I’ve worked on this a lot this week, and I think I have a structure that’s going to work. I actually framed it out in 20 chapters, with a general idea of the action and importance of each chapter, because otherwise I couldn’t really pin down the story beats. So when you see how vague the beats themselves are when summarized, trust me that I have a pretty clear idea of what each beat actually means and how each one leads to the next. So, drum roll, please – here they are!
- Inciting Incident: Kay (my Main Character) realizes the evil that has been stalking her for years is reappearing yet again. She takes steps to do what she always does, which is run, but lingers to try to help a friend. In the process she meets a team of people who are working against that same evil, though this isn’t very comfortable for her. She deals with trouble by avoiding it, deals with life by staying apart.
- First Plot Point (end of Act I): Kay and the team discover that she carries a curse that makes her a point of strength for the evil. They decide to band together to try to understand Kay’s curse and figure out how to fight that evil together. She is still uncomfortable with this business of joining forces with others and staying to fight, but she can’t find a way to avoid it, and she is starting to form actual connections to others in the team (especially Chase, who is starting to become the romantic interest).
- Midpoint Reversal: After several false starts, they find a way to block the gateway the evil forces can use to attack people in our world, and they are successful in destroying the device that they use for this. However, it is moments too late, and the core of the evil force has now moved into our world. It can use its new position to expand and, eventually, take over our world. Kay is devastated not only by the risk to the world, but her sense that she bears personal responsibility for it. If she could run again, she would, but it’s impossible, and her new friends are pulling her in with them.
- Second Plot Point (end of Act II): The team has engaged in several attempts to stop the evil, without success. Kay is now face-to-face with this ultimate evil all alone, knowing that her curse makes her contribute to their strength in spite of herself. She has now bonded with the team and feels more alone than she did when she started.
- Climax: Kay realizes that the curse that gives strength to her enemies can also be turned against them. She finds the courage to step forward, toward the evil she’s run from for so long, and defeats it, with the support of others, particularly Chase.
- Resolution: The world is safe because of the team and especially because Kay pulled it out. The romantic interest has flowered, and Kay is now able to make an actual commitment to Chase, and to the whole team.
So, my readers – what do you think? Does it sound interesting? Would you read it?
Progress so far:
- 3/1/15: Set the goal (a full 50,000-word draft, or half a novel?) – On time
- 3/8/15: Develop my one-sentence pitch line – Early
- 3/22/15: Establish major set pieces/beats – On time
- 4/12/15: Develop a rough synopsis
- 5/3/15: Complete a rough outline or scene sketch
- 5/24/15: Complete an “idea bank” with the things I want to include in the novel
- 5/31/15: Plan the beginning of the novel, from opening scene to first major turn
- 6/14/15: Plan the middle of the novel, including all the twists and complications leading to the ending
- 6/28/15: Plan the ending of the novel, including the climax and the final resolution
- 6/30/15: Get all my logistics in place (word-count log, file formats, backups, and so on)