Brenda Drake Blogfest Entry

Okay, folks, it’s time for another Brenda Drake Blogfest Entry.  Yay!!!  For those of you interested in learning more about this event, you can find out all about the blogfest here.

With that said, here are the first 250 words of my novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King.  I hope you enjoy and I can’t wait to read all the other entries!  Please feel free to leave your comments here!

Title: In the Shadow of the Dragon King
Genre: YA Fantasy

“Nightmares are terrible enough when they invade the safe confines of our dreams  They are even more unpleasant when they decide to hang around like annoying house guests and wreak havoc on our conscious minds”.Islabelle Fenton, The Imaginarium Solarium

Chapter 1

David Heiland put the final touches on the amber, cat-like eyes staring back at him from his drawing.

Just like in his nightmares, the dragon clung to the castle’s battlement, a body clutched in one talon. Small horns jutted from the top of its head and two leather-like whiskers protruded from both sides of its snout. Crouched in the shadow of a turret were a man and a woman. Their arms were raised like shields above their heads, terror etched into their eyes and mouths.

Charlotte leaned in from behind, her arms folded across his shoulders. “That is so creepy. I can’t get over how real it looks.” She kicked off her shoes and climbed into the center of the carved, four-poster bed. “Who are those two people supposed to be?”

“My parents,” David said, adding a few lines to the beast’s tail.

“No way. That’s so twisted.”

No kidding, David thought, slumping back in his chair. “You know, it’s funny.  When I was a little kid, I used to have all these amazing dreams of them being alive.  Now all I dream about is this and my mom telling me my time is nigh and I have to be brave.”  The drawing floated from his hand to the desk.


4 thoughts on “Brenda Drake Blogfest Entry

  1. Hi , thanks for sharing! Love fantasy…I am drawn into wanting to know -why are his parents dead, why is he having these nightmares, and why cant he stop drawing them!

    I would like to see more of David’s internal voice come thru here in the opening, so I can get a better feel of his angst.

    I think some dialogue could be briefer without telling us all through the MC’s eyes. ie. I might cut these 1st 2 sentences of his dialogue: “How do you think I feel? I used to have happy dreams about them.
    Perhaps start with “I know. In my dreams they are so alive..”

    Also, in some spots you might want to break up the sentences for more impact. ie. Crouched in the shadow of a turret were a man and a woman, their arms raised like shields above their heads, terror etched into their eyes and mouths.

    I would like to read more! Write on – and good luck!


  2. Okay… Here’s my two cents.

    Overall, I love the change. I think this version draws you right into the story. I’m engaged, and NO! I’m not bored! Yea!

    A few suggestions: Minor: I’d split the first paragraph into two. It seems too long. I might start the second paragraph with “Just like in his nightmares” I just think it needs a pause for dramatic effect.

    “They suck even more when they decide to hang around like annoying house guests after the dreamer wakes” — Narrator intrusion — Stay in David’s POV. “Stay around like annoying house guests after you wake up” would be in David’s POV.

    “a human body clutched in one talon” — Cut the human. I think a “body” puts the correct image in everyone’s head. We don’t know yet that there are other “things” in your world.

    “When I was little, my dreams about them were happy” — I don’t know why, but this doesn’t sound natural to me. This bothered me the first time I read this revise, too. You might want to re-think this line. I can’t quite place it, but something isn’t right. “I used to have happy dreams about them.” Might sound better. Try saying that line out loud. Does it sound right to you?

    I just re-read the first three sentences. I feel like it is changing tense. It starts in the present tense (First two sentences), and then switches to the past (Third sentance). It sounds just a touch off to me. This is obviously the narrator talking, and it’s great writing, but I don’t think we ever hear the narrator like this again. I think this is Narrator intrusion, since the rest of the novel is done inside a character’s voice. This is a great opening, though, and I’d hate to see you lose it. It may work if you set it off in italics, and centered it, or did it in italics, and then left a space before you’ve switched to David’s POV. There is definitely an awkward switch there right now.

    Once the dialog starts, it is stronger. Darn those opening paragraphs!

    Good luck in the contest!


    1. Excellent ideas and recommendations and I have made said changes because you were exactly right. I like the quote set apart, too. I had toyed with that because of the ‘author intrusion’ thing, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it. As Islabelle Fenton is an author and dream expert (we never really know that about her in the book, but I know this as part of her character build), I just made it a quote from her book.

      Excellent recommendations, Jen. Thank you! Two thumbs up! 🙂


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