Monday, February 10, 2014

"Oi! Watch it, Spaceman!" "Oi! Watch it, Earth girl!"

 Wherein Jack talks about plots

 Since working on the different books for the Oleander series - which I suppose is what it would be called if I was to lump all the different serieses into one series - I've been once again reminded how bad I am with plots. That is probably not something an Author should openly admit, but if it wasn't for the characters I would probably have stopped writing a long while back. A lot of my original stories have the same plots, re-used, which is why editing has taken me longer on some than others.

 When I got the idea for the Oleander series I knew something would have to change. I have seven series planned that fit into this world. Some of the plots were easy to figure out, like the NaNo book I did two years back. Some plots I've been working on for years, The Legend of the Blade. And some have all ready been written, The Loyalty Trilogy. But others, I had no idea what the plots would be, just the characters. I felt a little lost about how to go about it until school last week, when my teacher began talking about the Hero's Quest Plot.

 The Hero's Quest is one of those original plots and is seen everywhere. Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Narnia, I am sure you can keep adding. There are different ways to do it, but essentially it boils down to the hero starts out at his home, he leaves for some reason and faces dangers, he "dies and comes back to life" - this doesn't have to be a literal death, but a point in the story were he gives up and then renews the fight. My teacher uses the example of Marlin from Finding Nemo where he is in the whale's mouth with Dori and he cannot get out. he gives up and floats to the bottom, then is spit out and is given new hope. And lastly, the hero returns home having changed the world or himself and comes back a new person. Frodo in The Lord of the Rings for example. She even has a list of the characters typically seen in the Hero's Quest - such as the hero, the mentor, the side kick, the unassuming wise person. (Examples, Luke, Obi-Wan, Hans, and Yoda.)

 I've done a version of this before, most likely all story tellers have. I used it for the Blade books, though I didn't know it at the time. However, after learning about it I wanted to try it. I want to attempt to add in all of the characters which are seen, not just a few of them like I did with the Blade books. I want to write a full out Hero's Quest and with the missing plots now seemed like the perfect chance.
 That might sound a little ambitious. But that is kind of what writing is, challenging oneself. Herge did it when he wrote The Casafiore Emerald, The Adventures of Tintin. He wanted to write a story in which nothing happened, but was still exciting. It is fun to think up challenges and then see if they can be pulled off. (Like never giving the hero a name: Doctor or Tintin. Or, in the case of Tintin, writing a whole series where he is a bit illusive and mysterious but still finding ways to connect the reader to him. I've kind of wanted to try that myself, but I don't know if I would be able to pull it off.)

 That said, I have all of the series roughly planned and the characters named. I even have the order set in which they all take place and which should be published first. And lastly....I finished the second editing of the second Loyalty book! And I will be revealing the title next month! but more on that with my next post. 

 Also don't forget - I forget to mention it - there is a lovely giveaway going on right now! You can take part with the giveaway thingy on my sidebar. I've read a lot of the books which are being sent out, and they are wonderful, so you should definitely join in.

 Quote is from Doctor Who, 10.5 and Donna.




  1. Glad you finished the edits!
    The Hero's Journey is a great plot. Can't go wrong with it. Well, you could, just don't.

  2. I never knew that writing technique had a name before. It's amazing how stories with the same elements can be so totally different from each other.
    It sounds like your getting great writing/editing/world building done! Go Jack!

  3. I love the Hero's Journey archetype. So fun!
    Congratulations on finishing your edits!
    Are you planning on doing Camp NaNo in April?

    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. I do too, it is my favourite. All of the stories I love, or most, are that type.
      Thank you 8-D
      I am thinking of doing it. I shouldn't, not with editing and publishing to get ready for. And I'll be coming back from a holiday on the 31st of March and April will be the next day. It might be too much to add NaNo, but I've not learned to give up a challenge, so I will likely attempt it and sleep afterward

  4. Sounds like a lot of fun. Learning about the different plot types are so much fun. I think there's a book that has about the major seven, I think is what it is, plot types in them. I wanted to read it. . . but I can't remember what it's called. The Hero's Journey is an awesome one. The best for fantasy settings. I've been told though, that almost all plots can fit into two categories: the hero takes a journey. or a stranger comes to town. When I really think about it, it's true. Some books even have both and switch back and forth between the two.

  5. Congrats on having the series plotted out!

    And I love the Hero's Journey plot. It's one I pulled upon for my own work. :)


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