Friday, May 12, 2017

Redeemable, Like a Coupon

There's still about a week left to vote on the genre of my next project. As it stands, it's tied, which means I'll have to combine the winning genres. And honestly, I'm kind of excited about the prospect.

As for the current project, well…

I haven't finished outlining it yet. What have I been doing all this time, you ask? I don't know. Not outlining, I guess. Motivation is still something I'm working on. The whole getting up and writing every day thing.

So the point in the character arc outline thing where I left off is the point of the story where the character goes on the offensive. He should try to defeat the antagonist (in this case a soul-gobbling entity), and he should fail. Then some other stuff should happen, some more information is learned, and then the final battle, so to speak. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen here. In this case, perhaps the entity remains undefeated, but the character succeeds in saving the Girl.  And then the aftermath of that.

So the outline should look something like this:

  1. Setup
    1. Old Order - Goal = Survival & Self-interest
    2. Inciting Incident - Waking up on the empty train.
    3. 1st Plot Point - There's a weird house. Is there a way out?
  2. Reaction
    1. 1st Pinch Point - There is something in this world. Something hungry.
    2. Mid-Point - Something about souls?
  3. Attack
    1. Second Pinch Point - First (failed) attempt at an attack/escape
    2. Second Plot Point - Some new information comes to light
  4. Resolution
    1. Climax - Exciting things happen, the Girl is saved
    2. Denouement - Redemption, but at what cost?

Now, I say "at what cost?" and that might seem like a downer ending. And maybe it is. But let's not forget, this is a hellish realm inhabited by an entity that eats souls. Now, Jake Barlow, our antihero, has only survived thus far because, with murder victims numbering in the severals, he doesn't have much of a soul left. But then things happen, and he frees someone innocent from this realm, and oh, would you look at that, he's redeemed himself to some degree and regained his soul. In a hellish realm inhabited by an entity that eats souls. It might not turn out so well for him. Who knows.

That's a common little thing called Redemption Equals Death. Bad guy sees the error of his ways, ends up sacrificing himself for the greater good. That might be how this story goes. Or maybe I'll let him live. Who knows. Maybe I've been killing people too much.

You know, I don't know why I keep killing everyone. Or causing violence and misery to befall my characters. It's like a twisted obsession. I'm sure that says something about me, psychologically.

Anyway, another thing I need to adjust in this story is Point of View. It was always in 3rd person POV, but it was very close. If Jake didn't know something, the audience didn't know it. Which is a problem when in comes to weird metaphysical things like souls. So I think the POV needs to take a few steps back and get a little omniscient. We need to know what is happening outside his head. Beyond his head. What's behind that locked door at the end of the hall? What is the cost of him not knowing? We could get a little dramatic irony in there, where we know something that he does not.

I think that's about it for today. As you can see, I don't outline my posts any better than I outline my stories. It gets very stream-of-consciousness in here.

I'll see you Tuesday.

Title Source: The Finder, Episode 1: An Orphan Walks Into a Bar

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