I should have seen this coming.
AFTER I spent an entire post praising my originality since I managed to avoid most of the overused tropes in today’s fantasy writing, I started being nagged. By my own inner writer’s voice. “So what about that one or two super-stereotypical thing you DO have in the books??? It’s still there! And it’s still trite, overused, and played out. What are you gonna do about it???”
Then as if ordained from above, an agent and author who works as an Admin at Author Salon gave me one pointed comment. “Are you married to the use of dragons? Nowadays, having dragons in your pitch can be an absolute flush-word for some agents and publishers” or words to that effect.
Yup. The one area in which I failed the originality test. Me and my talking dragons. The ones that don’t even show up (as far as the reader knows) until several books down the line. Yes, they are an overused trope.
So I killed them.
Well, replaced them. The fact is, it doesn’t HAVE to be dragon-based. The way I used these two uber-powerful representative creatures embodying good and evil is sort of creature-neutral. It could be any sort of mythical beast, as long as its reasonably impressive looking and has some gravitas. Or can be GIVEN gravitas.
So dragons are out. And nothing else changes. They way they work, the way they are identified, their behind the scenes purposes, none of these things changes. Just the name does. And I am pretty stinkin’ happy about it, frankly. Yet another example of why I LOVE feedback.