Tag Archive: c

C – Criminals

CA high level of nostalgia means that this year my chosen theme for the 2016 A to Z challenge is Pokemon. Whether you yourself have a similar level of sentimentality or you’ve never really gotten into it, I hope that you enjoy this month of posts as I indulge my nostalgia.

Criminals? In Pokemon? Never I might hear you cry. Except, there are, you just probably know them better as Teams. Like, for example, Team Rocket.

In every generation, in every game, there is a Team who is undertaking work to try and do something that might not be in the best interests of the world at large, but if probably a good thing for them.

Black_2_White_2_Team_Plasma_Grunts Omega_Ruby_Alpha_Sapphire_Team_Magma_Grunts Omega_Ruby_Alpha_Sapphire_Team_Aqua_Grunts

  • Red/Blue/Yellow also Fire Red/Leaf Green (Generation 1, Kanto Region) – Team Rocket
  • Gold/Silver also Heart Gold/Soul Silver (Generation 2, Johto) – Team Rocket again
  • Ruby/Sapphire also Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (Generation 3, Hoenn) – Team Magma/Team Aqua (changes depending on the game)
  • Diamond/Pearl – (Generation 4, Sinnoh) – Team Galactic
  • Black/White also Black 2/White 2 (Generation 5, Unova) – Team Plasma
  • X/Y (Generation 6, Kalos) – Team Flare

There are some more in the spin off games, but mostly these are the ones that you see, and in the anime it’s pretty much Team Rocket so you can always count on seeing the usual trio of Jessie, James and Meowth.

Team Rocket

Team Rocket is also a bit special as their goals are more vague than the other teams. They want to make lots of money, capture rare Pokemon, and are generally just a bit mafia (or Yakuza) like. The other teams have a very set purpose, often involving the legendary Pokemon of the region, and can often invoke the feeling of a cult, for instance Team Galactic want to use the Lake Guardians to capture the legendary Pokemon (and get really close), whereas Team Plasma wish to separate out human and Pokemon from each other, as they believe that humans enslave Pokemon and that they would be much better off being completely wild.

Either way, they are definitely the antagonists, and as well as providing lots of battle opportunities for you, it feels good when you get through the story and get to defeat them and their boss and whatever plan that had. Because you know that whatever they hoped to do, it’s bad, and it’s certainly not in the world’s best interests.


CharizardPokemon of the Day

C is for Charizard.

If you choose that starter Charmander, then Charizard is the final evolution that you will end up with. A huge flying, flaming, dragon like creature, it has a flame on the end of it’s tail like it’s two previous evolutions, and the more fighting and experience a Charizard gains, the hotter this burns.

The second most dragon like thing in the original 151, I mentioned that on my recently started play through of Red I had chosen Charmander. It’s not evolved this far yet, he’s still a Charmeleon at the moment, but when I do get him high enough level, it’s going to be awesome.

He’s got a mega evolution now, as do all three of the original final evolutions, and a second type, so he’s now Fire/Flying, and although this makes sense, I do wonder why he isn’t dragon type. Not that he doesn’t learn a couple of dragon moves, but still. He’s awesome either that. That, and in the anime Ash has a Charizard, but it evolves too quickly for him, and won’t ever listen to him and Ash has to work really hard to get him to trust and work with him, and I kind of like him for that portrayal of no, Pokemon don’t automatically like you as your trainer, you have to work at it.

Charizard and ash

C – Characters

Toothless Letter CWhat is a book without characters? You can have a fantastic setting, a great story arc, but without believable characters, there is nothing to wrap the story around, and it will fall flat on it’s butt.

So what makes a character? Believability mostly. Characters can be hated, they can be jerks, they can be kind, or lovable, that doesn’t matter, what they do have to be, is realistic.

So what makes a character realistic? That’s a tad harder. It’s all about making them a rounded character. yes, they’ll have a backstory, physical appearance and all those other facts, but they need more than that. They need motivations. Why do they do the things that they do. For instance, you have a thief. If all you do is have him steal things, then that’s a one dimensional, so look at why he steals. Does he have a starving family he needs to feed (cliche, but it is a reason)? does he need the money to take a boat and escape to a new country? Is he in over his head with the wrong people? Does he like stealing for the money, and sleep on a bed of gold like a dragon? As soon as you give him a reason for stealing, he becomes a little more like a person.

Hopes, dreams and goals are good for this as well. Is his goal to leave the country, a fresh start somewhere new? Does he want to win the heart of another, and needs to steal to get money to show them a good time? Is his dream to fill a room full of gold and sleep inside it? Smaug did, that was his goal, so he went and killed a mountain full of dwarves to do it. Everyone has something they are working for, especially characters in a story. There is much of a story without a goal at the end, but is the goal for the story the same as the character’s goal?

Character Cast Wallpaper

Characters will have skills, like, dislikes, things they are good at, things they are bad at, experiences, and different world views. Not everyone is perfect, and we certainly aren’t the same.

Talking about perfect characters, the one thing that you do not want to have is a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu). A Mary Sue is an idealised character that is good at every, bad at nothing, and everything is perfect for them.

You know what perfect is? Boring.

There’s a wonderful test here that I use for my character to test their Mary Sue-ness. Not because I’m in the habit of making them, but it also helps you identify any cliches or tropes that you might be hitting. Quite a few of my character hit one or two, and that’s okay. It’s when you start hitting half or more than you really have a problem.

But back to real characters. As an author, you develop your characters, and you will know everything about them. You will know where they are born, what they look like, where they grew up, their hopes and dreams, likes, dislikes, childhood, key events, experiences, and all the rest of it. However, the reader doesn’t, and probably won’t get all the information. And that’s good. You as the author need to know all this stuff to make your character a rounded person, the reader only needs to know what is pertinent to the plot.

Example. In the novel I’m currently editing, Mechanica Awakening, the main character, Rose, her favourite breakfast is Eggs Benedict. But that never gets mentioned. Why? Because it’s not important. The reader needs to hear the conversation that happens at breakfast, not about what she has for breakfast that day. I know, because it helps me nail down her character, the reader, they don’t need to know because it adds nothing to the story.

character-bio-sheets-poewar-23150364Something that does help, especially with consistency (shifting eye colour mid way through the story is never a good idea unless they actually have due to weird sci fi experiments or magical accidents) is to have a character bible. It’s basically where you write down everything about the character, from physical descriptions to motivations, key events, and personality. As a pantser, I don’t write this before I start. I have it open at the same time. Whenever I introduce a new character, I get a blank page, put their name at the top, and then write down what I know about them. This way, as I pants through the story and new things develop, I add to the page for that character as I discover things, and then I can go back during edits and add bits in earlier if I need to, make sure everything is consistent, and grow the character that way.

Of course, getting this characterisation across to readers is also tricky. It’s the whole show, don’t tell thing again, which is pretty much a golden rule of writing if golden rules of writing actually existing. you bring the characteristics of your character to life through dialogue, actions and thoughts.  You don’t tell people ‘this person is a wallflower’ and ‘this one is a social butterfly’, as a writer you show the wallflower standing at the edge of the room, crossed arms, saying very little and looking at her feet. The social butterfly is talking at a hundred miles an hour, flitting around the centre of the room, hugging everyone.  Much more engaging for the reader.

And there you have C, my very short guide to characters. There are a huge amount of resources out there about characters and character development, as it is one of the most important things a book has, so do take a look and see what you can find. And remember to practice. There is no substitute for practice and hard work.

Hope you’re having as much fun with the A to Z as I am!

This post is going to be about the various colours of dragons and what that can tell you about the dragon that you might be dealing with. There are two broad types of dragons: Chromatic dragons and Metallic Dragon. Chromatic dragons are found in the colour of the rainbow, but are usually evil dragon, driven by greed, rage, and other base desires. Metallic dragons echo the colour of various metals, and are good dragon who are driven to help and protect others instead of gathering treasure and hunting people.

Beware, this is going to be a long post, there are lots of colours! If you don’t want to read it all, then I recommend just going and finding your favourite colour. Chromatic dragons are first (Black, Red, Blue, Green and White), followed by Metallic Dragons (Brass, Bronze, Copper, Gold and Silver), then Rare Colours (Purple, Yellow, Grey, Rainbow).


Chromatic Dragons

BlackBlack Dragons: Are often vile and evil-tempered and will tend to eat people on sight rather than try to talk. Their dark colour makes it easy for them to hide in the night time and because of this they are primarily nocturnal creatures, who will lurk in the darkness, just waiting for the opportunity to strike. They will never fight fair or give you a chance. Because of their dark hide they prefer deeps caves or swamps as their home, and the one who live in swamps are said to live there because they enjoy the smell of slowly rotting corpses. Black is often considered to represent the absolute of a species, so in this instant black dragons form the archetypal dragon, one who is obsessed with gathering a hoard of treasure to sleep on, and devouring any prey that he might desire.


RedRed Dragons: Red is the colour of passion and fire, and these dragons have both in abundance. The fiercest warriors of all the dragons, their fire breath is the hottest of all of the colour of dragons, and they will use it when their territory has been violated, being fiercely territorial creatures. Whilst they won’t always go for the attack immediately like their black brethren, they are quick to anger and have very short fuses, but they do also love gathering treasure hoards. As creatures of fire, they are almost always found in warm environments, such a tropical islands, or even volcanic islands if they are lucky. Red dragon have been known to request virgin sacrifices off villages in their territory, for the simple reason that they enjoy fresh red meat, and that “virgins just taste better”.


BlueBlue Dragons: Blue is the colour of the sea and the sky, and you can find dragons of this colour in either. Blue comes in many different shades, and you are likely to find light blue dragons roaming the sky, representing vastness and freedom, whereas dark blue dragons are more likely found in the deep calm waters of the seas and ocean’s. All blue dragons tend to be pensive, lawful, and more than a little vain, hence why you can find them admiring their own reflection in water a lot of the time, although he is far more likely to ambush you than you are him! They tend to be incredibly good trackers, and quick when springing an ambush, but they are some of the few dragons to have their own moral code and be lawful in their dealings. Not good, but definitely lawful. Blue air dragons tend to have lightning breath rather than the traditional fire breath.


GreenGreen Dragons: Across the world green is associated with the vegetation of the earth, and that is where you will find the green dragons – deep in the forests of the worlds. The bigger the trees are, the better for these dragons. The green dragon does not rely on strength to catch his prey out, but rather his cunning and wits which he uses to concoct elaborate schemes which will bring him what he wants with the minimum of effort on his part. These dragons are also omnivores, and whilst they will eat animals, they also eat shrubs and small trees. Green dragons symbolise the cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth, and in this vein some of them have poisonous breath. Green dragons sometimes also have splashes of brown colouring on them, as the other colour associated with the earth.


WhiteWhite Dragons: White dragons tend to be the smallest of all the colours, associated with ice and snowy climates, they live as high up as they can, in the coldest place on the earth, making the Arctic and Antarctic perfect for them. White dragon are very intelligent, but they prefer to live alone, away from any civilisations or other dragons, and be alone with their thoughts. They have wide and sharp claws, which are perfect for walking on ice or digging into the sides of mountains. Their favourite food is anything that has been frozen, but they have been known to be slightly cowardly, and if you are imposing enough, you might be able to stop them from making you their next meal.



Metallic Dragons

BrassBrass Dragons: Brass dragons are born a mottles brown colour and only get their turn shine after spending a lot of time in the sun, which helps develop their scales. For this reason, you will find Brass dragon in hot and dry environments, deserts being perfect for them, where they like to bask on rocky formations or the hot sand. Brass dragons are best for their conversation and are the most talkative of all dragons. You will be able to engage a brass dragon in conversation without fear of being eaten, if you can stand the climate that they like to make their home in.


BronzeBronze Dragons: Bronze dragons have a very strong sense of justice, and will not allow any cruelty or anarchy to go on around them or in their territory. Powerful and sturdy, their bronze scales are hard and almost impossible to penetrate, and are the only one capable of giving red dragons a run for their money in a fight. Unlike their red brethren however, the a very inquisitive, and find human fascinating. If you abide by their sense of justice, a bronze dragon will often become a protector of what it considers to be a worthy settlement. They prefer warm climates, but like to have water nearby, so coastal areas or islands are perfect for them.



CopperCopper Dragons: Copper dragons have a reputation as pranksters, jokers and riddlers that precedes them, and it is well earned. They love to have fun with whoever is available, whether it is by posing jokes and riddles to be answered, or setting up a prank on them that will cause amusement for the dragon and others. Like brass dragon, they are born with dull scales and grow into their true colour, although some people suspect that they develop their colour as they play more jokes on people. They like living in narrow caves, or rocky uplands and mountains where they get to practice their excellent jumping and climbing skills.


GoldGold Dragons: Gold dragons are the epitome of good, champions against evil and foul play. They appoint themselves to stand between the world and evil and will undertake any quest that will promote good in the world. When not out questing they like to have their law in secluded places where they can rest, recuperate, and recharge before going out on another quest, making deep gorges or high plateau’s ideal for them. The are warriors as well, and whilst not a fierce as a red dragon, or as hard as a bronze dragon, they are the blend of both which allows them to undertake any challenge with confidence that they will be able to achieve their aims. Their golden colour means that they are associated with the sun, for the warmth and security they bring, and wealth, though they have no wish for gold.


SilverSilver Dragons: These dragons have curious healing abilities and because of their silver colour are often associate with the moon. Like Gold Dragons, they are champions, but they choose to champion the meek and the needy, and will use their healing abilities on whomever needs it. They are said to be the most sensitive of all dragons, and empathise with anyone in pain. When not helping people they very much enjoy the open sky, and will sometimes spend hours upon hours just flying and soaring for the sheer joy of the experience. They are the only dragons that avoid combat whenever they can and are non-violent towards everyone. They make their homes on high places for the view of the open skies, but will come to wherever they talents are needed, when they are needed.



Rare Colours: These colour are said to exist, but are seen so rarely that many doubt they do.

Purple Dragons: Purple dragons are said to symbolise wealth and royalty. Since they are a blend of the colour red (passion) and blue (reason) they also represented the balance between opposing forces, the yin and the yang, and the transition between the two. The are also said to appear during great times of mourning and grief, leading to the belief that purple dragons have kind hearts to grieve with the people.

Yellow Dragons: Most people are argue that there are no yellow dragons, only gold, whereas other people take the stance that gold and yellow are different colours, and that we mistakenly label yellow dragons as gold, since we do not get a close enough look to truly distinguish between the two. The real argument comes when talking about pale yellow dragons, which is usually an ill omen as pale yellow is the colour of cowardice, ill health and weakness. Not a good sign to anyone. Darker yellow dragons are signs of wealth and prosperity, and are greeted with as much enthusiasm as gold dragon are, especially if they are thought to be a gold dragon.

Grey Dragons: Is grey a natural colour of dragons, or is it a result of a dragon of great age, like when a humans hair turns grey? We aren’t sure. But the few tales of grey dragons indicate that if you treat them with politeness and respect, they treat you with the same courtesy, and will help you find your destination if you are travelling.

Rainbow Dragons: All but a few considered these dragons to be myth. But those who do believe, say that if you look really closely when it rains and the sun is shining, you might just be able to see a dragon frolicking in the rainbow that ensues.


And there you go! A run down of dragon colours and what it means. I consider these to be the core colours, I’m not going to say that this is an exhaustive list, because I know that there are more out there (like gemstone dragons, where they born like that, or did they roll around in gems so much that the gemstones became embedded in their hides?). But I hope you enjoy the post, and are having fun with you own a to z challenge if you are doing one 🙂

C'est La Vee

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