I had a dream!
When Martin Luther King said these famous words at his speech on August 28, 1963, he had spent days writing and rewriting the famous speech before hand, and yet these famous words were not a part of his planned speech—they came to him on the spot and became arguably the four most famous words in America history.
I do not profess to be treading in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, but I can say Gone Dragon started as a dream one night in June 2009. And that dream became the all-important midpoint for the story.
The dream became the midpoint.
At an author talk I did recently, I described this dream and how I came to shape it into the black and fire-laced book you have before you (you don’t have a copy yet? Quick! Click here!). In a nutshell, the dream was this:
“A knight risks his life to save a dragon.”
Everything about Gone Dragon grew from here. The scene itself evolved over time and eventually, the scene that became possibly the most powerful scene in Book I, also became the all-important pitch of the book:
“A young swordsman risks everything to save the life of a dragon. In return, he is gifted with the strength to save the world.”
The more I wrote, the more it became obvious this was to be the midpoint of the story. All events and challenges Magnus faces either gravitated toward this monumental scene, or grow out of it. What does this mean? To answer this, lets take a look at what a midpoint is and what is means to a story.
What is a ‘midpoint’?
The midpoint of a book is where something BIG happens to make the protagonist (or ‘hero’) move from reaction to action. That is, the hero transitions from reacting to their surroundings, to taking action to make things happen. For this to occur, the midpoint needs to be a powerful part of the narrative and becomes the catalyst to make the Protagonist take action.
Get to the midpoint…
In Gone Dragon, something really big happens forcing Magnus to take the bull by the horns, thereby changing the pace and style of the story. Also in Gone Dragon, Catanya is every bit the protagonist as Magnus (or the story would not exist!), and so the very next chapter of the book becomes Catanya’s midpoint—the point where she also commits to taking action. Magnus and Catanya remain in sync in many ways through their unique journeys, and I believe these important midpoint transitions reinforce this idea.
In Magnus’s case, he puts his life on the line to protect a dragon. It may sound like a spoiler to those of you not yet up to the middle of Book I, but the blurb on the back of the book alludes to this anyway! So, lets take a look at this blurb and see how the midpoint (which you will remember happens to also be the ‘pitch’ I stated earlier) comes into the story:
Below is a picture of the back of Gone Dragon - Book I. This is Book I’s ‘blurb’. The first part describes the reactionary stories of Magnus and Catanya leading to the midpoint. The midpoint is underlined here in orange.
Following their midpoint scenes, you can see Magnus and Catanya must respond by taking action. Not wanting to give anything away in the blurb, I have suggested here, by way of questions:
What will Catanya decide to do?
What will Magnus decide to do?
Catanya has a midpoint of her own.
Wait a minute, “Catanya isn’t there, when Magnus risks everything to save the dragon.” Correct—she is not. By this stage, Catanya has faced many of her own obstacles and questioned her own commitment to her role as Irucantî. In the scene following Magnus’s midpoint confrontation, Catanya makes an important commitment to the dragon priests. This is her midpoint.
Magnus and Catanya both emerge from their respective midpoint transitions having made commitments to the Couldradt Fire Dragons. How important were these commitments? Well, they are important in more ways than one and for both of our heroes, they lead to a plethora of challenges. As the final line of the blurb states:
One cannot deny a blood oath with a dragon…
Click here (or Right Click & select 'Download') to open a printable PDF version of this Journal entry.I hope you continue to enjoy the Gone Dragon journey!