Novel Excerpt (Feedback Welcome)

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  • #31176
    Profile photo of Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Also…do I already have the Inciting Incident done? Is that what you meant? @kate-flournoy

    #31205
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    @That_Writer_Girl_99 yes ma’am. You do. *thumbs up* Good work.
    The human intuition is a marvelous thing. 😉 A lot of the learning associated with writing, in my experience, is just learning the names of things your intuition already understands.
    I know EXACTLY what you mean with the utensil metaphor— great way to describe it! lol

    As for Kara… it really depends. You know what Experiment she starts out with and what she believes by the end, don’t you? Considering you’ve yet to figure out the plot, I wouldn’t work on her any more yet until you’ve got some inkling of a notion what the middle’s going to hold. You already have a great grasp of her personality. Honestly I think you’re good to go.

    Do you have any questions before we tackle the First Plot Point?

    #31212
    Profile photo of Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Uh, no. I’ll ask if anything crosses my mind. @kate-flournoy

    #31250
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    All right Elizabeth.

    After the Inciting Incident we have our First Plot Point. What happens here is basically that Kara commits to follow through with what the Inciting Incident set in motion, instead of lapsing back into her former apathy.
    She decides that change is in order and sets out to figure out what exactly she needs to do.
    What will this look like from a plot standpoint? Well… at this point your knowledge of Kara’s personality becomes crucial. Because if you left Kara alone in her cell for a day or two after the incident with Tam, she probably would just sink back into her listless ignorance, only slightly shaken, and there would be no story.
    So we cannot let her just sit there undisturbed. We need to bring the option of action to her.

    How we gonna do that? Especially since she’s not the type to look for trouble?

    The other characters. Has Blake somehow managed to infiltrate the prison? Is there a secret agent among the guards? Or is there an uprising brewing among the more hotheaded of the prisoners that seizes the opening Tam’s arrest made to talk to Kara and let her in on their plans? Or… plot twist alert… maybe Tam was part of the uprising and got herself arrested on purpose to shock Kara out of her placid acceptance and set things in motion? If there is such an organization within the prison, perhaps they need Kara for some reason— Kara specifically— and are willing to sacrifice one of their own (Tam) in order to get her.
    Now supposing that’s what you want to do, you need to ask yourself a question— how can I make this thematic?
    Look back to the different answers you had to your Focusing Question. (And you can make more if you need to. In fact you might need to in a bit.) Pick one of the answers to be the EiL of those in this uprising. Perhaps… perhaps that it is better to be intelligent than ignorant because then you can make ignorant people do what you want. Suppose they view Kara as ignorant. Suppose they’re using her innocence to forward their own desperate schemes for freedom.
    One thing to remember whenever introducing a new character or a new organization or anything that has the potential to be a driving force in the story— always figure out and establish what core belief is motivating them, where that fits into your chosen theme, and whether or not it’s correct.
    Remember that. It makes characters consistent.

    Now coming back off our little brainstorming side-track, remember the thing to do for the First Plot Point is just to find something that will make Kara commit to following through. The options I put above aren’t by any means the only possible options. Before you settle, do some thinking.

    @That_Writer_Girl_99

    #31257
    Profile photo of Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    You gave me a lot to think about here, Kate–thanks.

    Er, lapse of memory–what was my Focusing Question? @kate-flournoy

    #31270
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    Oh yes. It’s the question you asked yourself about intelligence vs. ignorance to narrow down the field— in essence, is intelligence better than ignorance? And if so, why?
    We had several answers, only one of them correct. Giving all the characters different and conflicting EiLs on this subject and showing how they all turn out is how you make the point you want to make with your theme. 😉

    @That_Writer_Girl_99

    #31272
    Profile photo of Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Got it. @kate-flournoy

    *grins* okay, continue.

    #31284
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    All right. @That_Writer_Girl_99 one point I need to make here before we approach what a midpoint is. These plot points are in order, yes, but they do not come in quick succession. There is progression between all of them. Progression and growth as the struggles and conflicts bounce off each other in the form of the different characters.
    Think about it like this. Each plot point is the representation of Kara’s next major step towards the truth.
    She is constantly growing. Each plot point illustrates that. But the growth happens in between. See, at the Inciting Incident, she wasn’t ready for the First Plot Point. It took the Inciting Incident and the time intervening to prepare her for the FPP. The FPP is merely a manifestation of her growth. In the same way, the FPP is one step closer to the next plot point— the midpoint. But it is not the midpoint itself; it merely prepares for it and takes her close enough to reach it after she’s had some time to stew in whatever the FPP brought about plot wise.
    Got that?

    #31286
    Profile photo of Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Got it. @kate-flournoy

    Can we stop and talk about the actual plot that takes place during that time, though? I have a view ideas I wanna run past you. *pulls out her handy dandy notebook*

    #31287
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    @That_Writer_Girl_99 sure! Fire away. 😀

    #31290
    Profile photo of Dragon Snapper
    Dragon Snapper
    Participant

    @that_writer_girl_99

    *pulls out her handy dandy notebook*

    I got that quote!

    #31292
    Profile photo of Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Okay. @kate-flournoy

    First things first–Blake. I haven’t even started to write anything regarding him yet, although his character has been in my head since I came up with the idea for this entire story. He is–without me wanting to sound cliche–the fire spirit to Kara’s icy disposition. He’s boastful, and arrogant, and strong, and he arrives in the prison…as a prisoner.

    Here’s where he ties into…other things that I’ve more or less come up with. There’s a lot of holes to fill, plot-wise, but here goes.

    Most of the prisoners, including Kara, grew up in the prison, meaning, they don’t know about the world outside. Which means that they are vulnerable to all sorts of lies about what the world outside is like.
    The Warden, although his intentions are good, is somehow related to how the Elementals and the Catastrophes were created, and so he lies about the world outside. He lies about the existence of the Catastrophes. The prisoners don’t know that darker versions of themselves even exist.

    Which means that Blake, coming into the prison with a full understanding of the truth about the Catastrophes, has the potential to shake everything the prisoners believe. The Warden won’t like that very much.

    I haven’t exactly broken down what this means for Kara’s character yet. I know they won’t get along–fire and ice don’t exactly mix–but I know that I do want them to be friends (or something) in the end.
    I know that Kara won’t react well to Blake’s arrival. He isn’t going to be quiet when it comes to telling everyone–including her–how it really is outside. I know that Kara won’t take well to that information. She trusts the Warden, and instantly writes Blake off as a jerk, because Blake really, really doesn’t like the Warden.

    #31293
    Profile photo of Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Blue’s Clues? @dragon-snapper

    #31295
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    @That_Writer_Girl_99 that is great and that is awesome and I could not approve more. *hugs you*

    The question you wanna ask yourself though is how you’re going to make this tie into the FPP. First, if you’re going to use Blake as Kara’s main foil and impact character (a character whose differences push your MC along in their arc) you need to get Blake and Kara to meet. Does Blake get Tam’s cell? And then maybe, to flesh things out a bit, you could have a friend of Blake’s sneak into the prison as a guard or something and try to break him out. Kara could very easily become involved whether she wants it or not, and then get in serious trouble, which would force her to commit to following through even if she didn’t do it of her own free will.
    Or perhaps the breakout attempt fails and Blake is dragged off just as Tam was, and even though Kara really doesn’t like him she feels duty bound to try and help him, just because he is so different, and deep down under her disgust she pities him.

    This Blake guy has a lot of potential though. Why is he doing what he’s doing? Is it that he’s so devoted to his EiL of hard truth being better than secure ignorance that he’s willing to risk arrest to tell these people that they’re being lied to? That would give him a very deep interest in Kara from the beginning, making it even more difficult for her to avoid him.

    #31297
    Profile photo of Elizabeth
    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Er, yes. I forgot to mention that. Yeah, Blake gets Tam’s cell. @kate-flournoy

    Everything you’ve just mentioned, I thought about doing at one point or another, I just haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet.

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