As I mentioned on my last post, I have been reading Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks. It has been very helpful in making me think about my NaNoWriMo project plans. Today I will cover the first step: Concept.
Goal 1: I will work on my writing every day.
My original concept was a simple sequel to Finding Valhalla, but using a different main character as the Valkyrie. I was going to continue the plot to start Ragnarök, expanding it and raising the stakes for this second book. However, after thinking about it some more, I have decided that since I need to rewrite Finding Valhalla anyway, I think this book may be better suited to be the first in the series, instead of a sequel. I think that Miranda’s story may actually be better suited to be the last book instead of the first.
The writing book talked about defining the story concept as a What If question. It also said that the question should immediately raise other, similar questions. So I tried it out. Here are some of my concept questions:
- What if a state trooper was forced to become a Valkyrie to take the place of another one that was killed protecting her?
- What if she had to hide all this from normal people?
- What if her partners in the police force were suspicious about some of the things she had to do to keep the supernatural world out of the press?
- What if a federal agency got involved?
- What if some of the other Valkyries were threatened by the risk of her being discovered?
- What if the Valkyrie leaders or even the gods got involved?
- What if the supernatural world was revealed as a result of her failure to do her duty as a Valkyrie?
- What would the other supernatural races think about this?
- What if she joined the police to honor the memory of her father?
- What if whatever killed her father was supernatural and she saw it?
- What if that drove her to train to fight them, and that is why she was chosen to become a Valkyrie?
- What if the thing that killed her father is still out there and that is what drives her?
- What if she is obsessed with revenge for her father’s death?
- What if that obsession interferes with her duty as a Valkyrie and as a state trooper?
- What if she also had to try to stop a plot to start Ragnarök?
- What if the man she loved was killed as part of the plot?
As you can see, there are a lot of things that came to mind, and there are even more that I haven’t put into the list yet. I have a lot of things to think about in the next two weeks. I am also starting to think about working on an outline. I would like to at least plan out the major plot points and work out the character arc before I get started. To be honest, the character arc is the part that I am really struggling with. I think I have a good idea where I want to go with it, but I’m not sure how well it will work out when I start writing.
Goal 2: I will participate in NaNoWriMo in November.
I updated my author’s info on the NaNoWriMo website. I plan on starting my outline this week.
Goal 3: Diet and exercise to lose at least 10 pounds by the end of this round.
I got on the exercise bike twice yesterday, for 20 miles each time. I burned a little over 600 calories each time. Hopefully that will be enough to at least keep me from gaining anything over the last week. I’m going to have to continue to dedicate myself to do it again though. I should really do at least 20 miles at least three times a week, preferably more.
Please leave a comment with any thoughts you have about my concept. I’m interested in hearing whether or not you think I am heading in the right direction. I’ll be back on Thursday to talk about my character arc.