Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hammering Down A Story Concept

Here it is: October 1st.
This morning, to prep for NaNoWriMo, I picked a framework to write a story. That framework is the Grail Quest of Percival. From that, I plunked in the concepts into my nifty one-page Chapter Theme file, and this is what I got:

(fantasy / contemporary fiction)
Setting / Arc

Present day Wisconsin. It is the end of being a “little kid”. (Planned reading level 9-12)


Being the creative one in middle school (early year, grade 7). Coming of age.

13 Chapters
(Chapter Themes)

C1 Intro hero. Saying goodbye to the only friend. He is raised in the ‘wilds’ by his mother and sister; ignorant of the ‘manly ways’.

C2 (pp1) Main Problem appears (and is misunderstood). “I have to fit in”

C3 The research period.

C4 (pinch) Main Problem challenges hero. Which cliché to choose?

C5 Cleaning up the mess (no / part success)

C6 (mid pt 1) Main Problem goes public. A school event.

C7 (mid pt 2) Main Problem escalates. Tempo change; having to choose between…

C8 Public outcry against escalation and the hero, true friends are defined.

C9 (pinch) Main Problem shatters hero. Can no longer be creative; trashes their work.

C10 Walking through the wasteland, even friends seem distant / uncertain.

C11 (pp2) Main Problem resolution clarified. Receives an email from old friend.

C12 (climax) Everyone back together (even reluctantly, for the common goal).

C13 (mop up) Main Problem overcome. The threat of lost Love / pet results in Erin finding the strength to confront his darkness. Meets the ‘fringe’.

RAMBLE:  “There are a lot of ‘me’ out there; but one of me has to be in charge. I have to have my place… not to let any of the others to dominate. My anchor is my craft. It is my spirit given form. Therefore I must be the knight errant; I must seek out that which is dubious, so that I may understand violence and temptation and therefore reason through it. When I have faced my final fear, will my time here end or will I simply diminish into the obscure? I will trust in and follow my habits, I will pass my judgements and I will illuminate my thoughts and habits as an avatar to those who have no voice. I am truth and I will wander among you. I have been saturated into this body, Emotion, Instinct, Ethics.
Creation, atonements, blasphemy, love & contempt, Desire & Deception, and ultimately Truth… truth found in the embrace of personal responsibility. Not a single event, but a single task. The present is merely activity at a standstill. Duality.


  1. Hi everyone,

    I've gone and done it. I've signed up and committed to my first NaNoWriMo. Hopefully this writing boot camp will do me some good. Since all of you are a part of this Writer's Block group, you are my official writing buddies for this. I'm sure we are in for a wild and fun ride!

    Dave - Thanks for the story concept above. So far, so good. I know you will keep at it, and I look forward to discussing more of your chapter and plot ideas next week. It looks like the main problem is he wants to fit in but doesn't. Correct? I want to be clear on exactly what the main character wants and how he will get it. Also, what are the options to rack up tension in every chapter? We can talk more on this. I hope this helps a bit. I'm curious about your details.

    I haven't posted my profile for NaNo yet, but wanted to let you know I'm working on a mystery/thriller for adults. It is set in the Lake District, Cumbria, England, in a small town. I just briefly sketched out the first 12 chapters yesterday, and I have three characters so far. There's a murder victim that appears in the first chapter. Knowing me, this may morph into a non-fiction cookbook essay in the middle of November, so I'm counting on the group to make sure I stick with it. :)

    See everyone next week! Thanks!

  2. Thanks Jennifer! Keep chipping away at that mystery. I want to read it! I've spent the past few days expanding the core arc and meeting some of the characters in my book. I'll post what I've got done when I make it a little more coherent. Also, Jeff might jump into the NaNo pool as well! Remember: every 1600 words written this month is a day off next month!