright sun. His helmet mask was artistry of a snarling half-man half-dragon. I’d never seen his actual face. Nor did I ever hear his voice. I didn’t even know his name. But we communicated just fine.
No. That was wrong. I spoke. He listened. Not that I commanded him.
As one of the four Chintan he did what he well pleased. Including following us out here in the open.
“You’re getting needy.” I held an arm out to help him up. He didn’t take my offered hand. Typical. “Am I so irresistible that you can’t wait till I return?”
In salt air his armor could rust. Considering there wasn’t a single part of him not covered in mail, it might cause him trouble.
The Fire Chintan did not answer. Not in words. His seven-foot frame sloughed inches from my nose and heaved.
“Not built for stamina, are you?” Not being tall nor short, I stood at an even six-foot.
He tilted his head as if to retort, but still, there were no words between us.
Then, the Fire Chintan did something unusual. He grabbed my arm.
“What?” I pulled back.
No answer. Not that I expected one. We had a certain amount of repour, but he’d never tried to touch me before.
The Fire Chintan pointed out into the endless waste.
“Yes.” I smiled. “It’s the ocean.”
That irritated him enough to palm the back of my head and point my eyes down his long, muscled arm to a disturbed part of the expanse.
Ocean current pushed and pulled, rolling the sea, like worms under a blanket. One of those rolling swells gained in size and speed. And it was headed for Narrows Peak.
“It’s just a wave.” My voice sounded calm, however, my eyes darted around, counting sheep. How many were still out?
My self-appointed guard shook his head emphatically and tugged at my sleeve.
“I can’t leave the sheep.”
He waved his arms in a universal sign all drakes knew as a flying dragon.
“No. It couldn’t be.” Denial held me fast, but The Chintan pulled me forward so hard my arm socket raged in pain.
The wave swelled higher and higher. Closer and closer. Until it grew into a column. A head sprouted at the top. Water formed into the unmistakable snout, fanned ears, and jaws of a Hydragon. Water dragon.
Yes. Apparently, the wave could be a dragon. It was a dragon. A Water wielder.
My brother should be here, handling this. He was the elemental Water drake.
We ran away from the wave.
Smart. The Chintan banked on hiding behind a ledge.
“Aleenia!” I tugged hard against his hold. “She needs to be warned!”
It didn’t seem to matter to him. The Chintan still pulled me along.
“Let me go.” There was no time for this nonsense. “Your cowardice is disappointing.”
At that, he stopped a turned back. His iron mask seemed to snarl even more.
Fine. I could nearly hear him think the words as he turned back.
The Chintan pushed me behind him and ran. Towards the Hydragon this time.
The wave was huge. High enough to crest over Narrow Peak. The grotto. Aleenia kept an opening for her charges that supplied us with air. For those too stir-crazy to remain within her crevasses they could escape into the open. Into the sun.
Everyone would drown.
“Get me to…”
My guardian charged over the side of the cliff—me with him. A ball floated in my stomach, jumbling nerves and dislodging my equilibrium. He ran so fast I couldn’t keep up. But that didn’t matter. I might not have wings, but I knew how to fly.
Caelum was, and would always be, within me. I needed my element more than ever. Especially as the Hydragon spewed sea water, charging for Aleenia, for Narrows Peak.
As The Chintan bolt down the inclined path to the grotto, my feet skipped two, three, then four of his paces. He was my anchor as I glided with him gathering the will for an elemental fight.
Aleenia, our safe-haven for decades, was in for a battle.
The Chintan knew it too. Fire engulphed his impressive battle gear. I had never seen one of The Four fight. Some called my influence over Wind impressive. His mastery over Fire impressed me. Flames licked over his body as an ever-moving shield. There was nothing natural about it. While I bounded in erratic precision, heat blasted my face. It was a wonder my robe hadn’t caught on fire.
Much like a tsunami using the current to build power for the oncoming wave, Water pulled away from the grotto opening, exposing part of Aleenia. The part of her soaked rock underside that hadn’t been out of the water since she first carried us from Casflamir’s war and made herself our home. Her legs and lower body looked like any coral reef. Water spilled out of cracks, indents and holes.
Temporary, she’d said. A place to hide from humans now that anything relating to dragons was a death sentence. My brother set off, meaning to make her words true. But he wasn’t here now.
The Chintan reached the bezel of the grotto’s mouth. No time. The Hydragon’s neck curved. Here came the blast.
My would-be savior tossed me behind the arch and from the corner of my eye, brightness shot out. Heat scorched.
Light… bright as the sun. I hid from going blind, lost in my helplessness.
The Sheep. Inside the deep cavern little black hooves skittered in the shadows. A few had made it back. Their fear of the burning sun, engulfing The Chintan, flashed in their eyes and highlighted the twist in their noses. Panic took them. White puffs bounced past Allenia’s snout. Her jaws so large, their white bodies could be mistaken for a flash of dragon tooth. But our Terragon, Aleenia deep in slumber, didn’t move. Down the corridor a handful of sheep ran to the stables.
The caverns deep bowels supported Aleenia. Not all of her. Just the more dangerous part. The head.
Her thick column of a tail, nestled under her jaw, raised her neck above the ground. She’d configured her body to give us great halls to gather and alcoves for privacy. No other drakes were here at the grotto. Few disturbed Aleenia save to place offerings. Plates of food lay in rows near her mouth.
Gray, craggy eyelids covered the black marble polish of her eyes. Though, that didn’t mean she was asleep.
“Aleenia!” I ran to her face. “Aleenia!”
“Wake up!” I pounded on her stone cheek. “Aleenia! Invader. Please wake up.”
I turned around, pressing my back against her cliff of a snout.
The Chintan still burned within his element. But his Fire wasn’t unfocused. The tendrils of flame reached out, protecting the entrance. The Chintan was impressive. Strong. Rumor foretold a Chintan was ninety-nine percent dragon. Even so, how long could he last against a Hydragon?
If he held off our attacker long enough, I might be able to wake Aleenia. But then what could she do?
Could she fight? Was she able to move after remaining sedentary for a century?
The light diminished. My Chintan valiantly held off the invader. But though Fire and Water were a perfect match for war, wind was the escrow between the two. As a council member it was my duty to protect my people.
I closed my eyes focusing on Elemental Wind. Caelum. Let’s play a game, shall we?
Games incited Wind. The secret was never to command. Always ask.
Light faded until a triumphant scream pierced the silence. The battle cry echoing in the chamber left Aleenia unshaken. The tip of her nose rested against the floor. Her deep breaths whirling around as if her snuffling would shield me.
A rush of water blasted The Chintan sending him careening into the walls. His body zigzagged with the current rushing into Narrow Peak.
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