I have been thinking, and thinking, and thinking, and now I am almost ready to start writing. The plot outline is coming together, and even though there is a lot of research I would like to do, I am going to start writing on July 1. I am also going to be joining the next round of ROW80, which should help me to focus on the book. My goal is simply going to be to finish the first draft by the end of September. That shouldn’t be a problem.
Today I went through my list of scenes and compiled them into a Word document that I could use as a basic outline. I thought that putting them all on one page might help me figure out where outline might need a bit of reinforcement. There are several places where I think I can expand on my initial thoughts, and in the end it should be stronger, as well as keep me more focused as I write.
Of course, all of this work on the outline might change as I start getting into the story and begin building a closer relationship with each of the characters. It is going to be hard for me to do this, as all of my writing so far has been using a first person viewpoint, and now I am going to write from the third person viewpoint and have FOUR main characters! It’s definitely going to be a struggle for me, but I don’t know of any other way to do this.
I’m planning on starting with a short prologue, showing a meteorite falling to Earth. That little rock will be the source of the superpowers. We’ll probably never see it again. After that I will introduce the kids as the get off the bus for their four weeks at the camp. I was thinking about giving each of them their own scene, showing how they feel about being there and giving me a chance to show the camp from four different viewpoints, but that might make the opening drag on too much. I may be able to condense it into one or two scenes and still give each of them a short introduction. I also need to introduce some of the camp counselors, because they will be important later on.
After the introductions, I’ll go through a little bit of camp routine, and then the campers will go on a nature hike. While they are in the woods a storm will come up, forcing them to seek shelter in a nearby cabin (which is also where the meteorite landed). Some of them will get injured, including one of the counselors. The other counselor will stay with them until the storm passes, then tell them to stay put while he goes for help. The kids will get hungry and eat some food they find in a cupboard, and promptly regret it. The food has been contaminated by the meteorite and they get sick as their bodies change and they get their powers.
A few scenes showing how their powers manifest, and a pact of secrecy, and then they will find the dead bodies. The cabin is also the lair of a serial killer, and the kids decide they will use their new gifts to catch him. Unfortunately, their plan doesn’t go well, and when he shows up one of them dies. The injured counselor is also murdered.
They run back to the camp to get the police, but when they get there they have trouble getting people to believe their story. Their problem is compounded by the fact that when the police investigate the cabin they don’t find any bodies. The kids are now in trouble, but the camp is responsible for them for another three weeks and they convince the police to give them another chance.
The next three weeks are hard for the young superheroes. They get together as often as they can to practice their powers and plan their revenge against the killer. They are forced into action on the last day of camp, and escape back to the cabin, where they are promptly caught by the villain.
Things are looking grim for our heroes when out of the blue the dead kid appears, alive and well. It turns out one of his powers is regeneration, and he came back to life and escaped while the killer was hiding the other bodies. His sudden appearance startles the bad guy, allowing the kids to turn the tables and tie him up. They take him back to camp and turn him over to the police with enough evidence to put him away for life. The kids are heroes and are sent back home to their parents with thanks.
My thoughts for the end of the book are that the killer has also developed some superpowers, and he uses them to escape, vowing revenge against the kids that caught him. This would leave the story open for a possible sequel. I’m not planning anything as a follow-up just yet, but if I get any ideas it would be nice to have that option.
So that’s the plan. I’m going to take some more time for the rest of this week to expand a bit on my character sketches and fill in some of the gaps in my outline, but I really think I will be ready to start writing on Sunday. This is the first time I have had a complete story planned before I started writing, and I really hope that will make my writing stronger. It would be nice to finish a first draft and not feel like it was a wasted effort. I think that every single one of my previous stories is going to need a complete rewrite, keeping only a bare minimum of the original. Hopefully this one will only take minor editing.
The last post on the ROW80 blog said that the official start of the next round will actually be on Monday, July 2, so check back with me then and I’ll give you an update on how I did for my first day of writing. See you then!