Monthly Archives: November 2016

2016 NaNoWriMo: concept development and worldbuilding


Another interesting bit of conceptual development from the NaNo worldbuilding forum.

1. What is valued most in your Society? (Money, Family, Love, etc.)

Tesh (my main character) isn’t sure what her people value since she’s lost her memory; as the story progresses she realizes she values independence and knowledge. The La’an race values their Goddess, personal strength, magical/political power, and most of all control. The races that lived in the city where the story takes place before the disaster seem to (from what Tesh remembers and sees of how the city is designed) value beauty, freedom, art/craft, and trade.

2. What is the main cause of conflict in your society? (Is there war? Is there a group of people that no one likes?)

The La’an feel their Goddess has told them to take over the city. Some of their people (accidentally?) caused the magical disaster that flattened the city center and turned most of the city to rubble, and now the ruling council of the La’an trying to find out what exactly happened so they can harness that same power to rule the world. Tesh (main character) wants to get away from the La’an and finds herself trying to prevent them from getting access to the magic. Meanwhile the power/destruction has created monsters called The Twisted (and a killer Plant as well) who want to eat everyone.

3. What is your climate like and what grows there? (You can’t build your characters house out of wood, if you live in a barren wasteland where nothing grows.)

The city before the disaster was the cultural and trade center of a thriving country. Semi-rainforest in most of the country, with hills loaded with trees and beautiful well-watered plains for growing food. Loads of natural resources, fast growing plant varieties (each home had tiny hanging gardens of beans and hemp), and great trade deals with neighboring countries. Now the entire city is flattened, and the Plant is what grows there, feeding off of anything it lures close enough to catch.

4. What do the people there eat? How do they get their food?

What food and water the few people still alive in the city can find is suspect because it’s been heavily dosed with magic.

5. What in our world threatens your main species? (Is there Famine or an Epidemic? Is the planet dying or is there wild predators? No one is completely safe)

It’s more like “What isn’t a threat?” in this story. There are three major visible threats (the La’an, the Twisted, and the Plant), rubble and buildings falling down, no untainted food, no untainted water. It’s only been three days since the disaster, so who knows what sort of diseases will be a threat as time goes on. The Twisted suck out all the magic that makes people/animals live and what’s left is just an empty shell that survives for a few days and then falls over and turns into dust. The Plant lures you (with scent), then stuns you and absorbs you. The La’an will sacrifice you if you get in their way (or maybe just because you don’t look like them, or worship their Goddess). And don’t look now but the magic in the heart of the city seems to be growing…

2016 Nanowrimo plot post


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).