What do you think of when you hear the word “fantasy?” Does it make you think of magic and far off places? Heroes going on epic quests? Fantastical creatures? Dragons?
Years ago, I was reading advice published from a fantasy author to aspiring authors. Her advice to those wanting to break into the genre was to never write about dragons. Why? It’s overdone, she said. I remember reading this and feeling a bit confused. Why shouldn’t fantasy authors write about dragons if they want to? Aren’t dragons a staple of the fantasy genre? Aren’t they popular for a reason?
I can also understand that some fantasy novels may throw dragons into their stories because of some sort of expectation that a fantasy novel or series should have dragons in it. I’m sure there was a point in time where every fantasy book had at least one dragon thrown in there are one point or another. After all, Tolkein had a dragon, so shouldn’t all fantasy have dragons?
Well, the answer to that would actually be no. And I think that is the beauty of fantasy, you don’t have to have certain things to have a successful novel. Authors are literally making it all up in their heads! They can do anything they want. So, you want dragons? Yes, have dragons! You want other mystical creatures, great! There are no set rules.
Now, you may think that you don’t want to read or write a book just like every other book currently out there. You want something new! Something unique. And why shouldn’t you? No one is forcing you to read or write about dragons but, admit it, you are a fantasy fan you and love dragons!
Like many other magical creatures, the role of dragons has changed over the years. At one time, dragons were only a monster to defeat, an obstacle for the hero to over come in order to carry on with his quests. Knights would rescue damsels in distress who had been kidnapped by dragons (because everyone knows dragons love maidens). They’ve gone from being evil or an enemy to companions and even gods.
I personally love to read novels about dragons. I’d love to read even more! Got any recommendations for me?
What are some of your favorite dragon books? Let me know in the comments!