Space is vast. Earth bound humans have little perspective on just how big it is.

Within 50 light-years of Earth are around 64 stars like Earth's sun Sol. More than 500 reside out to 100 light-years. At 500 light-years the count becomes 64,000. For all types of stars, not just stars like Sol, the count at 500 light-years is at least a couple of million.

Planets reside around these stars. Some of those planets are inhabitable. Some are inhabited. Many species. Many societies. An old species of interstellar explorers is found on many of those worlds, a species that we would call dragons.

Milky Way Galaxy
Earth, Risiria, Hanalei, Dystopia, Utopia
(marked starting in upper right-hand corner)

A work-in-progress. No publication date set.

Read Flash Fiction by Lester D. Crawford.

Lester D. Crawford Blog


2020-06-30
2020 Clarion West Write-a-thon

I’m participating in the Clarion West Write-a-thon again this year.

The Write-a-thon is a fundraiser for the Clarion West Writers Workshop. If you wish to donate to Clarion West, I invite you to go to my Clarion West Write-a-thon writer’s page and click on the Sponsor Lester D. Crawford button.

This year I’m working toward the completion of Fear Fallacy Friend, a story of a human and a dragon overcoming their differences to create a partnership that changes their world.

Clarion West Write-a-thon Badge
Clarion West Write-a-thon

2020-05-31
Continuing to Work on Overlapping Events

Moving through the overlapping portions of these two stories has been instructive. I experimented with different methods to keep the two stories in sync and found that simply opening the two documents side by side and stepping through paragraph by paragraph works best.

I’m also enjoying comparing overlaps between Tui T. Sutherland’s Dragonslayer and the two stories The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, #1) and The Brightest Night (Wings of Fire, #5). One difference between Sutherland’s stories and mine is in her stories, the dragons and humans (called scavengers by the dragons) do not speak a common language. In my stories, the language in the two stories is the same. That means I must keep the dialogue matching exactly even if I change the action beats to accommodate the different point-of-view characters.

This is a good exercise, and the stories are excellent. I am continuing to learn as I work on the project.


2020-04-30
Deep into Overlapping Events

In the process of writing the current story, the part of the story that overlaps a previous story has arrived. I’m having fun with it as I learn many things.

One lesson I learned is that approaching a scene from a different character’s point-of-view often reveals potentials for improvements in the original version of the scene. I’m using these revelations to improve the original version.

A second lesson is that sometimes information has already been presented in the current story and then the same information is presented in the original story in the overlapping portion. When that happens, repeating the information is unnecessary and undesirable. Finding a way to skip repeating the information without breaking the flow of the overlapping scene can be a challenge.

The third lesson is that dialogue needs to continue to match between the two stories or the feeling of the scenes being the same scenes from different points-of-view is lost. I find such differences to be irritating. I expect many of my readers would too.

Much work remains to finish the story. I’m sure I’ll learn more lessons along the way.


2020-03-31
Overlapping Events between Stories

I finished Dragonslayer by Tui T. Sutherland. I enjoyed the book. The story has three human point-of-view (POV) characters and a few scenes that are the human POV of scenes that were from various dragons’ POVs in the first five books of the Wings of Fire series. That overlapping of events was fun.

The first time I remember encountering overlapping events in books was reading The Masterharper of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. That book had Masterharper Robinton’s POV of scenes that in Dragonflight were from Lessa’s POV. I enjoyed seeing those scenes from different perspectives as well as seeing events in those scenes that were off screen in the other book.

I wanted to experiment with doing overlapping events between stories. At about the two-thirds point in my current project, the story overlaps a story I previously wrote. I’m not to that point in writing the story yet, but I look forward to delving into those scenes from a different perspective and providing details that were off screen in the first story.

I have a little more to say about Dragonslayer. A few spoilers follow.

I fell in love with the dragon Sky. He’s the human Wren’s friend and one of the main non-POV characters in the story. He loved watching snails and when he met his first baby turtle, he nearly fainted with joy.

“SO CUTE,” Sky warbled, near tears. He lay down beside the turtle and rested his head on his front claws. “I looooooooooooooooooooooooove it. Wren! Look at its little head. Look at its little feet! It is the sweetest, best little animal in the whole history of the universe.”

I also liked the dragon called Sweetface. Her actual name turned out to be Cereus (which is a type of cactus).

When Sky’s friend Wren spoke to Cereus in the dragon language, Cereus, believing humans can’t actually speak, said to Sky, “She makes dragon noises! You’ve trained her so well! That’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!”

When Wren told Cereus that she wasn’t making dragon noises, she was speaking Dragon and to stop being a dimwit, Cereus said to Sky, “Awwwwwwwmygoodness, I love her! I want to snuggle her and put little hats on her!”

Later, Sky told Wren, “You’re extremely lovable. Of course, you would be more lovable in a little hat…”

I enjoyed the interaction between Wren and Sky. That is the kind of connections I love exploring in my stories.

I recommend the entire Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland.

Dragonslayer book and library cup.
Dragonslayer Book and Library Cup

2020-02-29
The Magic of Characters Popping into Existence

While exploring the details of a scene where the protagonist is confronted by an antagonist and his posse, after the confrontation, as the defeated antagonist limps away, magic happened: a new character appeared. Her name is Nyxie.

The protagonist says to her, “Nyxie, why do you hangout with those people? You’re not like them.”

When the antagonist calls for Nyxie to come along, she hesitates before going. Later, in the kidnapping scene, when the antagonist kidnaps the protagonist and his family, Nyxie is with the antagonist. She finally has had enough of the antagonist’s antics and runs for help. She brings back help, but it’s too late, the kidnappers and victims are gone. However, Nyxie leads the rescuers to where the kidnappers took their captives. Then, she disappears from the story with an explanation that no one knows what happened to her.

Not revealed in the story is that Nyxie ran away. She thinks the villagers will be angry about her involvement with the antagonist and the kidnapping, and the antagonist will be angry that she had betrayed him. She decides the best thing to do is to go into hiding.

She travels into the Western Mountains, but is unprepared and inexperienced. She is soon ill, malnourished, and in general not doing well.

A dragon finds Nyxie and tries to help her by giving her grass to eat. Nyxie says, “People don’t eat grass,” which surprises the dragon. (This is a running gag in the stories on this world because for some reason the dragons think people eat grass. They’re always surprised to learn it’s not true.) The dragon persists, though, by learning how to care for Nyxie and helping her regain her strength.

Nyxie has only seen two dragons, but she thinks those two are representative of dragons. The dragon helping her is not like them. Nyxie thinks all dragons have a bronzy base color with red, green, and blue highlights distinctive to each individual with additional yellow highlights on females. This dragon has the red, green, blue, and yellow highlights, but the base color is a blue lighter than the highlights’ blue. Nyxie can’t say the dragon’s unpronounceable name, so she calls the dragon Sky.

Also, the dragon is small, like an adolescent dragon — about six meters long from tip of nose to tip of tail where as an adult dragon is about ten meters long. When Nyxie mentions this, the dragon insists she is an adult, she’s just small. Nyxie realizes the dragon is a dwarf dragon.

Nyxie suffers from self-esteem issues. She has a low opinion of herself, sees herself as flawed and inferior, believes herself to be unworthy of love, relies on others to guide her, and is drawn to people who mistreat her because it reinforces her negative self-image. She exists in a constant emotionally impoverished state.

Sky also has issues. While the dragons have never mistreated her — they accept her as she is — she knows she’s different and simply can’t accept herself. She too has run away to live alone; although, she’s an adult dragon and is perfectly capable of caring for herself.

When Nyxie and Sky meet and become partners, their love for each other helps each accept them self.

“We are worthy of love and we are loved.”

All of this magic happened in a brief moment as I explored the details of the protagonist/antagonist confrontation scene. The exhilaration was intense and is what makes writing addictive. Writing the notes about the ideas took a lot longer than the flash of insight that brought them. Now, if only I can find time to write the story. I have so many others queued up.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


Go to the Lester D. Crawford Blog Page