I mentioned I had two friends I was going to plotstorm/brainstorm this book with. Last night, one friend and I brainstormed until the wee hours...and I had such a BLAST. We were laughing (on the phone at first) SO hard my husband evicted me from our bedroom. Sigh. So I tiptoed into the living room and Pammer www.pamela-james.com and I continued our brainstorm via IM. I feel MUCH more confident about the story now, and am looking forward to diving into this story, rather than dreading it, or feeling at a loss as to the direction to go. Tuesday evening I'll brainstorm with another friend and Love Inspired author www.margaretdaley.com who can help me determine if what Pammer and I came up with last night is workable, plausible, and acceptible to my publisher's guildelines, etc. etc.
So how did the brainstorm go?
I told Pammer my basic premise, and let her know the story set up. I introduced her to my characters (verballly speaking) by way of telling her their backgrounds and the roles they played, or the appearances they made in books one and two.
You may remember my mentioning the novel I'm plotstorming is book three in a series.
So after I brought her up to speed, she began asking me questions to get me to think, and to help offer suggestions. Some of her questions were:
What's your hero's goal? (His goal is to help his sister heal from an assaut.)
Why does he want this? (Because his parents were killed in a car accident when he and his sister were young and they were shuffled from house to house and they only have each other now.)
What were his parent like? (Before they died, they were solidly loving and stable.)
What does hero believe about God? (Hero went to church a couple of times when he was young, may have even made a decision but he guesses it "never took" or that "God forgot about him in the shuffle of life" because He let his parents die and he and his sister be separated, the ONE thing Chance asked God for was to keep them together.
Is your heroine a Christian? Which one of them is the stronger Christian? (Yes, in the beginning of the book she's the stronger Christian but the spiritual arc is such that she begins to be deceived, and hero recognizes it. In the process of studying the Bible, and asking Christians how to help her, he comes to a relationship with Jesus and understanding God never actually abandoned him. So at one point in the story, he's seeking God more than she is and helps bring her back when she gets caught up in her body image to the point it becomes an idol, and being involved in things that subltly steal her simple devotion to Jesus.)
We discussed a few scenes, (some HILARIOUS), then talked about the heroine. We came up with a goal for her: That she wanted to be healthy because someone in her family recently had a stroke. She gets her cholesterol checked and realizes it's dangerously high, and wants to be healthy.
Pammer asked what the relationship conflict was. (Relationship conflict is mostly on Chance's part. He's the resistant one to the relationship for several reasons. He doesn't think he's good enough for her. He knows his sister needs to heal and needs the heroine's friendship to do so. He fears if he and the heroine date and end up breaking up, that will compromise his sister's friendship with the heroine, which will be detrimental to his sister's healing. It's no secret to any of their friends that heroine is head over for the hero, but he only sees her as a friend.
We brainstormed some other stuff, but mostly went over GMC. (Two main character's goals (What they want), motivation (why they want it), and conflict (what keeps them from getting it.)
I now have a good handle on both my hero and heroine's goals and motivations, but I'm still a little sketchy on the conflcits which will arise to challenge their goals. Hopefully Tuesday I'll have all the bugs worked out and can dive into the story.
Indidentally, I critted a book recently, by Camy Tang www.Camytang.com which floored me in the sense of how she kept upping the stakes and adding conflict. Her book will release from Zondervan some time this year or next, and would be an excellent study in creating character conflict.
More another day.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!
www.CherylWyatt.com Gal. 2:20 Pouring my vial of words over Him.
A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008