Friday, June 30, 2017

Last Minute Plotting

I'm continuing with my amazing skill at writing vague summaries that make the story sound way cooler that it probably will be. I was just doing a little scribbling, trying to get the backstory and setting worked out, and I came up with this:

The Lower World was uncovered some years ago at the bottom of a mine shaft. It's an endless labyrinth of tunnels, marked by ruins of some forgotten civilization. The inhabitants have long since vanished.

Or have they?

Have they just moved further down into the darkness? What still hides in the shadows?

Several expeditions were sent, led by Professor Harcourt "Harry" DeWitt, in an effort to map the Lower World and learn of its former inhabitants. On one such journey to the highest city, not far beyond the modern, human realm, DeWitt even brought his preteen daughter, the adventurous Catherine. She grew up among the ruins and the artifacts, learning the lost language of Subterranea.

And now, on a recently funded expedition to the lower reaches, the professor and his team vanished. A rescue team found nothing, and risked becoming lost themselves.

So Catherine, now grown and an explorer in her own right, must seek out a man with unusual skills, if she ever hopes to find her father.

Now, basically those last two paragraphs are what the story is actually about. And they're a little bit vague, aren't they? I have a lot of work to do… today. Because I'm a slacker and this is the last day before Camp NaNo: July Edition starts.

You might say, "But look! You figured out what the mystery was that the guy has to solve!" Well, no. I've actually known that Catherine's father went missing from the get-go. I just didn't tell you because I thought you'd laugh at me. Because it's contrived and predictable, or whatever. And maybe because I thought I'd come up with something better before I had to admit it to anyone. But… I didn't. So here we are.

By the end of today, I need a proper plot outline. And character arcs! I think on this one, the focus has to fall equally on both main characters, rather than mostly on one, like usual. Because of the whole romance thing, you know. All the *shudder* emotions.

I'm going to admit this right now. I'm not great at emotions. Having or writing. And I'm not sure why that is. I used to be full of all kinds of emotions. A roiling storm of sentiments. And now it's like I can't even understand them. That makes it kind of hard to write them, which is why I write cold, sarcastic characters. But damn it, we're going to make a valiant effort at it this time. These people are going to feel things! All the things!

If I can make the characters feel things, then maybe I can make the reader feel things, and I'll be one step closer to world domination. Sure that seems like a lofty goal, but mind control really is the goal of fiction. It makes you feel all these things, and it has nothing to do with you. Stuff happens to these made up characters, but you feel it anyway.

I once watched The Notebook in my drama class. It was on in the background while we were working on something. It ended, I looked up, and the four or five other girls in the room were bawling. They had to be excuses to the restroom to compose themselves. And I was just like, "What the hell is happening?" That's the kind of power fiction can have. And I want that power for myself.

Well, I'm off to plot. Both my story and my inevitable global takeover.

I'll see you Tuesday.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I did read that vague summary in a movie trailer announcer's voice. "Coming this summer..."

    We all know the reasons behind the journey can be pretty flimsy - it's the actual journey that matters. Looking forward to seeing where you're going with this.