We knew we had to make sure all the dragons had different characters. At first, it seemed as if we would only have half a dozen living under Musselburgh to deal with. But as the story became clearer, we realised there were at least another half dozen at Traprain Law (after all, if they were going to be worth rescuing, we’d need to meet them in person). And there would be further secondary dragons – but they’d perhaps be more defined by their strength or role. So far, so manageable.
The real size of the problem revealed itself when we had Scordril go to the ancient collection of dragon chronicles to read up about something crucial that happened 100 years before. That was when we found ourselves with yet another group of dragons!
Keeping track was the first task. We made lists and colour-coded them as to when anyone was alive (some were still alive in the current dragon layrs, of course, since dragons live so long). We also noted how old they were in each time period.
But how to give them characters that were memorable? Well, in the end, they wrote themselves. When interacting together, certain traits simply showed up. It was as easy as that.
Fenror, for instance, is doubting, prejudiced and obstinate when the call for help comes – but when he gives his word, he keeps it.
Threah is funny, practical and doesn’t mince her words when she sees something needs saying – as she does when Scordril keeps getting angry. I mean, you wouldn’t want to pair off with a dragon who has so few anger management skills! (By the way, she makes a wonderful mother in book 2, but for now, you can buy book 1 here.)
Scordril himself (when not getting furious) is unbiased, curious, resourceful and brave – well he is the lead dragon. You wouldn’t want anything less.
I’ll tell you about some of the others in a future post.