Plotting: Get me from here to there
A friend of mine, fellow writer Darlene Reilley, just asked me if I would help her out with the upcoming NANO prep by putting together some stuff on plotting and getting past the inevitable blocks that my characters always present. At first I wasn’t sure what to say about plot, because I usually don’t do a lot of planning in my novels. I know who my characters are, where they are and where I want them to end up, but the how they get there is usually a blank page. So for now I will focus on getting my character in my current wip unstuck.
A little background first:
Joachim is a prince. He is the good half of a set of twins. Not that he is perfect; he has some angst and teenage situations to deal with along with a twin brother who has some issues. That would be Brandan.
They are both set to become co-consorts of the kingdom. Joachim is okay with this arrangement; in fact he is excited to share with the brother he loves. Brandan is not so okay with all of this. He would much rather have his brother out of the way and have the kingdom to himself. Add to that the fact that Brandan is not so good at his lessons and of course Joachim is successful.
So now you know the princes, of course it wouldn’t be much of story if I didn’t up the ante a little more. Their parents Theodric and Lilia have a bitter rivalry with the neighboring king, Waldrom. Waldrom in his selfish attempt to have Lilia for himself and Theodric’s kingdom for his own has been attacking Theodric’s kingdom. After an unsuccessful Peace Conference between the two kings, Waldrom pulls off a bold move and kidnaps one of the princes.
To his surprise and dismay when he gets back to his palace, he discovers he has the wrong prince. He wanted Brandan and the kidnapper given the job of taking the prince has mistakenly taken Joachim. Contributing to his anger is the fact that he had certain expectations of Theodric and Theodric is not playing his way. So now you are where I am.
At this point the princes are both sent on spirit journeys, manhood journeys or journeys of communion with good or evil. Brandan of course goes to the good entity and fails as we see him make the wrong choices. My block is what will happen with Joachim. My dilemma, should he give into evil only to have something happen later in the story that will bring him to his senses, or do I have him crushed by the evil and if that happens, how do I change the rest of the story to accommodate this, or one other option he stands up to the evil, but again how do I change the rest of the story to accommodate this. Remember he is a good guy and I don’t want him to intentionally lie or kill someone. His fight always has to be for good although if he is crushed he can do things in his confusion that he wouldn’t normally do.
Two things I forgot to mention: First; Brandan plans on killing Joachim first chance he gets. Secondly; the seeds have been planted for Joachim to believe his father is not coming to rescue him and is putting Brandan on the throne that along with the fact that he will perform some black magic to get out of his predicament and he will come to believe that he killed his father.
Now you see my block, my next post will be how I get around the block. Any and all suggestions are welcome.
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