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Link to my Storybook project, Draconic Heroes

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  1. Hi Natalie!

    I absolutely love the idea of your storybook. I was obsessed with dragons when I was younger - I read many series about these magical beasts and fiercely believed in their existence. I can remember one of the earliest searches I ever made on the internet was "where do the dragons live?" I still consider them to be my absolute favorite mythical creature. The focus of your introduction reminded me a bit of a poem about dragons written by Jack Prelutsky called "Once They All Believed in Dragons," which relates a similar idea of bringing the memory of dragons and their stories to life. (I found a link to the poem that I'll leave at the bottom of this comment in case you're interested.) I am excited to see how you honor the history of the dragons and share their tales!
    The images you have chosen for your site so far are very nice. There are so many beautiful illustrations of dragons out there, and I imagine you could have a lot of fun searching for pictures to accompany your stories!

    Link to poem:
    https://dragonsgeas.blogspot.com/2013/09/once-they-all-believed-in-dragons.html

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  2. Hi Natalie! I love the theme of your storybook! I have always loved magical creatures and dragons were definitely one of them when I was little. I used to read a lot of books that had magical creatures, such as the Harry Potter series and the Percy Jackson series so I think it's really cool that you're doing a project on them. The best part of your introduction is the definition of dragon that you have included at the very beginning. That's the first time I've seen anyone do that and I think that is very unique and creative! I wonder if you're going to I also love the banner images you have used for your stories are so nice. I'm sure it's hard trying to pick one out of all of the ones you can find. There are so many cool images of dragons out there. I'm excited to see how your storybook is going to turn out. I'm definitely going to be bookmarking this!

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  3. Hi Natalie! I just read the introduction to your storybook, and I thought it was intriguing! I think using the definitions of dragon is an interesting way to introduce the heroes of your stories. Are they your definitions or did you find them online? I love dragons, probably from Eragon. I wonder if the readers will be able hear the dragons' thoughts, or if the dragons will have a way of communicating with the humans. I like the banner images, especially since they seem to be depicting the same dragon! It would be cool if you had banner images with different dragons when you write stories about them (if there will be multiple dragons). It will help the reader picture the character and it will be a nice continuous theme or design in the storybook. I can't wait to read more from your storybook! Your introduction has drawn me in.

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  4. Hello,
    I want to start off by saying I love the way your website looks! I am a huge fan of dragons and all lore pertaining to them. When reading the introduction, I was so curious to see what you were going to write about. I read it will be a partial book, but I am curious to know what exactly the next three stories will entail. Will they be stories from the dragon’s perspective, or will they be stories about men who fought them off? You speak of the two differing worlds will you bring the worlds together somehow? I think there is a lot left to the imagination as to what you will write about. I would however suggest giving a bit more detail in the introduction. Maybe a bit more lore about the kinds of dragons since there are so many different kinds. I can’t wait to read more!

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  5. Natalie,

    I loved the introduction to your storybook project. Something I loved was your strong opener. The use of the noun and explanation made for a great attention-grabber, and I was immediately interested. I love the special twist you are taking on this as well, seeing that dragons used to be in harmony with human beings. I would have never considered this scenario and think it could make for some great stories.

    A question I have is what will the three stories be focused on? I saw you put a segment about how people do not know of the time when dragon's watched over them, but I think it would be awesome if you gave specifics on what these stories will share.

    One suggestion I have is to not count out the possibility of doing a story over how dragons and people became enemies. I know you briefly touched on the history of this, but I think a final story could be really interesting. Maybe there are still humans out there who are friends with dragons!

    Great job!

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  6. Hi Natalie!
    I was captivated by your banner image! It left me wondering what your stories will be about. Starting the introduction with a definition was creative and an innovative way to engage the readers. In the introduction, you included a detailed background about the history of humans and dragons. I was curious about which stories you will be telling. If you wanted to, you could add a couple of sentences describing each story once the stories are decided! Also, will the stories be told through the dragons’ perspective or the humans’ perspective? Or would each story be about different dragons and their own experiences with humans? You could explore these options in your introduction as well. The introduction was great and only had a couple of missing gaps. Overall, the layout and the introduction was great! I can’t wait to see what three stories you will develop in your Storybook project!

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  7. Hi Natalie,

    This is looking great so far! I can’t wait to see how your art integrates with the site and your stories.

    I love the idea in your introduction that dragons are somehow historical and that they disappeared, only to remain in stories passed down from those of our ancestors who knew them. It gives the story fun magical realism vibes. (The live in seclusion bit also reminds me slightly of How to Train Your Dragon, which is a very good thing as far as I’m concerned.)

    Are you planning to give your dragon stories a modern twist? You seem to allude to as much with the stories “resurfacing in modern times,” but maybe I’m misunderstanding.

    Also, one little typo: in your second paragraph you say “view dragons as combatant creatures” — did you mean “view dragons as combative creatures”?

    Really looking forward to what’s next!

    Best,
    A.M.

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  8. Hi Natalie! I love dragons so much and I'm looking forward to reading a storybook based on them!

    It was unique to include the definition of a dragon at the beginning of your introduction. It made me think of an encyclopedia or archive of some kind for documentation, which might make a reasonable explanation for how the authentic literature of dragons was compiled for your storybook.

    I loved your idea for dragons that have different shapes depending on where they lived. One recommendation I have to emphasize this point is to use different dragons per every banner image. Right now, your home and introduction both have green dragons.

    I like how you contrast the traditional stories we hear of dragons as savage beasts compared to intelligent beings. One discrepancy I saw was, "There are stories of these beasts who ravaged ancient cities to avenge their kind, and those of glorified hunters who killed the dragons for sport." If you want to separate the falsified history of dragons from your version of the truth, I recommend that you change the glorified hunter to a hero who kills a dragon to save the land. Then you can add in how these so-called "heroes" were glorified hunters that killed dragons for sport

    You mentioned dragons watching and protecting over humanity. What do dragons defend us against? Did some few dragons attack humans and give the whole species a bad reputation, or are there other ancient evil forces?

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  9. Hi Natalie!

    I love how you are plan to use a creature for the theme of your storybook. I feel like when most people think of mythology, they picture witches, magic, and mystical creatures such as this one. I loved how you started your introduction with the definition of a dragon. You used great literary skills to invoke the legendary impacts of dragons. From your first paragraph, I know they are not just ordinary lizards. The have great purpose as societies rise and fall. Also, I loved the imagery you used to discuss the great diversity of the dragons-- ranging in power, physique, and form. As you continue to discuss the great role dragons had in ancient stories, perhaps it would be interesting to introduce more specific details. For this storybook, is each story going to be a continuous story of one dragon, in one place? Or will each story be set in a different time period and setting, giving examples of these instances? Maybe an interesting idea could be to write your stories from the point of view of the dragon him or herself.

    Fantastic job, and I cannot wait to read more!

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  10. Hi Natalie! I really like the theme behind your storybook. I think dragons are fun and play interesting roles in a lot of classic stories. I am excited and intrigued to see where you will take this.

    I really like how the first words the reader reads is the definition of dragon. I never would have thought to start a story off like that, but I really like that you did. It feels sort of cinematic. Like something that would show right before the movie kicks off. I think you have a great narrative voice. You can really hear you throughout your entire introduction. What kind of stories are you going to be retelling? Is it going to be one story or will it be an anthology? Are you thinking fairy tale dragons, or dragons that you would find in Game of Thrones? I can't wait to read your first story.

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  11. Hey Natalie! I really like your storybook idea! I think the concept of focusing on the stories of dragons and retelling them is really great, especially because dragons can be frequently found in all kinds of mythology. First off, I really like the layout of your storybook. It looks very nice and is easy to read and follow along with. I like the illustrations of dragons you added as well. As for your writing, I think you write really well! I like the word choices you used-- it went really well with the theme of your storybook and made it seem a lot more mystical and historical. I'm interested to see where you take your future stories. I wonder if maybe your dragon stories will focus more on historical, older stories, or will you incorporate more modern details? I wonder what kind of stories you plan to retell, and what kind of mythology you plan to take them from. Good luck, and I'm excited to read more!

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  12. Natalie, your introduction was very cool and informative. I honestly really liked the informative style that you worked with because I learned so much just from reading what you wrote. I am interested to see where you take your story book. Are you going to tell stories from the dragon point of view? Will it be from a human's point of view? I think your story book will be very interesting and I cannot wait to see where you take your stories. I think it would be really cool to read a story from the past time when dragons and humans got along and then a story from the present where they are mostly enemies. Will the dragons wipe out the human race because they are more powerful or do they fear the humans still? Great work!!

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  13. Hey Natalie!

    I loved reading your introduction and had to come back to see how your storybook was evolving!
    Your first story is fantastic, and certainly encapsulates the mythical beauty surrounding dragons that your introduction promised. I like how you chose to make Ryūjin an advocate of peace rather than destruction. So often, dragons are depicted as having evil intentions. Instead of berating the diver for stealing, he forgives her and goes further to say he wants to help end the bloodshed that her theft was inspired by.
    I am curious as to how you chose the names of your characters; they appear to have a sort of structural consistency, and I am wondering if they are drawn from a specific source of inspiration?
    One thing you might consider is playing around with other titles, or creating a combination title (i.e. Book One: Title). There is a lot of creative potential with titles, and having an intriguing one can help draw the reader in and prepare them for the kind of story to come.
    Overall, excellent job!

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  14. Hi Natalie,

    When I first came to your website, I was really excited to read the stories you created and you did not disappoint! I liked the first story but I did wonder how you came up with it! Did you read a similar story or did you pull multiple different stories into one? I was happy that it ended with the two countries in peace and the tide jewel back with its owner. I also liked the hinting at Ryūjin still being at the bottom of the ocean. I would love to see a different title for book one, maybe naming it after the mighty dragon that is in the story. It could help add more of a creative aspect to your storybook. You're doing a great job, keep up the good work!

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    Replies
    1. Hi again! I saw your author's note after publishing my comment! I'm glad that you were able to explore a different aspect of the story and let Tamatori live and be rewarded.

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  15. Hi Natalie! I was excited to read your storyn and I enjoyed reading through it the first time. Of course, schoolwork calls and I had to read as a critic. :( Still, I hope my feedback in comments and questions help you improve your storybook. Thank you so much for writing about dragons. I already posted my thoughts on your introduction before, so I will focus on the Book 1 part of your storybook.

    "Our first tale begins...," later to "Once there was an Empress..." are both openings that seem more redundant together. I would keep the first sentence as is, then adjust the second sentence to, "The Empress Jingū ruled an island, The Land of the Rising Sun, with honor and dignity."

    At first, the Empress is portrayed as benevolent but then she becomes power hungry. How did this transition take place or did the empress always desire more power. Is she manipulated by Takeuchi, who made the Empress see it was not impossible to gain the power of the tide jewel?

    Why did Tamatori agree to help obtain the tide jewel if, with just a glance, she could understand the land the empire had was enough?

    The Empress suddenly went from power-hungry to negotiations once the dragon spoke. Although humans revere the dragons' word as law, the Empress tried to steal from Ryūjin, so I don't understand why she would respect Ryūjin now.

    I liked the final line of how the dragon Ryūjin could still exist to this day. It ties back into your introduction's setup of how dragons are real but faded from human view over the years.

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  16. Hi Natalie! It is always a pleasure to read your stories! I noticed a lot of improvement from the last time I read, so kudos to you! I hope this feedback helps you improve even more.

    Why does the Empress want power after she ruled for a time with honor and dignity? Could the Empress have been insulted and want retribution? Could she be paranoid about war and want to win by a preemptive strike? Or has the Empress always been power-hungry?
    Why did Tamatori need to kill herself to ward off Ryūjin in the original story? I would also specify more about the changes you made from the original story to your retelling.

    I think you did a great job changing Ryūjin from the antagonist to a hero in The Quest of the Jewel. For your story format, I would recommend giving your first story a title other than "Book 1," as it doesn't tell us anything about the story. I would also suggest that you change your story banner image to a dragon (maybe the same image as your Week 7 story?).

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  17. Hey Natalie! I love dragons, and Game of Thrones is one of my favorite shows, so I'm very glad that you decided to write about the fairy tales that include dragons. It really drew me in immediately. First of all, I want to say that I really enjoyed the structure of your storybook. You did a great job of including images that helped make the reading a lot more interesting. You also did a fantastic job of using specific words to help convey your message. Your writing was very effective, and the diction you used was critical to creating the tone of mysticism. I'm interested to see where you take your future stories. I wonder if maybe your dragon stories will focus more on historical, older stories, or will you incorporate more modern details? I hope you continue to tell stories like this, as it was very interesting to read! I cannot wait to see how this storybook end up!

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  18. Hello Natalie!

    I really enjoyed reading your stories! I thought it was really cool how you focused on the wisdom and knowledge of the dragons rather than some immoral reason for trying to hunt them. I also really like how you used stories from different parts of the world. I almost immediately recognized Anansi and Kweku-Tsin from when I read the West African stories. I thought that story was really good how it focused on caring for the earth and that in doing so the earth will care for you. Something that's definitely important in today's world. I'm really curious to see where the third story will go and what wisdom that dragon has to share with the world. Your project was very creative and wholesome! It reminded me a lot about Avatar the Last Airbender. In that series the dragons were also really wise and powerful beings and humans hunted them down for trophies. Great job!

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  19. Natalie,
    I loved your introduction. The definition of the dragon to begin was a nice touch and you made me fall in love with dragons! Your first story about the dragon at the bottom of the ocean was beautiful and powerful. It brought emotion. I thought your dialogue was wonderful. I would love to hear more detail about the diver. Maybe you could explain how she feels when she is making the greatest dive of her life. Any struggles she might have as she swims deeper. I really loved how you changed the dragon to be a kind creature instead of a cruel one. Instead of creating war it made war cease. This is a really creative idea and I love it. Great job!

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