Dragons are my favorite mythological beasts, and there are hundreds of ways to use them in stories. Today I’ve researched dragon stories more to see if I’d like to do my Storybook on them. I was impressed by all of the options I found!
I started by looking at this Storybook: A Story of Blood and Fire. It was a unique and complex story that took the side of a shapeshifting dragon. I loved how the author inserted Spotify links on each page with a song to go with each chapter. I always connect stories to music, so I may decide to do something similar for my project.
The first story used in the Blood and Fire storybook was The Celtic Dragon Myth. I like that this myth uses other mythological creatures in addition to the dragon. It’s long, and I like the hero. I also like its use of color as a feature of its storytelling, and I may want to make color important in my story, too.
The second story that I came across was The Dragon and the Prince, which is a Slavic story. I like that it features a quest, and it is actually very similar to the Celtic Dragon Myth. One of my favorite tropes in this myth is that the hero-prince disguises himself as a shepherd. I may want to use a disguise of some kind in my story.
I had many books of illustrated fairy tales when I was a child, and one of my favorites contained Saint George and the Dragon. I would love to incorporate this classic legend into my Storybook. A kingdom is plagued by a dragon who eats women. George, a knight, saves the king’s daughter from being eaten by killing the dragon. Here is the full story, which begins on page 120: The English Fairy Book. Here is an interesting commentary/background for the story: Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art (In fact this entire book has a large section dedicated to dragons). I would really like to see this story with a shift in character roles. What if the princess saved the dragon from the knight?
I’ve always been interested in the Asian version of dragons, too, so I found a story that would allow me to incorporate some Eastern dragon elements into my own project. In this “Boy Blue” story from China, a herbalist finds the thunder-dragon and gets the Red Cloud herb, which is imbued with the dragon’s essence. He uses the flower to save the emperor’s daughter from illness. I like the idea that the dragons can imbue their essence into other items or avatars, and I think the motivation of searching for a special plant or item from a dragon would be a great start to a story. This story can be found here on pages 80-82: Myths of China and Japan.
Image 1: Statue of male and female dragons holding an egg in Varna, Bulgaria. Source – Wikipedia
Image 2: Saint George and the Dragon by Raphael. Source – Wikipedia
Image 3: Asian dragon painting. Source – Pixabay