Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It begins soon

So in only 40 minutes or so Nanowrimo 2007 will begin.

I have a plot and plot twists. I have characters in my mind, but they don't really have names and aren't fully developed yet.

I plan to start writing tomorrow morning and focus on characters and plot building tonight.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's been a while...but I bring plot!

So I have finally accepted that my inner critic has been undermining my creativity. My boyfriend called me on it last night and I took his advice to heart. So I stuck with what I had:

A girl is bound to the service of a person, she wants her freedom.

Her main destination: a forest [preferably a rainforest] full of strange and wonderful creatures.

A man who is not human, with a dark past, that she must trust.

So I spent some time pondering about it. Answering the very plot issues that were convincing me to abandon it. And I had a eureka moment while walking to school.

This is what I dreamed up:

The MC is sold or taken from her home to serve a wealthy older woman who is a magic user. In exchange for serving her mistress's whim, she is being taught how to control her magic. However, the MC doesn't really enjoy her life--mostly because she is given the task of luring people to the house--people she never sees leave.

One day she figures out what is going on and finds a man, a blood drinker, chained up in the basement. Dazed in dreams, etc she stupidly sets him free [perhaps she befriends him for a while--or he haunts her dreams to gain her trust]. Either way he runs off leaving her to take the blame.

When the mistress finds out she decides to punish the girl. There are a couple of ways this can go. A) The mistress sends her off with one of her "guards" to kill the girl and get rid of her. B) She abandons the girl in a forest convinced she will die [feeding her to something?]. C) Sends her to find the man she unleashed. D) Send her into the forest to find something or someone.

Either way she ends up in a forest that she does not know. She makes a few mistakes and then is found by the very man she released. He offers his assistance as long as she will help him do something first. She accepts [it's possible she might plan to turn him in, but does not mention this].

Not sure what he wants though, but it's somewhere in the forest. Perhaps something the woman took from him. Or another creature that lives within the forest has it.

Along the way they will come across:
a) a girl who lost her brother [did he steal something?]--who might be a blind seer
b) zombies
c) the being that controls them
d) others like the man she released

Now either the mistress realizes that the girl was not killed and worries about her surviving and revealing her secret. So she sends others after her. Or she assumes she is dead, because her henchman tells her so.

Somehow she will escape the woods and either heads home first and decides to take revenge. Or desires revenge against her mistress--but when she appears to her mistress it is in disguise and kills her.

So I have a plot! And some characters to develop. Hooray!

Big questions to answer:
1) Why was that woman using the man?
2) Why were the kids in the forest? What did they steal?
3) What is the man seeking in the forest?
4) What is the mistress' ultimate goal?

Oh I'm so excited. This is like horror/dark fairytale/mythology/fantasy etc all wrapped up in a fun little adventure.

:: squeals with joy ::

Monday, October 22, 2007

I know...I know...

I said in my last post that I had a plot coming...and it is, but I don't want to jinx it by posting it until I have a clear view of goals for my protagonists and antagonists.

So far it's shaping up pretty well and not a moment too soon. Cuz I still have a lot of world building to do before November 1st. Ack!

I have spent quite a few frustrating nights wondering why the hell I still didn't have a plot despite planning ahead and trying to figure out a story way in advance. For next Nano I'm doing my plotting and research before the year is even out.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

So I lied...

A few days ago I said my plot was nearly figured out. Well...I thought it was, but found a ton of plot holes.

Then I realized I did not know what I wanted and was nearly sabotaging myself with conflicting desires. So I scrapped everything and took on a new method of plot building.

Think and commit.
Let the ideas come to me gradually or as I look for inspirations with the one restriction is that the story comes from this one idea:

A girl, who thinks her estranged mother is "crazy", inherits something after her mother's death that convinces her that her mother wasn't so crazy after all.

From there I let the ideas flow gradually. I removed the need to figure it all out immediately, which was killing some of my original ideas. I overthunk [i love that term!] them and my brain desperately needed the rest.

So far it's going pretty darn well. Most of this has been seriously helped by myNotes: a rich text editor that is tabbed for easier organization. It's shareware [wish it was freeware] but it'll do the job.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Creating a good plot is complicated stuff

So that plot I posted a few days's gone the way of the dinosaurs.

It just wasn't working. I can't say what's entirely wrong with it, but it didn't seem to flow or move forward. It sort of came to a dead end halfway through the story. So I spent some time working on my characters, their needs, fears...who they are. And then revamping the plot. The story has changed a bit, but it still uses similar characters and ideas. So far I'm pretty happy with what I have at the moment [we'll see if that's still true after I sleep on it].

I'll post a more finalized plot with characters tomorrow[later today]--for now I rest!

:: drops down on her knees to before her muse ::

Please please please let this be the last plot change....I have a lot of world building to do!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Plot (first rough version)

Be first synopsis trying to work out some kinks. There's a lot of backstory I left out to keep it short...but the essentials are here.

Note: this is on an original world.

Back Story: About 400 years ago humans lived in harmony with elemental spirits who taught them how to harness the elements for magic. However one devious spirit, sick of coexisting with humankind, convinced a group of magic users to build and open the gate to the Shadowlands [where these spirits originated] by promising that it would give them eternal life. When they opened the gate they unleashed dark spirits (daemons) that brought violence, war and death. The magic users managed to close the gate, but it was too late, thousands of daemons had already escaped. Mankind was nearly wiped out and many went into hiding.
In the aftermath, the magic users were confronted by spirits and cursed to hunt down and banish all the daemons, they had released, back to the Shadowlands. For their protection “guardians”, human/demon hybrids were made to ensure they would survive the fight. For years they hunted down the demons but before they could finish their task, it was discovered that they had opened the gate and the rising religious monarchy ordered their execution. All text and artifacts on magic use were destroyed for fear of the gate being opened again, but their gates could not be destroyed. The cities near them were abandoned and they became forgotten.

The Plot (skip to 400 years later):
My MC is a girl named Devi. She has a decent life--she just finished with school, has friends, a new apartment and a prestigious apprenticeship that might lead to a job. Everything seemed to be falling into place until she receives news of her mother’s death. Devi and her mother have not seen each other for ten years, as her mother sent her away to boarding school when she was twelve. Even during the little time she had spent with her mother, she was second to her mother’s work. Nevertheless she plays the good daughter and appears at the funeral, where she is bequeathed a box of her mother’s possessions. When she opens the box, a spirit [no better name for it now] appears to inform her that her mother’s debt has been passed down to her and that she is obligated to fulfill it. Turns out she descended from one of the magic users that opened the gate some 300 years ago (it passes from first born child to their first born child). She initially refuses but is warned that she either hunts them or she will become hunted (as most daemons want to remain on earth).

So she tries the demon hunting thing for a while and realizes she’s pretty good at it, but balancing it with her current life turns out to be incredible difficult. Then she is nearly killed (her roommate is not so lucky) by a surprise attack during “non-hunting time” by a daemon that claims to have killed her mother. She tries to fight but is mortally wounded. She is saved by a “guardian” [half human/demon originally created to protect the cursed gated openers] before she passes out. The daemon escapes. The “guardian” takes her to the priest, who had given her mother’s funeral, for safety [priest were known for combating daemons, etc]. When she wakes up, the priest explains what happens and offers her a safe haven. He also hints that he knew her mother fairly well.

As Devi recovers, she is visited by the spirit, which is angered by her lack of action. She is still shaken by the death of her best friend and tries to make a deal with the spirit. If she banishes the daemon that killed her mother then she is free from the debt. The spirit takes the deal but only if the daemon is banished and not killed. The reason the spirit accepts this deal is that this particular daemon is very powerful and has been eluding them by possessing bodies and living in them for long periods of time. So she sets out to avenge her mother and end her family’s debt.

Along the story a few of the things that will happen:
--We learn that the daemons once lived outside the Shadowlands and were jealous of the humans, which is why they want to stay. Many try to possess humans because they can experience things they cannot.
--Devi learns that her mother’s distance was for a reason. She was sent away about a few years after her mother became the new debt holder for the family. She learns a lot about her mother and it changes her opinions about her a bit.
--Devi is captured by the daemon as he plans to use her to open the gate again

Yeah…that’s about it for now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


So after much deliberation I decided that my story would be best if written in an original world.
My main reasons:
-Different origin story than the Earth
-Didn't want to use real city names, etc
-Wanted to humans to have a generally different believes toward different racial groups
-Radically different vampire origin story

Plus the story does not rely on it being on Earth.

So far it's been more detailed than I would have thought. I've been using site #1 and site #2. The sites are both similar and site #1 is probably borrowing a lot from site #2. But I prefer the order that site #2 uses--it just seems more logical to me.

My biggest issue is figuring out how to create an original, urbanized world for my character--one that has departed from the old ways, superstition and magic. But before all that I have start drawing my planet and all its continents, since I'm sort of stuck there.

I plan to try some more tonight. If it gets daunting I'll just remind myself that I only need to figure out what is essential to my story--the rest can be worked out later.

To work!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Always be prepared

I started this journal so I could document my progress as I try to write a 50,000 word novel during Nanowrimo. I attempted last year but was badly prepared. I failed at 2k, mostly because I wasn't entirely sure where my novel was going.

This year will be different. I've spent that last 2 months brainstorming plot ideas and during October I'll be compiling a book of character profiles, world building info [it may be an original world] and fleshed out plot points. I figure that if I think about all of this now I'll be immersed enough in the story and characters that I can BS my way out of any writer's block.

Hopefully this year I'll finish.

We'll see.


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