|Destiny shows me her dance steps|
Michelle said "Let it [the catalyst for change] describe itself--even if you've simply called it "emptiness" or "longing." She said, "Make sure to use strong language, especially verbs."
I perceived that the catalyst for change in The Dragon Slayer is "destiny," because he isn't the one who makes the decision to go slay the Dragon; he's chosen by one of the other noble warriors.
When I reread the first draft I felt that I had taken the suggestion to "use lots of action verbs" too seriously: the dialog below shows how I first imagined Destiny would talk to Dobrynya, the hero, who's been chosen to free the princess and the people of the kingdom from the twelve-tailed Dragon:
"I am Destiny. I am Fate. Hear my call summoning you. You've had enough time to practice, now it's time for the real thing. Get up! Listen! Act! (see my action verbs? ugh) Apply yourself! You have been chosen for this. Now is the right time!! (! do you think I put in enough exclamation points?!) I will give you strength and determination. I will stay with you; haven't I stayed with you all these long years? Now is the time to act, for you are very well prepared. Do not fear, but carry on!"
This dialog feels kind of like a kid getting yelled at by their mother. So I slept on it, and when I woke up I decided to change it. (This is one of the things I like best about writing, that we can change things.) I rewrote how I imagined Destiny would communicate with Dobrynya. (I kind of see everything in life as preparation for what comes next, like a puzzle where at the end all the pieces fit together to make a beautiful tapestry. In the story, Dobrynya has won many battles as a noble warrior, so one thought I had was that Destiny had been there for the ride all the way and she could take a gentler, more encouraging tone with this Dragon battle).
Destiny is patient, kind, and knowing. She has been riding with me all along. She sees and knows everything, so her eyes are important. She is beautiful, timeless; she wears the colors of the rainbow.
She says, "At last I get to meet you, Dobrynya. We are longtime associates. You are one of my favorites. You have a good heart and you are full of love. Come with me as you face the Dragon. Relax into me and let me be your wings. My sister is Fate and she is the culmination of all that you and I do together. We create fate in the journey of our destiny. Fate is legacy. Fate is all that you have done and said. Fate is the reflection of all that you are. Fate is love because you are love, and love always wins. Come with us now more consciously--and use your special gifts. You've earned them. Share them with the people of the kingdom to free them from the Dragon's cave. We are with you."
In another exercise we, as students, imagine ourselves in the protagonist's situation. In doing that I drew the image above that shows me (on the left), quite the ingenue, with offerings of sunflowers for my meeting with Destiny. I'm dressed in soft pink fabric with a golden sash (to represent limitation without the "magical" gifts, but not too restrictive). Destiny has no restrictions. She has more freedom and takes my arm to show me her dance steps (how to develop the magical gifts). She is a world traveler with very few limitations. She has a treasure box full of wonderful magical things for me to explore. She has, by her side, Crow, who represents Cosmic Law.
I think we all have special gifts and talents to use in our lives, and the little stars by my head in the image represent that. We can reach out and grab one if we want, and in the image Destiny helps "me" do that.
I still need to draw her sister Fate, which I'm contemplating. Am not sure if she'll appear in this picture (probably) or in another (probably). Anyway, the work is totally fun, not so much work as play, and the journey is interesting. I think the artwork is coalescing - which is part of what I'm looking for in this course. I am getting better able to convey feelings that may be common to others, and in that way, maybe can share a little comaraderie.
I will paint this after I finish drawing it. Should be beautiful--wish me good luck!