Prepare for NaNoWriMo:Plotting
Last week, I wrote about using archetypes to create characters in anticipation of NaNoWriMo in November. My project next month is a retelling of Red Riding Hood and the Big, Bad Wolfe as a romance. I’ve already established a world in Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf (available in January) that I can use.
This week’s self-assignment was to take the strengths and weaknesses of the archetypes I drew from Caroline Myss’ card deck and add them to my plot.
Plotting the Hero
The hero of the book is Mr. Wolfe. Oliver Cox Wolfe (yes, I did think of naming him Oliver Fox, but then the title would be Red Riding Hood and the Big, Bad Fox). Using his archetypes, I examined their weaknesses and arrived at the following plot points:
The Warrior—Weakness:trades ethical principles for victory at any cost. How used in plot:Uses trickery to preserve his kingdom.
The Shapeshifter—Projects any image that serves his personal agenda at the moment. How used in plot: Takes advantage of his position of power to maintain his position of power. Lets his assumed feelings for the kingdom overshadow his feelings for the heroine, not realizing his motive is a way of coping with self-doubt.
The Child-Wounded—Blames any dysfunctional relationships on childhood wounds. How used in plot: His traumatic childhood darkens his ability to love and stunts his growth as a man.
The Athlete—Has a false sense of invulnerability and entitlement. How used in plot:Uses people around him to get what he thinks he and the kingdom wants.
As you can see, Oliver has a lot of baggage. He’s a broken man at the beginning. He’s inherited a kingdom in disrepair and feels obligated to prove his father’s opinion wrong. To battle these conflicts, Oliver needs a good woman at his side. Let’s examine her weaknesses.
Plotting the Heroine
Roswynn is a baker for the village. She learned most of her skills from her grandmother, with whom she lives. Her recent bout with a strange fever resulted in the shearing of her hair, making her hide what is left under a red hood. Her greatest desire is to perfect her craft.
The Hermit—She withdraws from society out of fear or judgment of others. How used in plot: She runs from a royal decree to make the food that hinders Oliver’s shapeshifting abilities.
The Dilettante—Pretends a much deeper knowledge than she possesses. How used in plot: Convinces Oliver she has the formula when she doesn’t. She says so out of self-preservation, as losing the royal baking contract will ruin her and her family.
The Monk Nun—Negative, judgment of physical world. How used in plot: Negative opinion of Oliver and what he’s doing to preserve his kingdom.
Other factors involved in this plot:
- The true heir to the kingdom makes a claim.
- A trusted advisor isn’t so trusted.
- The things Oliver and Roswynn would never do that circumstances and decisions make them do.
- The conflicts of Oliver being a werewolf.
- Oliver’s growing love for Roswynn.
- Oliver’s resolve to be a better king than his father to prove his father’s opinion of him wrong.
Many, many other details need to be ironed out before November 1st, but I am steadily working on them.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at how to put together a novel. I’ll be updating it as I progress.