Question by Taleweaver: Can someone say what they think of/critique this bit from my fantasy novel-to-be? (It has a dragon)?
Context: A girl called Ara and the narrator, a boy called Seth, are sitting on a dragon’s back.
I watched as Ara leaned forward to speak to the dragon. ‘Whenever you’re ready.’
The dragon growled and straightened up. It spread its wings out wide and then brought them down hard. I cried out in pain as my balls slammed against its back. Everything lurched violently, blurring and curving. One minute we were barely off the ground, the next the whole Court had dropped away beneath us.
It was like a roller coaster ride, only higher, faster and worse. Pure terror gripped my insides as we soared upwards, spiralling around the tower and into the air. I bit my lip hard to stop myself screaming.
‘Oh, come on!’ Ara laughed. ‘Don’t be a baby!’
‘If we fall we’re going to die!’ I shouted.
I squeezed my eyes shut to block out the sight of the Court shrinking beneath us, then opened them again because I was too afraid to not know what was going on.
‘But this is fun!’ Ara said. She beamed and leaned in toward the dragon. ‘Let’s fly around for a bit!’
‘No!’ I cried. ‘Let’s not! Just land! Please, just – Aaaaaa!’
The dragon had folded its wings and dropped into a steep nosedive toward the Hunting Ground. I could only stare in horror as we shot toward the earth. We skimmed the very tip of the open field’s grass, scattering a group of gossiping girls and overtaking a brownie as it ran for the safety of the trees. The back of my blazer flapped madly behind me. We sped up and the grass blurred, melting into a smooth stream of green. Then we rose once more, higher and higher, to the very end of the Hunting Ground and over the trees of the Wood of Many Ways.
‘Don’t make that face!’ Ara shouted over the wind. ‘You should be having fun! We’re riding a dragon, this is every kid’s dream!’
I just gaped at her. In my stomach there was nothing but dread and nausea. The floor – everything – was so far away, and I would have given anything to be back on my feet.
But gradually the feeling changed. I had never been so high up, or breathed such clean air, or worried about the fact that my shoes could go twirling away and I might never find them.
My fear faded away and I felt awe, exhilaration, as the crisp autumn wind shook my shirt and trousers and swept across my whole body. I breathed in the cool air, let it wash across my skin. We should have long since fallen off and yet we hadn’t. I realized that I was laughing at the top of my voice.
I looked up. High overhead, a stretch of dreary clouds bulged and ruptured. Sunlight spilled over our heads like molten gold, pouring across the trees, the field and the many buildings behind us. The dragon titled its wings and we curled in the air, doubling back to face Alice Tower, our clothes glowing. We returned over the trees and rose slowly, gently, until we landed on a platform cut out of the tower’s roof.
When I’d hopped off I staggered away. My insides swirled and my legs were jelly. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt so good.
I probably never had.
‘Did you enjoy that?’ Ara asked, smirking. Her green and blue eyes glowed like jewels and the edges of her blonde hair were ablaze in the sunlight. Her cheeks were flushed and she didn’t look anything like the girl who’d shrugged me off in the car on the way here.
‘I…’ Several words got caught in my throat at the same time. I had no idea which to force up first, and so I blurted the only thing I could manage. ‘That was awesome!’
Answer by Katherine
I think the writing itself is good. I did feel like it was similar to Eragon when he was flying. The first time Eragon flew he was a little scared but then he thought it was awesome. This was written differently but it gave me the same vibe.
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