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About Varied / Hobbyist Core Member Lord of the Bargain Hunt26/Male/New Zealand Group :iconavalarian-united-co: Avalarian-United-Co
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Dressing Up - Dragons Unite (Draft)
"Who are these?" Ddraig asked, peering at a row of framed photographs.
"Oh, just some of the models who've helped me with my work from time to time." the Tailor said, waving a foreclaw.
One of the pictures stood out to Ddraig; a particularly dashing green dragon standing in a studio and striking a dramatic pose. She wasn't entirely sure why, but something about the dragon was drawing her attention. For some reason, the picture reminded her of Lord Grijswater, although Ddraig wasn't sure why he leapt to the front of her mind.
Beside her, the Tailor giggled. "My lady seems to be deeply moved by this picture."
Ddraig went red. "What?" she stammered. "No, I'm just curious is all." Ddraig said, lying through her teeth.
"I'm sure." the Tailor nodded, grinning. "He is quite a handsome specimen, though. Unfortunately, I don't think he'd be particularly interested in either of us," she continued, moving over to one of the display mannequins. "I hear he's more fond of those, bigger hor
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The Arapaho Wasteland - Fallout Fan Map by AMCAlmaron The Arapaho Wasteland - Fallout Fan Map :iconamcalmaron:AMCAlmaron 1 0 Pixel Queens by AMCAlmaron Pixel Queens :iconamcalmaron:AMCAlmaron 9 0 Two Flags, Two Kingdoms, One Country by AMCAlmaron Two Flags, Two Kingdoms, One Country :iconamcalmaron:AMCAlmaron 19 0
A Hard Question (Short)
"Alex, could you come in here for a moment?" Ddraig's voice called from her study.
"Certainly, my dear, just a moment!" Alexander replied, striding down the hall and entering the room, where he immediately got the feeling that something was wrong. Ddraig wasn't working at her desk, as he'd expected she'd be at this time of day, but instead she was standing by the window, looking somewhat uncomfortable.
"Is everything all right, Ddraig?" he said, slowly moving to her side.
"Yes, things are fine, Alex," she said, putting on a smile, "It's just...well..."
"What?" Alex said. "You can tell me, Ddraig."
"Oh, ancestors!" Ddraig groaned, turning her head away. "I'm just making this worse!"
Before Alex could say anything, Ddraig continued. "Look, Alex, I don't know how I can say this to you, but..."
Alexander's heart sank. Surely she couldn't be saying what his mind was thinking? But things had been going so wonderfully for the two of them, hadn't it? They'd gone out together, they were living
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A Brief History of the House of Ixeniejir
The summit of Snowdon, here you are nearer to heaven,

The rocks record the aeons of creation,
It's our duty to guard this glory,
Here you will see tempests and tranquillity,
All around us are the grandeur and the anguish of an old, old nation.

Gwyn Thomas, 2009.
Such are the words found atop the peak of Yr Wyddfa (English: Snowdon), the mighty mountain situated at the heart of the Eryri region of modern Wales. One of the most culturally important areas for western dragons around the world, the Eryri region not only houses the ancient stone circle of Crud Cerrig - a hugely significant archaeological site for early draconic culture, and also considered by Northern Relgimists to be the site where the Dragon Gods brought the world as we know it into being - but is also considered to have constituted the core part of High Queen Mestrarthe's realm in the years before she inherited her sister's lands a
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To Cook, Or Not To Cook (Short)
"Ddraig, I really must insist..."
Ddraig groaned. "Alex, not this again!" she said, already surrounded by pans and plates. "I've told you, it's fine."
Alex sighed, moving alongside her. "Let me get the kitchens to make it for you, my dear. You've done enough today."
Ddraig waved her tail dismissively. "It's not that big a meal, Alex! And dragonesses across Avalar make meals for their families at the end of the day; I don't see any reason why I can't do the same."
"Most dragonesses don't do an eight hour job beforehand, Ddraig." Alex noted dryly.
Ddraig smiled sheepishly. "Well, I guess I always have been a bit of a workaholic."
"Yes, just a bit." Alexander nodded.
"Oh, all right," she grumbled, "so maybe it's a bit complicated. But it's fine, Alex; I've still got plenty of energy left in me for today." She turned, regarding him with a playful look. "Besides, aren't you curious about what I'm making? It's going to be quite the treat."
Alex smiled, despite himself. Ddraig did make the ta
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Flag of Norland (DU) by AMCAlmaron Flag of Norland (DU) :iconamcalmaron:AMCAlmaron 3 74 Random Ddraggy Sketch by AMCAlmaron Random Ddraggy Sketch :iconamcalmaron:AMCAlmaron 7 12 GIFT PAINTING!!! by AMCAlmaron GIFT PAINTING!!! :iconamcalmaron:AMCAlmaron 8 22
Ddraigtanto and the Chronicler - Draft Concept
Ddraig looked at her surroundings in confusion. The empty room she found herself in felt strangely familiar, although she couldn't quite figure out why. In some ways it reminded her of one of one of the Guardians' chambers at the Temple; large, circular, and decorated with old draconic glyphs, but that couldn't be right. She'd spent her early years at the Temple, and had visited practically every room for one reason or another, but she didn't remember a room with a giant hourglass statue at its centre, and not even Volteer had had this many books and scrolls lining the walls. She wasn't even sure how she had found this room, for that matter.
"Hello?" she called out. "Is anybody there?"
"I am, my dear." a familiar voice echoed. "It's good to see you again."
A light suddenly appeared to her side, and Ddraig turned to see it form the shape of a large dragon; one who was familiar to her.
"Master Ignitus!" Ddraig said, rushing forwards.
The old fire dragon smiled, and bow
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Alternate Realities - 'Dragons Unite' Draft
"Ddraig! DDRAIG!"
The new reality she had entered steadily took shape, and Ddraig struggled to get her bearings. As the shapes around her grew more vivid, Ddraig realised she was in a small room, standing in front of a mirror. Her reflection stared back at her; a confused black dragoness wearing an elaborate dress. Strangely, her crown was missing.
"Ddraig!" the voice called again, and Ddraig recognised the sound of her sister moments before the grey dragoness entered the room.
"Victoria?" Ddraig said, confused. "What's going on?"
"What do you mean, 'what's going on?'" her sister said, coming into view. "Have you been just sitting there this whole time?"
Ddraig started to form a response, but Victoria waved her foreclaws in front of her. "It doesn't matter now! Just come on, we're going to be late!"
Victoria turned and dashed out of the room, and Ddraig followed after her. Before long, they found themselves in an elaborate hallway full of hanging banners. The design intrigued Dd
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...worrying and love TvTropes. Darnit, DA, why must you ruin my jokes with your title limits?

Anyway, this was a topic that came up in a conversation with one of my friends at work, as we had been discussing recent film adaptations of books and remakes of Disney animated movies, and I ended up mentioning two tropes that can be disastrous when they go hand in hand; "Draco In Leather Pants", and "Ron The Death Eater". If you've not heard of these before, the former is when an existing villainous character is written in a way that paints them in a positive/heroic light while ignoring their negative aspects, and the latter is sort of the inverse, where an existing good character is written in a way that highlights their negative side or even turns them into a full-on villain for the sake of the story. It's quite common to see these tropes used together in badly-written romantic "fix fics", where the whole purpose of the story is to promote an alternative romantic pairing, and a good example of this can be seen in the infamous musical "Love Never Dies"; Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to Phantom of the Opera, in which Raoul has become a bitter and abusive drunkard who's gambled away his fortune between stories despite none of these traits being part of his character in the original story, while the Phantom is nothing but sympathetic and heroic, and all mention of his stalking and murderous actions in the last story are not mentioned.

Now, talking about this led to discussion of another story that the two of us love to criticise; the film "Maleficent"; a film that also badly uses these two tropes. If you've not seen this film, it purports to tell the "true story" of Maleficent which was left out of Disney's Sleeping Beauty, in a way that instantly sounds reminiscent of the book and musical "Wicked", which both provide more character to the Wicked Witch of the West from the Oz series - although both in very different ways - and make her a semi-sympathetic figure in the process. However, Maleficent quickly deviates from this approach as in their "retelling" of the story, not only do certain scenes directly contradict parts of the original Disney film - for instance, both of Aurora's parents end up dead by the end of Maleficent, but they're alive and well in the original - but Maleficent herself ends up taking credit for just about every major action in the story; not only does she add the method of breaking the curse to her own spell, but she raises Aurora indirectly and comes to care for her to the point of trying to break her own curse, and it's her kiss that breaks the spell instead of Prince Phillip's. The problem with this sort of approach compared to Wicked's is that Maleficent's entire concept is to supplant the original story; after watching this, you can't exactly go back to the first film and enjoy it because this new film has just shown you that just about everything in it is a lie; the stories do not co-exist at all. Wicked, on the other hand, rather than supplanting the original story, augments it, by showing you that there was more going on behind the scenes that changes the context of the story, thus allowing you to still go back to the original film and enjoy it at face value, while also letting you go "Ahh, this is what's ACTUALLY going on in this scene!"

So, having said all that, I do have something positive to offer. Namely, a story treatment that shows how I think Maleficent could have been significantly improved; keeping the concept it presented us in the first part of the film, but telling a story that supports the original rather than forcing it aside.

As noted, I'd keep Maleficent's opening; as a young girl, she lives in a magical forest and falls in love with a peasant boy named Stefan, who later ends up drugging her and cutting off her wings when his King offers the throne to whoever can kill Maleficent, prompting her to swear revenge and later curse his newborn daughter at her christening ceremony. However, here's where I'd start changing things. As in the animated film, Maleficent would simply curse Aurora to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die, and after she leaves one of the fairies in attendance would soften the curse to simply one of deep sleep. The fairies would take Aurora into their care and hide her, while Maleficent would terrorise Stefan's Kingdom; her goal now simply being to not give him a moment's rest and to slowly tip him over the edge - since this unrest also makes his vassal Lords start talking of revolt, since Stefan got the throne under false pretences - while at the same time she falls more and more into the role of Dark Overlord. 

Now, the story would change when Maleficent learns of Aurora's location shortly before her sixteenth birthday; she would travel to the woods to see things for herself, and would arrive in time to see Aurora dancing with Prince Phillip. This would remind her of her own carefree youth with Stefan, and in that moment she'd see herself in Aurora; she's punishing an innocent girl simply to further her own ends, making her as bad as Stefan. In that moment, she'd come up with a new plan that would allow her to still get vengeance, but in a way that leaves Aurora unharmed and free to live out the life she didn't get to live...

Anyway, next, as in the original film, she'd dazzle Aurora and get her to prick her finger on a spinning wheel, and then she'd ambush Phillip and take him back to her lair; chaining him up in the dungeons and claiming she'll eventually release him when he's an old man and let him go and rescue Aurora. However, this would be a lie; in reality, she's intentionally set things up so that the fairies coming to rescue Phillip will have an easy way in, and she's waiting to see what happens next before she acts. See, Phillip claims to truly love Aurora, but Maleficent can't be sure at this point whether he truly means that or whether he's just saying that because he wants to inherit the Kingdom, much like how Stefan claimed to love her only to betray her in the same way. Once Phillip is free, if he chooses to flee for his home, then she'll know he was no better than Stefan and will kill or recapture him and then use this to start a war between Stefan and King Hubert, one which she can intervene in to ensure Stefan loses, while all the while Aurora sleeps peacefully, waiting for someone who is worthy of her to wake her up. However, if Phillip risks everything to save Aurora, then she'll know that he does truly care for her, and thus she can be satisfied that Aurora won't end up walking down her same bitter path.

Now, as we know, Phillip does love Aurora and thus rushes to save her, which leads me to the final stage of Maleficent's plan...faking her death. No matter what choice Phillip made, Maleficent intended to use her magic to take the form of a dragon and pretend to be slain in battle, which would have the dual goal of allowing her to abandon her Dark Overlord identity and reinvent herself as the woodland fairy she once was, thus ensuring she lives happily ever after, while also screwing over Stefan once and for all...if Stefan ends up at war with Hubert, then she can offer her assistance to Stefan and kill him during the battle before pretending to die from her injuries, but if Phillip fights her to ensure Aurora's safety, she can pretend to be mortally wounded...something that would be witnessed by the people who aren't in Stefan's castle and affected by the sleeping spell cast by the fairies - at this point I should probably note that I figured naturally Maleficent wouldn't be aware straight away that the fairies had done this; she can't have anticipated their EVERY move, after all - thus meaning Phillip gets credit for slaying Maleficent, meaning Stefan loses the last of his support and has to stand down in favour of Phillip and Aurora, and can now die bitter and near insane after years of conflict with no matter what, she wins and he loses.

...and that's how I'd have fixed a story like this. What do you think? Chances are there are some parts here that could be tweaked; this is perhaps the second draft of this concept and I only came up with it today, but for the most part I'd have been more impressed with the film if this had been the approach they'd taken with where I can still watch the original alongside it instead of being forced to pick whose story is better.
...and now I see there's a sequel on the way? Ugh, this doesn't bode well...

Journal History


AMCAlmaron's Profile Picture
Lord of the Bargain Hunt
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
New Zealand
Who am I? I'm a random person who likes solving problems that pop up in various book/film/tv/game/etc series that I pay attention to. Hence, a lot of my work revolves around creating essays, maps, informative pictures, and the odd fan-fic to test out a scenario. I also like designing things, so there's the odd concept there too!

I'm only too happy to help out with things wherever I can...need a quick historical map drawn or want help coming up with a story concept? Send me a message and I'll see what I can do.

AMCAlmaron has tracked down several seasons of shows that he has varying knowledge of...which should he watch next while playing video games, and why? 

8 deviants said My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
3 deviants said Steven Universe
3 deviants said Something Else? (Comment)
3 deviants said (Just remembered another option - Avatar: The Last Airbender)
2 deviants said Adventure Time
1 deviant said The Venture Bros.
No deviants said Aqua Teen Hunger Force
No deviants said The Mighty Boosh


Add a Comment:
ShaydeDragon Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018
Sorry to bug you, but I've got a question.

When it comes to writing dialogue or explaining things in your riting, how do you approach that? Like, how do you determine how your characters talk, in a way that seems natural, and go about adding exposition without it feeling out of place?

I'm working on chapter 2 of Overture right now (took me long enough, huh?) and I've made progress, but I'm having trouble trying to work in exposition into dialogue in a way that doesn't feel ham-handed or confusing. I've got some ideas, but I thoguht I'd get some advice first.

AMCAlmaron Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, it's all good! Hmm...a bit of a hard one to advise. I think I am a bit guilty of being overly expository with my dialogue at times, although perhaps more in the narration. Anyway, most of the time I try to envision how the scene would look like if it was in a film, or whether it was me and my friends talking about it, and if it doesn't sound like something they'd realistically say, I adjust it to sound more like how I'd picture...well, us saying it. 

In any case, cool! :D
Maybe...another thing that can be useful is to just write the text out, even if it is expository and clunky, and then when it's done have a look at it and go "Hmm, that bit doesn't work, but this bit does, and I can fix the first bit by tweaking this line..." and so on. You could always send me the scene in question via notes and I could have a look over it and offer some feedback?
ShaydeDragon Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2018
Hm, good points--I'll try that next time I start writing. I think part of my problem is that I try to imagine it in the vein of some animes, where there's a lot of leading questions to get characters talking about the things they need to talk about, which can sometimes have the effect of basically making it a one sided conversation, if that makes sense? Which obviously doesn't work so well in a setting where people would logically already know most of what would need to be explained :XD:

If you'd be willing, certainly! Thanks for that!
AMCAlmaron Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm, right...well, I was watching something recently that noted a good way to use that to your advantage is to have a "Fish-Out-Of-Water" character who can be there as the audience surrogate; naturally they have no idea what's going on and so they can ask the questions the author needs answered in order for the story to progress. One of your main characters is a youngster who's new to the world, so he could easily fill that role...:)

Sure! Send things my way and I'll see what springs to mind...
(1 Reply)
zhidkovv Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Hey man! Were you able to get to the RP thing at all yet?
AMCAlmaron Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Argh, sorry, I just haven't managed to find the time for it...:(
zhidkovv Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Ddraig and I are soon going to start writing up the draft of the actual story, so that is why I wanted to drag you into it as well, as you are quite adept with world-building, and setting the finer details into place. It would be very cool to have your finesse entwined into the project as well, haha!  
AMCAlmaron Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, right...unfortunately today's not good; recovering from an eye injury at the moment. But when I have more free time I can try again...
(1 Reply)
GabuTheWolf54 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2018
May I use your Steward sprites as my avatar?
AMCAlmaron Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Sure! :)
Just be sure to credit the original picture in your description or something. :)
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