Friday, 31 October 2014

Mini-Plotting

Happy Halloween, everyone! Excited? I know I am. Every year, we give out little comic-book tracts to all the kids that come to our door (with candy, of course). We put one tract and two mini chocolate bars in a ziplock back, and give one to each kid. I LOVE doing this. It's a great, easy, non-intrusive way to reach kids (and their parents!) for Christ. And look at how fun they are!












Anyway, speaking of mini (mini chocolate? eeeehhhh transition!), do you have trouble plotting extensively? Does the panster in you cringe and groan at trying to outline your whole story? If so, fear not! Try Mini-Plotting today!

LOL ok, enough infomercial. But! Mini plotting is a real thing. At least, it is for me. ;)

Mini plotting is a way for me to keep track of my ideas as I have them. So, as I'm pantsing my way through scene A, I have an idea about scene B, and something that will maybe end up being scene H, and something that's probably scene P. Not wanting to wait until I actually GET to the scene to write it (I'll forget by the time I get there), I'll keep notes a few spaces under my cursor in [brackets]. For example:



And of course, for a real story, the plot ideas would be more detailed. Well, they can be as detailed or vague as you want, as long as they remind you of what you wanted to do. This way, you're still pantsing, but you're also plotting just far enough in advance that you won't get stuck. And the more you write, the more ideas will pop up. "Oh yeah! I could totally make them do THIS, and that will connect this and this, and explain why they did THAT! Great!!" And then you write down the idea to have at your fingertips. Then you'll have a small, short-distance outline to follow, with maybe some vague long-distance ideas. 

I don't know if this will work for everyone, or if this post even made any sense at all. Wait, let me give you an actual example from my actual story, I'm sure that will make more sense:

~*~*~*~*~*~

“No screaming, no lewd comments. In fact, no speaking. And if you make a move towards Kat, or the exit, or a weapon, or do anything that I don’t like; I will kill you.” [<-- the last bit of story I've written so far/]

[Remember:
1.      Make Rolf insecure
2.      Make Zane womanizer
3.      Make Kat not like either of them at first
4.      Gradually increase relationship of all three

[^^^ my character development reminders]

Plot Points:
1.      R takes Z along to keep an eye on him because;
1.1.   he doesn’t want him to wander the city,
1.2.   he can’t exactly take him to the guards
1.3.   he wants Z to show them how he got in, so they can get out
1.3.1.      Also, scientists in secret lab down Beneath have secret way of going to and from the city, that’s how they (the heroes) get back into Caelum, because Zane’s way (whatever it is) is no longer available? OR did Zane use the scientists’ way?
2.      K is forced to come along too because
2.1.   she insists because he’s hurt and saved her life
2.2.   some dirty guards see her with R (and Z unmasked?) and will come for her if she stays
3.      Go to the theater 

[^^^ my ideas for future scenes, and scenes I'm currently writing, and reasons for their actions.]

etc. You don't have to make a numbered list. It just made my ocd happy. X)

So! I hope that post was a) helpful, and b) not too utterly confusing. Sometimes it's hard for me to take the ideas from my brain, make them into words, and put them down in a logical, readable manner.

Good luck with Nano tomorrow, my fellow writers! Perhaps this method shall help you, and perhaps not. Have a safe and fun Halloween!


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Beautiful Books

Nano is almost upon us. Just a few more days, now.

What a frightening realization! But also exciting! :D

In honor of that, I thought I'd (finally) do this Beautiful Books linkup from Further Up and Further In and the Notebook Sisters.

Sorry, this is just a picture. I couldn't figure out how to link it.

It's yet another wonderful meme to come out of the minds of those lovely bloggers. Let's jump in, shall we?
~*~*~*~*~

What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Oh dear. Well, if I go waaaayy back to the very beginning of this idea train, it started with a creature, moved to “I wanna make a book that dispels fantasy creature stereotypes,” got a plot, got a character, got more characters, and then changed plots and character affiliations about four times, and that’s how I got the story I’m working on now. XD I'd say I'm a plantser (plotter-pantser)

Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”? I do, but only because of Nano! I'm calling it Worlds Apart, for now.

  It has been five hundred years since the Great War. Five hundred years since the elves separated themselves from all other living creatures and retreated to a city of their own making; a shielded city held afloat in the sky. For five hundred years, there has been peace. Until now.

Rolf is a spy in training. When his father comes home and tells him the king has been poisoned, Rolf is sent on a mission, and thrust headlong into a dangerous world he isn't yet ready for. A world of hate, treason, and death.

Popular actress Kat longs for a life outside the theater, away from her controlling mother and an arranged marriage. When two unsettling strangers show up on her doorstep, she may get the chance she's always dreamed of.

But her dream may turn into a nightmare as they are forced to flee from the only home they've ever known. For they have to go where no one has ventured for five hundred years, where no one will suffer an elf to live.
They have to go Beneath.

What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished? Ummm….when it’s done, it’s done? Lol I’ll write until the story is complete, then edit away the unnecessary things and make it all nice. Basically, I have no idea. X)

Sum up your novel in 3 sentences. Everyone is afraid. There’s lots of injustice. Happy endings all around. (whoops, does that count as a spoiler? LOL)

Sum up your characters in one word each. All my characters, or just the main ones? Hehehe. I’ll just do my three main good (or good-ish) ones.
Rolf – insecure
Kat – angry
Zane – empty
Wow, they sound charming, put like that. XD

Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them! Oh my goodness. That would probably have to be Zane. He’s been my favorite through every draft. Which is bad, bc he’s a secondary character (although…he might take more of a main role in this production….). He is a blue ogre (remember what I said about dissolving stereotypes? Ogres have different skin colors and are adept at magic.) who likes drink, cards, and women a bit too much. Don’t worry! As the author, it’s my duty to make sure he changes for the better, and he will. I have an epic friendship planned for him. IT’S GONNA BE SO FUN! XD

Havenlord
What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal? I have two villains, possibly three. Here you’re saying, “What? You don’t even KNOW how many villains you have? Nano is four days away!” Well, I’m a plantser. I’ve plotted a lot, but most times I just don’t know what will happen until it does.

Anyway, my main (for now) villain is called Havenlord by people who despise him enough not to want to say his real name, because it tastes slimy. He is currently manipulating the prince to overthrow the king’s rule. The prince is not a genius, and so whatever ideas Havenlord gives him, he thinks he came up with them himself. Thus, Havenlord will be take the throne when the prince does, like a puppetmaster pulling the strings. Because GREED, and other motives not yet clear to me (he’ll let me know when it’s time).

Rolf
What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way? My protagonists goals are as follows; find who poisoned the king, find the antidote, heal the king, and don’t get murdered along the way. Because Havenlord, the prince, corrupt guards, possibly the mob, evil scientists, and every other race ever stands in his way. Also his own fear and physical injuries.

What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey? Well, the king sent him on a mission to find the antidote for the poison, but he was sort of humming and hawing because that meant he had to go Beneath, to the land under their floating city, and potentially die due to a five-hundred-year-old war. BUT! He was forced to flee when he and his father were falsely accused of treason and sentenced to death.
Caelum (well actually Cocoon from FF13, but shush)

Where is your novel set? In a world of my own creation (as is so often the case with fantasy stories). The fantasy creatures are not quite what you’d expect. The story starts in Caelum, the floating city, and migrates to the wild lands Beneath.

What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely? Hmm….! Maybe…….No, I can’t choose right now. Ask me again after I’ve written them all. X)

What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story? Mmmmmmm spoilers. XD lol actually, I just can’t choose. What constitutes a “dynamic” relationship? And anyway, the best relationship I’ve planned hasn’t started yet.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel? Ok, well; Rolf is insecure at the start of the story. Sounds like a dumb flaw for a spy, but he’s lived his whole life in his father’s intimidating and criticising shadow. He’s been told over and over that he’s not ready, not good enough, until he has come to believe that he will NEVER be ready or good enough. By the end of the story, I hope to see him realize just how important and talented he is, that he CAN make a difference, and you don’t have to be perfect in order to help someone.  

Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens? LOL I only have the vaguest of ideas. General character development, maybe what they’ll do after the story, good beats evil. XD The rest will be decided in the moment. ;D

What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself? (This is your mission statement, one you can look back on when the road gets tough.) Well, I’m hoping to try and work a Christian-type message into the story, so if I can manage to pull that off…that’d be fantastic. Idk man, it’s a novel! I want it to be fun to read, maybe even to read a second or third time! And I would really love it if I could manage to write a female character that is NOT mind-numbingly stupid/annoying. X)


And that's the questions. X) I kind of fail at thorough plotting....so everything is a little half-baked. But hey. XD