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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/2094067-All-fingers-and-thumbs
Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #2094067
NaNoWriMo PREP Challenge Oct 1-31,2021
A blog on my personal writing process. Just random thoughts, notes, and other stuff. Don’t know yet what that will be like. Am exploring possibilities and pulse towards an unknown future. Let’s find out!

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"Game of Thrones 2017
"The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge 2020
"Noveling Journey Instruction Center 2020
"Resurrection Jukebox 2020
"NaNoWriMo Write-A-Thon 2020
"The Fiction Writer's Toolbox 2020
"October Novel Prep Challenge 2021
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October 17, 2021 at 12:42pm
October 17, 2021 at 12:42pm
#1019528


Oct. 18: - Setting: Cultural Setting ▼

Describe the cultural, political and/or religious setting in your novel, regardless of whether the cultural setting is fictional, historical, or modern.
(1) What do your societies believe?
(2) In what practices do they engage?
(3) What laws or rules of society are in place?
(4) Who/what enforces the laws and rules and how successful are they?
(5) What technologies are in use?
(6) How does the setting impact your protagonist(s) in their pre-story lives?
(7) How does the setting impact the plot of your story?


There are two worlds in my story. The modern world of today and the ancient Chinese world of more than 2000 years ago. (Hsia Dynasty)

The world picture of the Book: The sky is a round canopy composed of nine layers that cover a square earth. The two elements of light sky and heavy Earth are separated by world mountains that prop up the sky. The four corners of the Earth serve as directional markers; the center of the Earth serves as a fifth directional marker. Surrounding this earthly square is a linear stretch of water, named the north, south, east, and west seas. Surrounding the four seas is a different linear area known as the wilderness, named after the four compass points. These wildernesses are conceived of as being at the end of the Earth's flat poles, the north pole, south pole, east pole, and west pole.

In the first five books, one calls attention to the objects and creatures in nature that appear to be curious, weird, or paranormal

I want to take the actual Book Shanhaijing and mix it with fiction. The setting of the Book has a significant influence on the plot, and I am not sure yet how this will turn out.

The second main character, Poppy, turns out to be a mythical creature from the Book.

Used here: Penguin Classics. The Classic of Mountains and Seas by Anne Birrell(1999)




October 15, 2021 at 10:12am
October 15, 2021 at 10:12am
#1019383


Oct. 16: - CONTEST ROUND: Antagonist Background Story ▼

Write a story about your antagonist that takes place outside of your novel. The object of the contest is to make your judges understand and empathize with the antagonist's motivations.

If your antagonist is a situation rather than a person, write a background story about that. The Tom Hanks movie ""Cast Away"" famously features only one character (unless you count Wilson), and his antagonist is loneliness. Could you personify loneliness? Why does loneliness exist? What motivates it? How would a lack of loneliness affect survival of the human race? How did it drive main character Nolan to survive for years alone on a deserted island? Loneliness has a job to do. Make us believe it's a valid one.

*Contest Round entries may be any rating. Follow these instructions ("IMPORTANT: How to compete in a Contest Round" ) by 1200 noon WDC time on Sunday to compete. WDC time is New York City time and can be found at the top of the IM Console. If you miss this deadline or choose not to compete, you must still log the assignment complete (without linking your work) for the grand prize, per the standard Prep guidelines.


More than twenty thousand years ago, in the South of the mysterious country China lived a creature named Yuang, the fish woman. She had a woman's head but the body of a fish.

She was the offspring of a deity but was cast away because she couldn't handle her desires. When she was twenty-one, she had slept with more than a hundred different men, casting spells on them or eating their intestines. She really was into power. Through the years, she managed to take a human form, live in the world of people, or sleep for hundreds of years unnoticed in the woodlands of the provinces.

When the Book of Shanhaijing is on the shelves of an obscure auction in Los Angeles in the present time, she sees it fit to create a new human persona named Poppy Ryan, a beautiful female journalist. At the auction, she will be there for one purpose only, to obtain the Book and have access to all its mysteries.

Poppy looked over her shoulder. She had to act fast, rent an apartment, and set up a fake identity complete with everything available in real life, including papers, backstory, furniture, and cat. She decided to be a freelance journalist working from home. That way, her identity would be more convincing. Managing to work for a couple of months in a media agency like a newspaper or a tabloid was out of the question, no time. The auction was in a few days.

"Can I help you, dear?" The man at the counter of the animal shelter looked at the pretty redhead and smiled.

"Yes, you can." She smiled back her most reassuring smile and put her hands on the top counter, her red painted fingernails shining under the light of the lamp.

The man, a fiftyish something volunteer, was mesmerized by the woman's green eyes in front of him. "Are you interested in a dog or a cat?"

"A cat, please, a kitten, to be exact. I'll like them young." She licked her lips at the thought of savoring a kitten when her mission was all over.

"Ah," the man laughed out loud. "Then you wouldn't be interested in me, now would you?"

"That remains to be seen, but for the moment, I am here for a kitten. Do you have them available?"

He got his composure back, took out a book, and passed it on to Poppy. "Here you are, dear. Look at it, and we'll see which one you like. Take all the time that you need. "

Within half an hour, Poppy left with a black kitten named Yuang, accompanied by Bert, the volunteer.

She took him to her apartment a few blocks away. He was on his dinner break, and besides himself that he had hooked up with such a pretty thing. He never saw it coming.

Inside they eagerly tore down their clothes and headed to the bedroom in the sparsely
furnished house.

"Are you just moved in?" He asked to make conversation. Women liked that, he thought.

"Shut up," she moaned, undressing. "I am in charge now. You do what I like."

"You're my dominatrix, ma'am," he stuttered, surprised by the change in her behavior. But he loved what he saw, and he would do or say anything to please this wonderful girl.

"Go down on me and eat my pussy!"

In the corner of the bedroom, the kitten Yuang was looking frightened. With big eyes, she watched the motions of the two humans in front of her.

After he was done and she came with a grunt, she slid his head with a knife. Her dinner had finally arrived.

Within an hour, there was nothing much left of the volunteer except for his clothes.

She could donate those to the Salvation Army, she thought. A good deed indeed.

Adversary (Poppy) in novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

second character novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

October 14, 2021 at 5:52am
October 14, 2021 at 5:52am
#1019313


Oct. 11: - Setting: Definitions List ▼

(1) Create a list of definitions (see below) in a format easy to edit and expand.
(2) Optional: Brainstorm and describe an object critical to the plot. Add to definitions list.

In your definitions list, you'll flesh out details that you'll want to remember later for consistency. You won't have to dig through pages of scribbled notes to find whatever you decided about these definitions - they will all be compiled into a neat list / binder / database / note cards / whatever your favorite form of organization happens to be.

Example definitions for the Harry Potter series:
*Bullet* rules of magic
*Bullet* the Ministry of Magic
*Bullet* modes of transportation (apparition, Floo network, portkeys, flying, etc.)
*Bullet* the four Houses at Hogwarts
*Bullet* the sword of Gryffindor (note: this would also make a good plot background story)

Non-speculative examples requiring definitions:
*Bullet* a fictional student organization to which your protagonist belongs
*Bullet* the fictional company or division of the FBI for whom your protagonist works
*Bullet* the disease afflicting your protagonist, which is a real condition you need to research
*Bullet* the antique artifact your protagonist intends to heist

NOTE: You can revise this list at any time, so this revision is not expected to be fully accurate or complete


Definition List for research:

*Bullet* Los Angeles (p. 879-903;880-1,884, 9,1036-7 of Lonely Planet USA)
*Bullet* Wolf’s night job as a male escort (what, how, where, with whom)
*Bullet* The world of auctions
*Bullet* The Book Shanhaijing (and the Penguin Classic The Classic of Mountains and Seas)
*Bullet* The three ancient Chinese monsters
*Bullet* China and Beijing (Lonely Planet China, p.16,50-112,52-3,56,83. 746,748.)
*Bullet* The riddle




October 13, 2021 at 10:47am
October 13, 2021 at 10:47am
#1019255


Oct. 15: - Character: Antagonist Profile ▼

Draft a profile of the antagonist(s) you identified in the ""Premise"" assignment. If your antagonist is a situation rather than a person, choose another minor (but significant) character to profile.

Further clarification:
*Bullet* "Romance/Love Newsletter (October 12, 2011)
*Bullet* "ANTAGONIST (Re: A LOT of confusing things)"  


My antagonists are the ancient Chinese monsters (Mai-Mai, the headless hunk, Nu-kua-shih, the lady snake, Pin-Pin-Hut, the dragon, all 2020-year-old monsters appearing from the Book Shanhaijing.
But at the end of the novel, the main antagonist turns out to be Poppy Ryan, the second main character and girlfriend of Wolf Meyer, the main character. She turns out to be the fourth monster in the Book, and she has taken a human form in the redhead Poppy, the journalist.

Name: Poppy Ryan
Age: 32 years old, but in reality 2020 years old
Physical attributes: redhead, green eyes, very attractive; in reality Fish woman Yuang
Occupation: journalist
Education: University
Culture: American, caucasian
Religion: agnostic
Family: parents and one little brother Joe
Relationship status: single but becoming girlfriend of Wolf
Friends: Wolf, Xiao
Pets: a cat who she named Yuang (her own name)
Personality: lively, bubbly
Likes: men, gin, her job
Dislikes: the truth
Strengths: persuasive
Weakness: very convincing in lying and hiding the truth
Motivations: the Book Shanhaijing
Desires: to obtain the book Shanhaijing



second character novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

Adversary (Poppy) in novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy
October 12, 2021 at 7:19am
October 12, 2021 at 7:19am
#1019178


Oct. 14: - Plot: Outline Revision #2 ▼

(1) Review your plot elements thus far and organize them into your outline.
(2) Add a chronological timeline to your revised outline, using whatever measure of time is appropriate in your story. Determine when plot events happen in time (which is not necessarily when you will reveal them in your novel.) See this example composed by JK Rowling while outlining one of her famous Harry Potter novels.
(3) Optional: Brainstorm the best chronology(ies) for your story and work it(them) into your outline.

Chronology Strategies
*Bullet* Linear Narrative - the story is told in the order the events occurred.
*Bullet* Non-Linear Narrative - the story is told out of order.
*Bullet* Reverse Chronology - the story is told backwards.
*Bullet* In medias res - the story starts in the middle, goes back to explain how it got there, catches up, and then resolves.
*Bullet* Flashback/forward - individual scene(s) that take place prior to or after the current action.

Note that the difference between these chronological devices can be minute. Read the examples below to see how most stories use more than one style of chronology. Your job is to plan the order in which you will tell your story to the reader. Don't get hung up in the nomenclature.

EXAMPLES:
Lord of the Rings is mostly linear. The events of the story are revealed to the reader as they unfold for the characters. Some flashbacks occur, such as when Gandalf tells the Fellowship how he defeated the balrog and what happened when he visited Saruman.

The hit TV drama ""How to Get Away with Murder"" begins in medias res, with a group of law school students burying a body. The rest of the story is generally non-linear because it routinely moves back and forth in time. The screen will display ""3 months ago"" on a series of scenes, and then flash back forward to the body-burying scene again, then move back in time to ""2 months ago,"" using flashbacks to build the story for the viewer. Also, some scenes are repeated multiple times as flashbacks, often as visual-only scenes replaying while a character is explaining something to other characters or building a defense in the courtroom, but through careful camera angles or a few additional seconds of footage, the scene reveals more about the mystery than was obvious the first time the viewer saw that same scene. In this way, the show plants red herrings to fool the viewer and later prove their assumptions wrong.

The hit TV drama ""The Walking Dead"" is famous for beginning episodes in medias res and then going back in time to explain how the characters got there. On an academic level, these opening scenes could also be construed as flash forwards because, much of the time, the scene at the beginning of each episode is not actually the climax, or the action in the middle of the story, but rather, it shows where the characters end up at the very end of the episode. In medias res is technically the middle, not the end.

One episode of ""The X-Files"" featured a character who woke up each morning to find that it was one day earlier than the previous day. On the ""first"" (last, for the character) day, he was on trial for murdering his wife. On the ""second"" (previous) day, he was meeting his attorney. The plot continued to move backwards in time until it reached the day of the murder, at which point, the protagonist had enough information to prevent the murder from occurring at all. This is an example of reverse chronology, a rare but effective tool for revealing mysteries.


I want my story to be told in a linear chronology with the story of Wolf and non-linear with the story of the ancient Chinese Book Shanhaijing. So, the story set in the present time will be intertwined with chapters of the Book itself, descending 2020 years in time.

Outline
A fairly ordinary guy is living his life in Los Angeles with a new dog. He is a bike courier by day and a poet, and a male escort by night. [2 days]

A 2020-year-old Chinese book shows up at an auction. Wolf Meyer buys it cheap because no one recognizes its significance to the world. [1 day] He meets a girl, Poppy Ryan. They start an affair.[2 days] Strange events occur in their lives (the house is suddenly set on fire, pets disappear, the main character experiences mysterious phenomenons like knocking sounds in the middle of the night, pawprints in the bathroom, reflections in mirrors). [2 weeks]

Together they investigate China with the help of professor Xiao Tan.[1 week] They meet monsters.[1 week] The Book predicts a deadline for a significant disaster that hits their city (Los Angeles) and will kill many people. Can they stop the prophecy? [1 day]The answer is the Book.[1 week] By defeating the monsters, he gets into another state of mind and reads the Book differently. [1 week]

The message he now reads in the Book (the riddle) is explained to him, and he knows how to save Los Angeles. [1 day]Then the Book disappears, and Poppy with it.[1 day] She played him all along and turned out to be an ancient monster as well. [1 day]

Chronology: 8 weeks and two days, so approximately 2 months.



October 11, 2021 at 12:56pm
October 11, 2021 at 12:56pm
#1019126


Oct. 13: - General: Freestyle Brainstorm, World Building or Research ▼

Spend at least fifteen minutes clarifying things through ""What If"" brainstorming, mind mapping (see resources at the bottom of the calendar), freestyle writing, lists, drawings, or research as follows:
World-Building: For fantasy, science fiction, or other speculative fiction, develop the history, geology, ecology, and/or maps for your world.
Research: For reality-based fiction, research aspects of your novel that will lend credibility to your writing.

You may also choose to use this time to finish a previous assignment that needs more time.


Freewriting for 20 minutes. I set the alarm.

"Are you comfortable," he whispered as he stroked her greyish hair with tender caresses.

She smiled a timid smile, her wrinkled, 69-year-old face hidden in his armpit. "I think so. I have never done this before, you know, you must be gentle with me."

"How did you decide to make use of the agency?" Wolf tried to reassure her, make her at ease and relax more.

She laughed out loud. "That is a funny story, "she changed position in the bed and looked at him, liking what she saw.

"My best friend Camilla had been in a good mood for weeks. I asked her why, but she wouldn't tell me. Then one day, she confided in me. She and her husband had decided it was time for her to enjoy herself without him. Him being so sick for a long time. She was a healthy 70 year old you know, beautiful, full of life. He had leukemia, and she was constantly caring for him. It drained her; she was a bit burned out. So, they searched the Internet, and they found your agency. G-E-N-T-L-E-M-E-N-callers 0500-something. She was a little apprehensive at first, as I was obviously. But she chooses Barry, a very nice young man. On the first date, they just talked, but on the second, it was a hit. She told me. He made her love; he made her scream with joy. It didn't take much to satisfy an old lady, and she enjoyed his company so much, they have been together once a week for a month now. Her husband Dave is okay with it. He likes his wife happy."

He listened to her with an attentive gleam in his eye—same old story. Los Angeles was full of them. That's what he loved about his night job. It was very satisfying to be kind to older ladies. They deserved the attention, and they were always very grateful, and they were all beautiful in their own right.

Slowly he kissed her bare brown nipple. She shivered but did not attempt to push him away, and she was ready to receive the complete treatment of his work description. He took her breasts in his warm hands and massaged them slowly.

She groaned and inhaled deeply. "Will you be tender? Will you be kind?"

"I promise, "Wolf smiled softly and went down to work. They only had two-and-a-half hours left; he wanted to ensure she would be satisfied and smile for several days because of the memories.

He showed her how to feel like a wanted woman. He showed her that she still mattered; he showed her he cared.

After two-and-a-half hours of pleasantries, she poured him a glass of red wine.

"Let's talk for a few minutes. You are looking at a delighted woman. How much do I owe you again?"

"That'll be 500 dollars for three hours," he sipped his wine and looked around. She had a beautiful house in the suburbs, and she could afford his fee. He would love to add her to the list of regulars. It's been nothing more than a fulfilling evening, and he had enjoyed it as much as she had.

They parted like old friends.




October 10, 2021 at 6:40am
October 10, 2021 at 6:40am
#1019050


Oct. 12: - General: Theme ▼

(1) Theme. What is the theme (see below) or moral of the story?
(2) Resolution. Brainstorm ways you could resolve the conflict(s) within the confines of the theme. You are not required to identify a chosen resolution from your list of possibilities yet, so really think outside the box! Anything goes.

NOTE: This list of universal themes   might give you some ideas, but don't let it box you in. Feel free to add your own.


I think I can identify two universal themes in my novel (from the list): Quest for knowledge AND survival.

Quest for knowledge in understanding and researching by the three of the ancient Chinese Book Shanhaijing. I want to explore the possibility of intertwining two plots into one story. The quest of Wolf, Poppy, and Xiao AND the story of Shanhaijing, The Book of Mountains and Seas revealed. An extraordinary encyclopedia containing strange and terrifying creatures that the Ancient Chinese believed existed on Earth.

Survival in Wolf's fight on life and death with those three monsters from the Book to save Los Angeles from grave danger.

They coincide with EXPLORATION and CONFLICT.

Brainstorming resolutions to resolve the conflicts within the themes.

- EXPLORATION (Quest for Knowledge):

Resolution 1: the Book disappears from Wolf's apartment aka is lost in the fire
Resolution 2: Wolf and Poppy go to Beijing and meet with Professor Xiao, an expert on ancient Chinese Books. They explore the findings of the Book, and they solve the riddle placed in the Book.
Resolution 3: The Book denies access, and they have to give in to defeat.

-CONFLICT (Survival):

Resolution 1: The monsters win; the three lose their lives. Los Angeles is doomed.
Resolution 2: They win the battle with the monsters and save Los Angeles.
Resolution 3: They are defeated by the monsters and the Book, ending up in an asylum.

October 8, 2021 at 5:17am
October 8, 2021 at 5:17am
#1018925


Oct. 08: - Character: Dramatis Personae ▼

(1) Identify allies and enemies encountered along the journey and describe how they help or hinder your protagonist(s).
(2) Create a list of characters in a format easy to edit and expand.
(3) Write a brief profile on each character new character.
*Bullet* Name
*Bullet* Age
*Bullet* Occupation
*Bullet* Relation to the main character(s)
*Bullet* Rough physical description or image (try a Google Image Search   or comparable)

NOTE: You can revise this list at any time, so this revision is not expected to be fully accurate or complete.


3 mythical creatures (the lady snake, the headless hunk, the dragon), Professor Xiao Tan, Poppy Ryan, and Brigadier, the dog.

Brigadier, the 4-year old dachshund, is living with Wolf for over a year now. Is showing them the way in Beijing. Dachshund main character in novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

Poppy Ryan, the second character, 32 years old, journalist, helps Wolf with the search, they fall in love but in the end, she turns out to be an adversary second character novel The Shanhaijing Prophecyand Monster 4, the Fish Woman Yuang Adversary (Poppy) in novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

Xiao Tan, the third character, 40 years old professor, helps Wolf and Poppy in Beijing, Character novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

Mai-Mai, the headless hunk, 2020-year old monster 1, appears and fights Wolf, Poppy, and Xiao, Adversary in novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

Nu-Kua-Shih, the lady snake, 2020-year-old monster 2, appears and fights Wolf, Poppy, and Xiao, Adversary novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

Pin-Pin-Hut, the dragon, 2020-year-old monster 3, appears and fights Wolf, Poppy, and Xiao, Adversary novel The Shanhaijing Prophecy

October 7, 2021 at 1:34pm
October 7, 2021 at 1:34pm
#1018886


Oct. 07: - Plot: Outline Revision #1 ▼

(1) Select a desired outlining strategy from the list below.
(2) Review your plot elements thus far and organize them into your outline.
(3) Flesh out your outline by adding more details.

Outlining Strategies

*Bullet* "Outlining Your Novel: Traditional Outlining format with bullet points, numbers/letters, or chapters.
*Bullet* Index cards (paper or electronic) which can be easily shuffled to change scene order later.
*Bullet* The Snowflake Method.  
*Bullet* Use one of the following story models as a fill-in-the-blank outline template:
*Bullet* The Five-Point   Story Structure.
*Bullet* The Eight-Point   Story Structure.
*Bullet* The Hero’s Journey   Story Structure.
*Bullet* *Cat2*"*Cat2*Save the Cat Beat Sheet (Outlining Method)"  
*Bullet* Any other appropriate model.


Using the Five Point Story Structure with Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution.
Exposition: Setting the scene
Rising action: Building the tension.
Climax: The exciting bit.
Falling action: Tidying up loose ends.
Resolution: Ending the story.

(EX)A fairly ordinary guy is living his life in Los Angeles with a new dog. He is a bike courier by day and a poet by night. Or is he a male escort?

(RA)A 2020-year-old Chinese book shows up at an auction. Wolf Meyer (35) buys it cheap because no one recognizes its significance to the world. He meets a girl there, Poppy Ryan (32). They fall for each other. Strange events occur in their lives (the house is suddenly set on fire, pets disappear, the main character experiences occult phenomenons like knocking sounds in the middle of the night, pawprints in the bathroom, reflections in mirrors). The cause of all this is the Book.

(CL)Together they investigate China with the help of professor Xiao Tan. They meet monsters that are described in the Book. The Book predicts a deadline for a major disaster that hits their city (Los Angeles) and will kill many people. Can they stop the prophecy? The answer is the Book. By defeating the 3 monsters, Wolf gets into another state of mind and reads the Book differently.

(RE)The message he now reads in the Book (the riddle) is explained to him, and he knows how to save Los Angeles. Then the Book disappears, and Poppy with it. She has played him all along. Turns out she is Monster 4, the fish woman Yuang!




October 6, 2021 at 5:37am
October 6, 2021 at 5:37am
#1018776


Oct. 06: - Plot: Rising Action (How does the story get there?) ▼

Review your notes from the ""Premise"" and ""Beginning"" plot exercises, and tweak the conflict(s) and inciting incident as needed before proceeding with the ""Rising Action"" plot exercise, as follows:

(1) Describe any initial refusals on the part of your protagonist(s) to face the conflict.
(2) Describe the moment when your protagonist(s) makes the choice to face the conflict.
(3) Describe the moment when your protagonist(s) crosses the point of no return and cannot change their mind.
(4) Fill in some of the blanks: How will your characters get from the point of no return to the climax?


Premise, Beginning, Conflicts, Inciting Incident, Rising Action.   in Freytag's Pyramid.

Conflict: Between Wolf and monsters.

Rising Action:
Initial refusals of Wolf facing the conflict. He faces the mysterious phenomenons, and it takes some time for him to recognize they are all there because of the Book, and Poppy reminds him of the Book.

The moment Wolf makes the choice to face the conflict. He chooses to go to China to investigate Book. That's where he sees the monsters.

The moment Wolf crosses the point of no return, and cannot change his mind. When he is forced to battle the monsters, or he will be killed.

How will Wolf get from the point of no return to the climax?
(PNR is when he goes to battle the monsters. Climax is when he solves the riddle and saves Los Angeles.)
The answer is the Book. By defeating the monsters, he gets into another state of mind and reads the Book differently. The message he can now read in the Book (the riddle) is explained to him, and he now knows how to save Los Angeles.

In China, he is introduced to a university professor Xiao Tan who helps him with the translation of the Book. The three of them follow instructions of the Book and roam through Beijing. There the monsters take form and are visible to all three (Wolf, Poppy, Xiao).




October 5, 2021 at 12:59am
October 5, 2021 at 12:59am
#1018726


Oct. 05: - Plot: Climax (Where is the story going?) ▼

Where is your story going? Describe the climax, the point at which everything changes and the tension of the primary conflict is finally resolved. Use the ""What If"" brainstorming exercise to create a list of possibilities, remembering to consider the growth of / change in your main character(s) as a result of this event. The climax can be as hidden and seemingly tiny as that moment when your character finally makes that decision they've been dreading or avoiding for fifteen chapters, or it can be as huge and obvious as an exploding planet. Sometimes, the climax is a little hard to pin down. Was it the moment Ender won his game? Or was it the moment he realized the moving images on his screen were not a simulation, not the game he thought it was, and that he had just personally wiped out an entire alien race?


The Climax. Possibilities.

The point of no return that where everything changes, where the primary conflict is resolved must be at the end of the novel where Wolf and Poppy solve the riddle in the Book, take out the ancient monsters, and save the city of Los Angeles (what-if).

I don't know the riddle yet, and I don't know how they will take out the monsters. *Sad*

Changed the title into The Shanhaijing Prophecies!

Conflict in a story  

October 4, 2021 at 3:38am
October 4, 2021 at 3:38am
#1018659


Oct. 04: - Plot: Beginning (Where does your story start?) ▼

(1) Describe your protagonist's life in the beginning (""Ordinary World"" or ""Stasis"") of the story. Brainstorm ways you could establish normality through action and dialog to avoid boring your reader.


Wolf Meyer's Ordinary world is described in "Backstory Protagonist - Contest entry.
A fairly ordinary guy is living his life in Los Angeles with a new dog. He is a bike courier by day and a poet by night.

How to establish normality through action and dialog? (Do not bore the reader!)

By his funny dialogue with his dog Brigadier while feeding him. […]
By his witty dialog with neighbors while leaving or entering the apartment. […]
By his funny talk with customers while delivering packages and folders. […]
By his witty dialog with neighbors while walking Brigadier. […]
By citing funny quotes or jokes whenever he got the chance. [Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin; If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it? Steven Wright; Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first. - Steve Irwin;]



Blog on Spicing up Dialog  

(2) Describe the inciting incident or trigger ("Call to Adventure") that prompts your protagonist(s) to embark on this story's journey (whether literal or metaphorical) and face the conflict. This incident could be large and obvious like a death or disaster, or it could be seemingly insignificant, such as an offhand comment by another character.

After purchasing the book and meeting Poppy, there are a few trigger incidents that prompt him to take on this journey to investigate and leave for China.

Call to Adventure:
- When Wolf feels the urge to buy the Book at the auction. (first call)

- There is a fire in the basement while nobody is in the house; Poppy's cat is missing, and Wolf's dog gets a freaky accident. They experience mysterious phenomenons like knocking sounds in the middle of the night, pawprints in the bathroom, reflections in mirrors. They trace the incidents back to the Book.(second call)

- Wolf wins 100,000 dollars in the lottery. He can quit his job and investigate in China with Poppy. (Accidental, deliberate, or divine intervention?)(third call)

October 3, 2021 at 4:33am
October 3, 2021 at 4:33am
#1018583


Oct. 03: - Character: Protagonist Profile ▼

Draft a profile of your protagonist. Include detailed information such as name, age, physical attributes, occupation, education, culture, religion, family, relationship status, personality, likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness, motivations and desires.

Use Google Images to find an image of your character. The point of this exercise is for you to get to know your character inside and out before you write your novel. If you don't know your character, how can you expect it of your readers? Flesh out your pre-story character in detail. Keep in mind that your protagonist will grow in some way during your story.

For more serious character profilers, here is are two optional, very extensive templates: "Character Interview / Profile Sheet"   and "(Another, Very) In-Depth Character Profile"   . Also, here is a "Traits List"   to draw from.


Name: Wolf Meyer
Age: 35, October 4, 1986, Zodiac sign Libra
Physical attributes: slim, blond half-long hair, week-old beard
Occupation: bike courier, poet, and male escort
Education: high school, few years university
Culture: American, caucasian
Religion: none, agnostic
Family: three brothers younger than him, Bob, Edgar, Spike, parents
Relationship status: single
Friends: Marvin, Pete, Simon
Pets: a dog named Brigadier, cocker spaniel, four years old
Personality: gullible, sweet, caring, funny,
Likes: history, other cultures, friends, Los Angeles, where he lives, his job, cooking
Dislikes: dishonesty
Strengths: adventurous
Weakness: too trusting
Motivations: life, friends, his dog
Desires:to save the world, to fall in love



Photo Wolf Meyer  

On character profiling  
October 2, 2021 at 12:01pm
October 2, 2021 at 12:01pm
#1018529


Oct. 9: - CONTEST ROUND: Protagonist Background Story ▼

Write a story about your protagonist that takes place outside of your novel. Make your readers relate to him or her in such a way that we would be devastated if he or she were to experience conflict (which, ultimately, sometime in November, he/she will.) The object of the contest is to make your judges root for your protagonist! Simply put: the character we like best wins. If your protagonist is a drug dealer or someone similarly "unlikeable" (a.k.a, an "anti-hero"), never fear! I love Vlad Taltos, the professional assassin. You can make us love your character, too.

*Contest Round entries may be any rating. Submit your ITEM or ENTRY number by 1200 noon WDC time on Sunday to compete. WDC time is New York City time and can be found at the top of the IM Console. If you miss this deadline or choose not to compete, you must still log the assignment complete (without linking your work) for the grand prize, per the standard Prep guidelines.


Backstory 412 words; deadline Sunday, October 10, 2021

Now-thirty-five-year-old Wolf Meyer fell in love with the City of Angels as soon as he visited for the first time. He intended to stay for a long weekend after the summer, but he inhaled the beauty of Los Angeles and decided then and there to rent a room for a month.

Three years later and he was still in town, struggling to meet ends meet as a bike courier, sure, but living life in this fascinating and complex city. Beyond the perpetual sunshine, the beaches with flaunting bodies and surfers always in for the perfect waves, palm trees, and movie stars, there were art museums, architecture, parks and gardens, and a mosaic of cultures living side by side in peace in a setting by the sea to die for.

In short, Los Angeles was hot, and he was thrilled to be part of it.

As he rode his bike with caution avoiding cabs and commuters, his mind wandered off to the pooch he'd left behind in his apartment. Brigadier was a stray from a shelter, a brown dachshund with an attitude like a general, hence the name. His first week having a dog had gone by so fast, and now he had to work outside the house, leaving the dog on his own.

That morning, Brigadier had looked at him with such sad eyes Wolf almost laughed out loud.

"No, buddy, daddy has to work and earn some cash, or there will be no food in your bowl."

When he slammed the door, he almost felt guilty.

Hawthorne Boulevard was busy as he maneuvered with speed to be on time at his destination. His first stop was at the office to fetch deliveries; within half an hour, he was back on the saddle again, appreciating the morning sun.

He picked up an enjoyable pace and peddled his first round of the day. His blond half-long hair was moving in the wind, squinting eyes behind dark sunglasses—a hunk on wheels.

Wolf knew he was a good-looking guy, as he found out a year ago when he registered as a male escort at G-E-N-T-L-E_M-E-N-c-a-l-l-e-r-s 0500-3489. He especially was good with older women. Twice a week, he was summoned to an unknown lady with three hours to spend at her beck and call. He liked his evening job, and it paid the extra buck he needed to pay for his vice, going to auctions and bid on something for his book collection.

Life was good.



Photo Wolf Meyer  



October 2, 2021 at 3:51am
October 2, 2021 at 3:51am
#1018510


Oct. 02: - Plot: Premise ▼

Now that you've brainstormed the general story idea, let's identify some story elements:
(1) Setting(s). Where does your story take place?
(2) Protagonist(s). Who is(are) your main character(s)?
(2b) Flaw(s). What is(are) the protagonist's major flaw(s)?
(2c) Goal(s). What does(d) the protagonist(s) want (or want to avoid)?
(3) Conflict(s). What's keeping them from their goal(s)?
(4) Antagonist(s). Who or what is creating the conflict(s)?

Just for fun: Write a provocative one-sentence description of your story.

Example: ""A young, mistreated orphan discovers he is a wizard and must face the evil villain Voldemort to fulfill his destiny.""

Wikipedia’s definition of Narrative Conflict  


The story takes place in Los Angeles, USA, and China. (Use of Lonely Planet Guides)

The main characters are Wolf and Poppy, who met at an auction.

The main characters' flaws are gullibility (Wolf) and deceptiveness (Poppy). In the end, Poppy betrays Wolf, and he never sees it coming.

They want to examine the ancient Book and avoid the destruction of Los Angeles and the world.

The conflict is between mystery forces who want the Book as well and the Monsters that come alive.

The antagonists are the man or woman who follows them and the Monsters that keep appearing.

In the end, Poppy is also an antagonist.


Log-line: A 2020-year-old book causing occult phenomenons leads Wolf and Poppy on an adventure in mysterious China where they defeat ancient monsters to save their world.



October 1, 2021 at 8:37am
October 1, 2021 at 8:37am
#1018469


Oct. 01: - Plot: What If? ▼

Every good story starts with a 'what if'. What if a young boy discovers he's a wizard? What if a girl discovers a world hidden inside her wardrobe? What if there was a cemetery where pets came back to life if they were buried there? What if dinosaurs were real again?

In this exercise, imagine your story and your main character(s). Who is(are) the character(s)? Why do we care about them? What happens to them, and why is it a problem? (If it's not a problem, it's just life, not a story. *Wink*)

Spend at least 15 minutes imagining all the possibilities in your story. Make a list of every possible 'what if' you can think of. Nothing is off-limits here - let your brain go.


Answers to questions & List what if's (15 minutes with timer)


- Wolf Meyer and Poppy Ryan meet at an auction in Los Angeles. He will buy an item, an old Chinese book; she is writing an article about auctions. It clicks. They meet again, and then things start to become weird. There is a fire in the basement while nobody is in the house; Poppy's cat is missing, and Wolf's dog gets a freaky accident. They experience mysterious phenomenons like knocking sounds in the middle of the night, pawprints in the bathroom, reflections in mirrors. They investigate the cause of the trouble: the Chinese book. They travel to China and encounter several monsters described in the book. (…) In Los Angeles, they have to react fast to change the chain of events and save the city from harm.

What if…
# somebody else wanted to buy the book but wasn't there on time
# the book was too expensive for Wolf
# Wolf is a male escort instead of a poet
# Wolf never met Poppy
# They were followed when leaving the auction with the book
# They didn't believe the occult phenomenons
# he wins a lot of money in the lottery so he can travel to China
# the monsters in China were real
# the monsters in China were hallucinations

# they couldn't save the city
# they could save the city
# Poppy turns out to be one of them
# the book got destroyed
# Poppy and the book disappeared

September 29, 2021 at 5:31am
September 29, 2021 at 5:31am
#1018255
PREP Challenge OCTOBER

Working Title: The Shanhaijing Prophecy or The Modern World Monsters.

PLOT1 & 2 interwoven.

Plot1: A 2020-year-old Chinese book shows up at an auction. The main character, Wolf Meyer buys it cheap because no one recognizes its significance to the world. He meets a girl, Poppy Ryan. Strange events occur in their lives (the house is suddenly set on fire, pets disappear, the main character experiences occult phenomenons like knocking sounds in the middle of the night, pawprints in the bathroom, reflections in mirrors). Together they investigate in China. They meet monsters. Book predicts a deadline for a major disaster that hits their city (Los Angeles?) and will kill many people. Can they stop the prophecy?

Plot2: The story of the ancient book Shanhaijing, The Book of Mountains and Seas revealed. An extraordinary encyclopedia containing strange and terrifying creatures that the Ancient Chinese believed existed on Earth.

Bibliography
The Mythology Bible (2009) by Sarah Bartlett p.292-293
China, Lonely Planet, 2017
USA, Lonely Planet, 2004
The book of Mountains and Seas, 1999, Penguin Classic
https://karkadann.fandom.com/wiki/Classic_of_Mountains_and_Seas
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic_of_Mountains_and_Seas
https://totallyhistory.com/shan-hai-jing/
https://novelmao.com/chapter/world-of-immortals-shan-hai-jing-1/
September 24, 2021 at 1:40pm
September 24, 2021 at 1:40pm
#1017971
IMPORTANT LINKS:

FORUM
October Novel Prep Challenge  (13+)
A month-long challenge designed to help you plan a novel prior to writing it.
#1474311 by Battiwyn🎶


 
STATIC
2021 Prep Calendar  (E)
Daily plot, character and setting writing assignments to help you develop your novel.
#2257043 by Battiwyn🎶
PREP Calendar ASSIGNMENTS

SURVEY
October Novel Prep Contest Rounds  (E)
Four competitive novel prep assignments accompanying the October Novel Prep Challenge
#2134154 by Battiwyn🎶
Contest Rounds

Entry FORMS  

LOG assignments in  

September 10, 2021 at 5:03pm
September 10, 2021 at 5:03pm
#1017198
I signed in for
FORUM
October Novel Prep Challenge  (13+)
A month-long challenge designed to help you plan a novel prior to writing it.
#1474311 by Battiwyn🎶
to plan my NaNoWriMo novel in October before writing it in November. An ambitious plan this year. Especially since I haven't done much writing, not even in my blog.

But I want to be prepared.

Last year I just wrote a novel in 30 days flying by the seat of my pants, this year I want to do more research in advance. I am very curious about what that will bring me. Which take will work the best for me?

I've got a working title: Shanhaijing Now. Reference to a very famous Asian book from decades ago. The Shanhaijing, The Book of Mountains and Seas may be more than 2,000 years old. It's an extraordinary encyclopedia containing strange and terrifying creatures that the Ancient Chinese believed existed on Earth. (The Mythology Bible by Sarah Bartlett, p. 292-293}
https://karkadann.fandom.com/wiki/Classic_of_Mountains_and_Seas

Why this title?

It just sounds good.

I don't know. I may change it during these two months.

It can be an action novel, a cultural and mysterious story. That's all I got so far.

worldbuilding template  

"Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragons intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon." ― G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles
November 19, 2020 at 4:04pm
November 19, 2020 at 4:04pm
#998715

This pandemic year began in the Netherlands, Europe on March 13 when our Prime Minister announced that during that weekend bars and restaurants would be closed and a partial lockdown was installed. It was called Intelligent lockdown which boiled down to: take your responsibility, wash your hands frequently, avoid mass gatherings, and practice social distancing. Wearing masks was questionable at that time.

As soon as I heard I made arrangements to live with my stepmom of 86 years old, in another city. I stayed with her from March 16 on, for three weeks was the idea. 6 months later I was home. The pandemic took its time.

In the beginning, I was afraid. We didn’t know much about the virus, the whole situation was completely new to everybody and we stayed indoors as much as possible. The first four months we self-quarantined, I only left the house to do the grocery shopping and to walk my dog.

It was not always easy taking care of a 86 year-old with severe memory problems and some physical ailments during a pandemic. The diagnosis was NOT dementia but old age, but the symptoms were the same. My stepmom was very forgetful, within minutes things would slip her mind. So, I had to repeat a lot and wasn’t able to hold a real conversation with her. Not easy! But, because I was her caretaker I was busy just doing that. It helped me focus on other things besides COVID-19, which was good. Luckily she took a daily nap so I had two hours every day to write and be active on WdC. Daily blogging saved my life!

After six months it was time for me to go home and my stepmom tried living on her own again. She is doing great, by the way, so no worries there.

When I arrived at my place two and a half months ago, I was more than happy and relieved to be on my own again. I couldn’t wait. And it has been bliss. I live in my COVID-free bubble. I don’t leave the house other than walking the dog five times a day. I have my groceries delivered and I avoid other people. I talk with friends and family on the phone and online. Still self-quarantined.

So, now I am writing 24/7 with only a break sleeping a couple of hours every night. I am extremely busy and loving every minute of it. COVID-19 is something at the back of my mind but not in my face any longer.

I call my stepmom daily to check on her. Furthermore, I am a volunteer for the Red Cross, which means calling an 83-year old lonely neighbor every day and having a chat. That’s what I am doing for the past 9 months now.

The rest of my time I am writing, reading, reviewing, or active on Writing.com.

I have my newspaper, books, music, and DVDs to keep me entertained when I need to. I keep myself busy knowing that I am a risk factor for COVID due to being a diabetic, type II. I try to live my life as healthy as I can, but I am slightly overweight and don’t exercise enough other than five short walks with my dog every day.

I don’t travel, and I don’t use public transport. Too risky. I have a bike. But I am not going anywhere. I stay put. I hope to live and see the day when there is a vaccine available. We are currently in the second wave!

In the meantime, I am careful, apprehensive, and generally doing okay, I guess.

But what a year! And it’s not over yet!!




WC: 624

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