Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Tag: timelines

Plotting in December

Usually, by the time December rolls around, I’m a bit brain dead creatively speaking and I take a month to recuperate from the crazy that was NaNoWriMo. And then there are some years where that doesn’t happen. I’m afraid this is one of those years.

It all started in a conversation where other people were thinking about how it is totally the done thing to kill the dragon at the end of the story because that’s what everyone expects in the story structure. And then I made the throw away comment: “What if the dragon gets killed on the very first page and the rest of the story is the fallout?”

And then that idea got stuck in my head. Because that very scenario invites all sorts of questions about the why and the how and the what next? If killing the dragon invites the fall of the world, why was the dragon killed? Did they know this would happen? And if so, were the heroes killing the dragon actually the villains and the villains actually the failed heroes? Am I going to make this a giant metaphor about destroying a whole ecosystem with the extinction of one species? Will the consequences just be the fading of magic from the world or will it be much, much worse? Is that “much much worse” really all that much worse than boring mundanity?

The sci-fi version of this story would probably be the fallout after the destruction of Godzilla. In the films, the monster is always defeated at the end. No one ever shows what happens after. Maybe nothing of interest, on a world-wide level, ever happens after, but I can’t believe that everyone lives happily ever after. Everyone’s got to deal with the psychological, as well as physical, destruction that the monster caused.

Maybe it will be more of a character study rather than a swashbuckling adventure. Who knows.

Anyways, all of this speculation means that I might even start (gasp!) plotting. And since I’m the sort of plotter who likes using timelines, I decided to download a trial of Aeon Timeline and play around with it the next couple of days to see how I like it.

The Info Dump

This year, apparently, is the year for self-loathing. I really don’t like chapter three in my current Nanowrimo project. It’s mostly just info dumping, explanation about how the universes in my story works. My characters don’t do anything interesting. And the plot itself isn’t moving forward. In the next chapter, I really will put a catalyst that will get my characters off their butts. I’m not quite sure what the catalyst will be yet, but it will be something that will jolt them from complacency. Something that will give them a deadline.

I have some thoughts about scenes for my alternate timelines. There was a mention in the original timeline about a race that called themselves demons (even though they aren’t) but I wasn’t intending the characters in the original timeline to meet these creatures. The characters in the alternate timeline, however, might have a chance of doing so. I think there will be at least one alternate chapter (separate from the first alternate timeline) where there won’t be any human characters at all. Maybe it will become comic relief. But I probably won’t start writing this one until I get to chapter six on the original timeline, at the earliest.

Confused yet? Heck, I’m starting to get a little confused myself. I think I need to rearrange my novel index page once again to help keep track of things. So in a nutshell there’s: the original timeline, alternate timeline #1 (following the characters in the original timeline but on a different route), and alternate timeline #2 (with non-human characters who are supporting characters in the original timeline). There may be additional timelines as it gets later in the month. Anything can happen.

But first, I need to stop with the info dump and get the plot moving in the original timeline.