This year I stumbled on thread on the NaNo forums where you were challenged to write your plot like a Pixar plot summary. The Pixar pitch goes like this:
1. Once upon a time there was …
2. Every day …
3. One day …
4. Because of that …
5. Because of that …
6. Until finally …
Example: Finding Nemo
1. Once upon a time there was … a widowed fish, named Marlin, who was extremely protective of his only son, Nemo.
2. Every day … Marlin warned Nemo of the ocean’s dangers and implored him not to swim far away.
3. One day … in an act of defiance, Nemo ignores his father’s warnings and swims into the open water.
4. Because of that … he is captured by a diver and ends up in the fish tank of a dentist in Sydney.
5. Because of that … Marlin sets off on a journey to recover Nemo, enlisting the help of other sea creatures along the way.
6. Until finally … Marlin and Nemo find each other, reunite and learn that love depends on trust.
What a fun way to summarize a plot! But it is tough to fit to this year’s Nano outline, since 1 through 4 is basically the first few paragraphs, and the rest of the book are items 5 and 6! Here’s my Pixar’d plot:
1. Once upon a time there was a city that was destroyed when a magical bomb exploded, leaving the city a ruin and full of twisted magic.
2. Every day the magic spread and grew stronger, creating monsters (and monsterous plants) who were non-living and magic eating. And they began to leave the area where the bomb went off.
3. One day soon after the explosion a mysterious group came hunting for the cause of the magic, hoping to use that power to take over the country. But instead they found Tesh, who had lost her memory during the explosion and who seemed to instinctively know how to deal with the magic-eating plants and zombie creatures.
4. Because of that the rescuers find a small boy trapped in a magical plant, and as Tesh frees him the boy warns them the monsters are coming. And the monsters come, with the rescuers, Tesh, and the boy barely getting away. The rescuers then blame the boy and Tesh for the danger they’re in.
5. Because of that Tesh and the boy run away from their “rescuers” and try to find the source of the twisted magic themselves, in hopes of preventing more monsters and preventing their rescuers from taking over the country.
6. Until finally there’s a big battle with the monsters, the rescuers, and Tesh and the boy, where Tesh remembers a few things and she and the boy work together to stop the magic-eating zombies, slow the spread of the magic, and drive away the rescuers (who are now revealed as the group who set the bomb).
It doesn’t really fit…but it did help me tighten up my rambling 10 point outline into something sleeker.
It’s day nine, and I’m at 7,500 words (about 7,500 below where I need to be to hit the 50K target).