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What I did and what I wish I would've done for this past Vocal Media challenge.

by Thavien Yliaster 15 days ago in list / interview · updated 11 days ago
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Regrets, I've had a few, and so my stories face, an Author's judgement.

This is a video I made while walking around an interviewing people for what they thought of the prompt. All images were generated by DallE2.

Pleased to meet You,

My name is Thavien Yliaster. This past vocal media challenge I'd have to say has certainly gotten a lot of people stirred up and excited. There could be a few reasons for that besides the major cash prize that they all hope to win.

1. The judge of the challenge is rather famous. Tons of people may not know his exact name, but if You say the name of his book series it clicks pretty well for them.

2. There was a challenge earlier this summer along the same general guidelines, and some people may be looking for a shot at redemption. Whether they feel like they didn't tell the stories they wanted, maybe a few lacked the inspiration until it was too late, or they felt limited in their creativity; this challenge would give them a second chance to remedy any regrets.

3. "House of the Dragon" has recently aired and people are all wrapped up in dragon lore, dragonology, dragon politics, warfare/battles, and the like. Even the show Rick and Morty made an episode revolving around dragons and their fantasy world because it seems that the whole world fell under the spell of "dragon lust" for a period of time when "Game of Thrones" was still airing. So, people had some awesome dragons to look at and even some plot lines for outside inspiration. I mean, just look at Caraxes, that Blood Wyrm is absolutely beautiful, and the size of Vhagar shocked the world. Tons of YouTube comments saying the exact same thing, "Drogon would get his @$$ kicked." Heck, I even went back to watch "The Desolation of Smaug" again just to see the amazing artistry that went into bringing that beast to life. I remember watching Smaug's scenes on replay while flying around the world while other guys were all busy watching "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Less I digress, what have I done for this challenge, and what did I wish that I did, but regret not doing?

I have made a total of 8 stories for this challenge. Some of those stories are poems (but they still reach the word limit to qualify, hehehehe).

My first story "Status Unknown" revolves around Aribella, a dragon finding a baby in the forest and upon which she takes said infant to her friend Dariglac. There, they take care of the baby whilst exchanging in witty banter.

My second story "Weakened Fealty" revolves around the nature of a dragon named Malevolence. My main goal for this story was to try to tell it from the dragon's perspective, but without a dragon's dialogue. I wanted Malevolence to be as capricious as a regular animal. Not even I, the author, will truly know what this dragon thinks. Hence, I hoped to have made it sort of like a documentary style. May You be blessed in reading it in David Attenborough's voice. He is tied for my first place top narrator along with Morgan Freeman.

My third story is a poetic telling of "Status Unknown." More of a TL;DR version. I mean goodness, when "Status Unknown" was originally published it was at the maximum of 5000 words.

My fourth story is "Rocky Mountain Surprise." This story is in a poetic couplet form. I've always been into cryptozoology so taking a few mythic urban legends, I made this story. One example would be a monster known as the snallygaster which is said to reside within West Virginia, United States. A TV show called "Mountain Monsters" had an episode about a group of men hunting this beast down. Along with the TV show MonsterQuest S3Ep15, "Flying Monsters."

My fifth story "Reunited" is more of a dark poetic telling. Made entirely out of haikus it's vocabulary may lack flavor, and the story itself seems stiff. However, in the haikus making sense, they make for a better picture in the mind of the reader than the words do themselves. Like the dragons in this story, the words and actions are very Black-and-White.

"Salty Tears," Oh boy! The sixth story that I've entered into the competition took a lot out of me, as I edited and trimmed a lot if this story down, even rewriting a few scenes just to wrap up the story in a short telling due to the word limit. Taking place in a giant saltwater lake, our main protagonist, Nigel, has his work cut out for him. Bullying, abdonment, dark fables, and the worst threat isn't even in the water (at all times). This young lad had his work cut out for him after being put through the ringer several times. With a different take and design on the dragons as well, I hope that many of You will enjoy this story, as it took several days longer and a lot more words than its poetic little "Teaser."

"Apprentice's Freedom" tells the tale of a young girl and her baby brother escaping. Though running away is the first part, keeping a distance between Yourself and Your pursuers is the 2nd hardest part to maintain besides gathering enough sleep and food for survival. Dealing with a dark past, she encounters a familiar face to whom the audience may recognize.

Last, but certainly not least, "Coup the Lou" is another poetic story telling of multiple different stories told in different forms of poetry. From syllabic mountains and hills, to haikus, to syllabic end rhyme couplets to free form couplets, I write this story since I was inspired by the tale of Lou Carcolh. Though not like the normal dragons that we're accustomed to, this legendary beast is more than enough to send shivers down one's spine and make them wish to never encounter such a creature on this earth. If You're wary and still wish to prioritize Your safety, please remember to "Skip away from the Lou, my darling."

Along with writing these stories I have recorded some insights by interviewing people and making a video out of it as well. For the comfort poem challenge I interviewed a lot of people about where they found comfort in. So, I figured that I should do the same thing for this challenge, but try to take it one step farther. You'll never know what You'll achieve if You don't try to go for.

By Chris Yang on Unsplash

Now, what did I regret? I have two stories in my head, that I regret not writing, nor having the chance to enter them in before the challenge's deadline. Even though we had 40 days, from start to finish, I have felt like I've failed myself by not trying harder. *Sighs* anyways here we go.

My father read "Status Unknown" and he talked about it with me. Even before the story was written, he liked the idea of where I was headed with it. Yet, he wanted more of a parody. We talked about a slice of life comedy in which a little kid goes to school and had magical shape shifting dragons for parents. Just like how little kids like to exaggerate, when they're telling the truth they still sound incredulous at times.

While doing dishes one night and preparing dinner, a thought came to my head about the appearance of a dragon. So, here's the rundown.

A hunter and his toddler son go hunting. While walking on their way back in the night, the father encounters a large dragon. Being fearful and wanting to protect his son, he shoots and kills the dragon, but not before it kills him with its sharp beak. Resembling a pterosaur with it's long crested head, this beast would have three eyes along each side of its head that would shine light brighter than a fireman's torch. Possibly the truth beast the Van Meter Monster. Resembling a pterosaur, it would have eight nose holes, four aligned on each side of its beak, making it easy to breathe while flying at Mach speeds. Hearing the gunshots go off, the larger, paternal dragon discovers the source of the sound along with tragedy. Angered at what has happened he almost eats the human toddler, but thinks better of it. Using it's magic, pressing its cranium against that of its child, it discovers that the humans were only defending themselves. It can't blame them for being scared. Transforming into a human, it raises the toddler for several years.

By Sebastian Pociecha on Unsplash

While in high school the toddler has grown up into a teenager, and is applying for the air force. However, he doesn't know that he's being tracked by secret government agents.

The end scene shows him having to make a hard choice. Sacrificing the dragon, the man who's raised him like a son, by turning him over to the government, or be captured and tortured himself and still have his dad hunted down.

I really like the idea that while corned on the edge of a cliff facing a jet and three operatives he jumps off the cliff yelling "LOCKHEED!"

His father, the dragon, saves him in the nick of time. He can accelerate and maneuver faster than a jet, but he cannot outrun a jet. Faster acceleration does not equal a higher top speed.

By Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

Being chased down by three jets, his father takes out the engine to two, and then the third launches a heat seeking missile.

Having grabbed a parachute from the secret jet hangar; or having his Dad flying close to the tree line at a slow enough speed, his father ultimately does a barrel roll dropping his son off.

Outmaneuvering the heat seeking missile, he knows that he can't outrun it. So, he flies straight towards the last remaining jet. Turning around the missile catches up to him, and all three in explode on a dazzling display of heat and light.

A father's sacrifice yet again, saves this young boy as he bitterly cries "No, Dad! No..."

By Mario Majer on Unsplash

The next one would be more of a horror story. Since a lot of dragons are related to evil and even the devil, I figured this next one could be a horror story of sorts. A pregnant teen mom gets abducted and knocked unconscious. When she awakes she finds that her baby has been born, but is nowhere to be found. Out deep in the forest a cult is preparing a ritual. Using blood of a lamb, they make a star circle and start reciting an ancient prayer whose language is forgotten to human tongues. Channeling demonic spirits through them, the ritual is a success. However, the baby's the catalyst, not the cost. The cult members suffer a tragic death for committing treason to life and its innocence. Upon which a red and black dragon arises from a the flame filled circle. The mother, though exhausted, runs through the forest hoping to save her baby. Upon finding the dragonic, demonic, beast standing over her babe, she rushes to defend her newborn. The Dragon transforms into an alluring man. Upon picking up her babe, she's too weak to fight or run. Falling under his influence, she collapses into his arms. With a smile of his face, he carries them out of the forest. With a new wife and child in tow, the demonic dragon seeks to build a life where he goes to raise his child under religious value. His purpose, to raise the child as his own, so as to overthrow the devil of hell, allowing him to succeed to the throne.

By Norbert Buduczki on Unsplash

Well, that's all I got for now. Thanks, for reading. I greatly appreciate it. Tell me what You think about this recent challenge and what other stories You'd like to tell, but didn't have the time to enter.

Sincerely,

Thavien Yliaster

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About the author

Thavien Yliaster

Thank You for stopping by. Please, make yourself comfortable. I'm a novice poet, fiction writer, and dream journalist.

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Comments (15)

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  • marie ehlenbach3 days ago

    It's hard to think what one would be a winner! If you like to read, go ahead an tell me what to would think of my story! https://vocal.media/fiction/white-and-black-roses-5rcz20fe5

  • Ashen Asmadala3 days ago

    great article

  • Peter Thompson7 days ago

    It's great to read

  • Emeka Nwankwoala12 days ago

    We should be aware that Satan have power. It is possible to be hurt by devil when you are not a genuine Christian especially when you are in their home. I mean the area of their sacrifice. That's what happens to that woman and her baby.

  • May sanz13 days ago

    People second guess their ideas to much, I'm part of this challenge and I which I could have more time to write a whole serie, once I grasp the idea my whole mind went havoc.

  • Gal Mux14 days ago

    The last one sounds chilling damn. Like Paolini said in the interview execution is everything. Ideas will also always come executing them well is where the challenge lies. And I see what you did there giving your dragon stories more visibility. I am going to read them 🙂 Also, no need to regret. You can always evolve the new ideas you have for another story or challenge.

  • Adonide Bones14 days ago

    I watched the interview a couple days ago! It's great seeing it feautured in your article. Also, the horror idea with the demon dragon sounds awesome! I'd love to read a story of that sort

  • Congrats on a top story. You have so many amazing insights into others works, and I'm glad you put all of your thoughts into this article. I know I appreciate your feedback. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Babs Iverson14 days ago

    Absolutely fabulous!!! You have an amazing imagination and you are definitely creative. Congratulations on Top Story too!!!

  • Gina C.14 days ago

    Awesome article, Thavien! As always, super insightful! I think the fact that you managed to get so many great stories and poems in is already a huge accomplishment! I only managed to submit one. 😅 I actually did come up with another idea the weekend before the window closed, but just didn’t have enough time to pull it off. Anyway, I need to go back and read all your stories! Also, I think we should all write the dragon stories we thought of but couldn’t submit! I encourage you to do so 😊

  • Heather Hubler14 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!! This article was such a great thing for you to do as it put all your wonderful stories in one place for people to get to find and enjoy. I think there a few I missed and will have to go back and check them out! As for your two other ideas, write them! You sound passionate about the stories, and those are the best kind to write. So what if they aren't in the challenge? I would still read them. I could only manage to get one story in as those 40 days were very busy for me. But I have no regrets. I love the one I entered and that will have to be enough this time :) Great read!!

  • Cathy holmes14 days ago

    Great piece. Congrats on the top story.

  • Keila Aartila14 days ago

    Good Job, Thavien! And congrats on your Top Story! 😁

  • Excellent work and congratulations on your Top Story

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