Post by khelessindarae on Apr 12, 2020 14:06:38 GMT -5
I got my GMC attempts done on Friday (after writing this post), but completely stalled out at actually writing my goalposts yesterday. Saturdays are usually my depressive episode days, so I'm trying not to beat myself up too much about it.
But hey, in case anybody wants to give me some feedback on my GMC sentences/story premise? Feeling a bit insecure still, and I remember WriYe as a safe space.
Nana wants to escape the ghost haunting her, the one that will take her powers and life if she doesn't give in, and will take her morals and family if she does. But Shen Yunru (yes I renamed my hero. again.) needs her to use her powers at Shanghai University, where the ghost can track her down, to save human lives.
Yunru wants to use his connection to Nana to "save China" and gain the approval (read: attention) of Heaven--he's felt ignored for centuries. With a brother like Nezha, and friends like Red Boy and the Monkey King, he's tired of being the supportive friend in the shadows. But Nana wants to cut their tie, relinquish her powers, and go back to her own timeline, leaving him in his shadow, again.
The Nanjing Road incident is coming up quickly, and with an untethered evil ghost and a politically roiling city, these two need to get on the same page if they're going to prevent any bloodshed--either the stuff Nana knows from her history books, or the stuff her ghost has decided to get up to when their favorite prey escapes with a demi-god.
March 12: Sun Yat Sen, Chinese hero, dies
May 1-15, bullshit at Japanese cotton factory
Same time: International district says kids can't work anymore
Chinese Unions and schools organize get pissed off
Also China is currently rallying behind Nationalist (what becomes Taiwan) and Communist parties.
Nanjing Road incident: 15 cotton mill employees protest, shot down in cold blood
One week later, students protest. In reality, none of them were shot. In this story? Maybe!
Post by khelessindarae on Apr 20, 2020 18:33:17 GMT -5
Whelp. I was going to print off the planning party prompts for this year to kickstart my brain, and forgot: I'm out of paper until Wednesday. Stupid work printing stupid reports stupid working from home stupid stupid stupid...
Post by khelessindarae on Apr 20, 2020 20:17:43 GMT -5
Ok! I missed out on the planning party over the weekend (technically was in discord around Question 3 or so, but felt weird since I'm starting a project, not ending one so...), so I'm going to do the Pack Your Bags Planning Party here in this thread, and hope that helps me get my ghost in line and my story semi outlined.
Q1. Are you a planner or a plotter or a plantser? Are you willing to try something different this time around to see if it helps or does your method work as is?
I am a planner to the max. If it were possible to outline a novel into existence, I would have published 12 and written 36. However, outlining a novel into a kitchen sink, and attaching twelve kitchen sinks to an outline does not, unfortunately, a novel make. I have to write the dang thing.
So, to that point, I am following something I learned from Romance Divas, which is to figure out my characters GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) sentences, and have a broad sense of what the 7 goal posts are, from Hauge's 6 stages.
Since I have the habitual sin of overplanning, I am not allowing myself to plan beyond that, but am now stuck, because I can't work through the goal posts. UGH.
Q2. Are you set on your genre? The overarching genre like romance, sci-fi, horror and then the more specific subgenre like contemporary romance, arcanepunk or occupational fiction? (Any blend of genres is good too!)
Alternate history, suspense romance.
Q3. What character has the most stakes in the story? Is this person your MC?
Protagonist and antagonist are fairly well matched, one dies and/or loses her soul if the antagonist wins, one ceases to exist if the protagonist wins. Love interest is only shaping the course of Chinese history and determining his place in the hierarchy of heaven so...?
Q4. Who is your antagonist and what is their main goal? Is it world domination? Getting the love interest? Stealing something vital?
My ghost witch needs to corrupt and/or kill the MC. Close to 300 year old witch who needs the moral soul or life force from each generation to continue to exist, and exact her vengeance every 15-25 years.
She gains power when the MC uses her power. So when the MC is only doing Divination, she can only use divination magic. When the MC saves a life, the ghost can take one.
Her goals change as the MC acts and changes over the course of the book.
Q5. Are you setting this in the real world or a second world? Why have you chosen that? Do you want to pull from a lot of real world technology, culture, etc. or make it all up on your own?
It's a time travel adventure with supernatural elements, so alternate real world. Alternate History, I think is the technical term? "Magical Realism" is a term that defines most of my writing.
Q6. Summarize the premise of your novel the best you can. Examples might be: Boy and Girl fall in love despite family feud. Heroes save the world from evil overlord. Boy goes to school to learn to fight aliens and learns he had been fighting them the whole time.
Nana Kuo is a high school grad taking her gap year in Shanghai. Her family is haunted by a ghost that grants them magical powers, and wreaks chaos across the world whenever she uses that power.
Yunru Shen is the fourth lotus prince, forgotten by the mythos, as nobody cared when he went to the underworld to save his brothers. He's been overshadowed by his older brother Nezha, his friends Red Boy and the Monkey King, and fully believes in the nationalist and communist revolutions in 1925 Shanghai, and is determined to liberate China from the past.
When Nana Kuo is transported a century back in time, and warns about massacres, wars, and destruction, these two fight about the nature of power and when you have to do something, and when you have to not.
Q7. What sort of twists in the plot could you use, if you haven't figured it out yet? Which sort of plot twist tropes do you love and want to play around with this time?
There's a twist to the ghost's identity and motivation which will be fun to reveal in the third act. I also enjoy the hidden in plain sight villain, and the puppet master.
Q8. Do you have any secondary characters who have already come forward in your idea generating sessions? Do you think they have any fun subplots with them? Does the sidekick aim to help the hero save the world by defeating a mini-boss who is plaguing his town? Is the best friend of the female main character about to get married, but she needs the FMC to serve as a date for the best man?
I have a lot of ideas for secondary characters, but I'm also trying to not go mainstream with them. I'm looking for obscure folklore to use, as one of two settings in the book is going to be a supernatural segment of Yu Gardens in Shanghai, where troublesome malcontents or misfits hang out. So I have a sense of the mentor, the friend, and others, but I'm trying to look at the sense of who wouldn't be in heaven by then. Also, have people adjacent to historical figures in the books, but not the figures themselves.
Q9. What is the hardest part of finding time to write? Identifying it now will make it easier to find solutions.
Um, COVID-19. I work during the day, and have most of my creative ideas during the work day. After work, I'm completely burnt out, and don't have the mental energy to do the gymnastics needed to untangle my story and start writing.
Q10. What is your favorite quote to turn to when you're having trouble with writing?
I have two:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me.
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But it's like there is this gap. For the first couple years that you're making stuff, what you're making isn't so good. It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not that good.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you're making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. They quit.
Everybody I know who does interesting, creative work they went through years where they had really good taste and they could tell that what they were making wasn't as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. Everybody goes through that.
And if you are just starting out or if you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you're going to finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you're going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you're making will be as good as your ambitions.
I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It takes awhile. It’s gonna take you a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just have to fight your way through that.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." --Theodore Roosevelt