Countdown to NaNoWriMo: 20 Days

I feel it’s time to return to the structure and synopsis of my potential 2013 NaNoWriMo novel. As I believe I’ve mentioned once or twice in the is blog series, my logline is

“A dissolute knight is possessed by a century-old sacrificial victim to overthrow a cruel god.”

Which works fine as a summary, but doesn’t really give any idea of the story content and how it works within the context of the three-act structure that I discussed in the “33 Days” entry.

As I’ve mentioned before, the structural approach I’m using to inform my novel for this year is based off of the “Snowflake Method” by Randy Ingermanson (or, more accurately Ingerman & Peter Economy’s book Writing Fiction for Dummies) and that talks about expanding the single sentence logline into a full paragraph based around the three-act structure. The recommendation is five sentences with the first establishing characters and world. The second sentence describes the first act, then two sentencs for the second act and a final one for the third act.

I’m not going to do that here, for two reasons. First, I’m still figuring out what my second and third acts actually are going to consist of. And second, because I don’t want to give the whole tale away just yet. (I’m sure I’ll be posting excerpts on this blog in November as and when I write them.) (I am working on that paragraph though for my own edification)

I do want to expand my logline a more substantial introduction to the story. Not a full synopsis that describes a blow by blow account of what happens in the story, as I want some leeway before things crystallize entirely. After all, as no plan survives contact with the enemy, no idea survives contact with the writing. It doesn’t take much effort from a character to steal the story away from the writer and take it in a very different direction, and there’s something magical about that.

I want to write something that’s more akin to the blurb that you might see on the back of a book, enough text to whet the appetite for the story without giving too much away.

So far I’ve got this:

“A hundred years ago, Erica Inibha was killed upon a stone altar as an offering to She Who Watches.

Now, Sir Nikolai, oldest & drunkest knight of the Order of Satiada must prove his worth to the Order’s Council or face banishment and excommunication. In a desperate move, Nikolai strikes out to the steppes of Harmel, untouched by humanity since the time of Andraste’s Judgment.

As he makes camp in the forest of Folkeness, Nikolai discovers that his mind is no longer solely his own and the being he shares it with seeks to depose a goddess.”

In the traditional spirit of NaNoWriMo, it’s very much first draft quality, but at least some idea of the story is established, including quite a lot of the first act. This means I’m likely to get a bit more variety of response in the “Say something nice about the synopsis of the poster before you!” thread in the forums (which was started by a no doubt astoundingly intelligent and handsome individual), which was one of my goals.

Now if only I could come up with a title


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