Plot Challenge of the Week

So, I honestly think that Alayna and I have been blessed with a dream baby. I struggle to think of something that you would want in a baby that our child isn’t: he is alert (very alert actually and interested in his surroundings), he is exceedingly calm (the only times he fusses at all are when he’s either really hungry or being changed… healing circumcisions will do that), he started nursing almost immediately, he is healthy, nurses well, poops well, etc, he sleeps very well, and he’s cute as a button to top it all off. Anyway, it’s time for a plot challenge. Many of you have probably done this challenge before, so I hope you have fun with it! This week’s post and next week’s post are going to go together. This week I want you to put together a general metanarrative for your story. You’ll need to figure out the following:

  1. Your genre: is this story a fantasy, sci-fi, urban fantasy, spy fiction, mystery, modern adventure, etc?
  2. Your theme: what ideas do you want to explore? Politics, relationship, metaphysics, criminal psychology, theological questions, mystical questions, etc?
  3. Your major setting: what nation, country, locale, village, apartment building, etc is your story set in? Consider that some novels/movies/etc have taken place in elevators… literally, the entire story… in an elevator. Others take place over an entire galaxy.
  4. Your main characters: who is your protagonist? Is he a hero, an anti-hero, a villain, something else? Who is your antagonist? What is his plan and purpose?
  5. Your major supporting characters: who is your protagonist close to? Your antagonist? What major people will help shape the story?
  6. Growth: how will your main characters/world grow over the course of the story? What is the beginning? The middle? The end? Pick out three specific, major events that you want to be the landmarks of your story.

Plot Challenge of the Week

Did you know that Jurassic Park is on netflix at the moment? Alayna and I just finished watching it (though this was partially out of a hope that the more startling scenes in the movie might send her into labor). Her due date is past and we’re both just waiting for the moment when everything starts happening. The hospital bag is packed, plans are made, car seats installed, etc. Now we’re just waiting on the kid to arrive. Fair warning, next week is my week for posts, but if Alayna’s labor happens on a post day… well, I’m sure you can guess where I’m going to put the priority. So, if I can, I’ll have posts up for all of you. If posts don’t go up then you’ll know why (or at least the most likely reason why). Anyway, I have a writing exercise for you today, but if anyone wants to chime in with ideas, please do. For today’s exercise I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to use it as inspiration to design one part of the world you’ve started. This could be fleshing out one of the nations that you’ve already come up with or it could be creating an all new nation or continent for your world:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Plot Challenge of the World

Well, very slowly reading is getting done and I am getting used to sleeping five hours a night. However, if you’ve ever done something like this, it isn’t a lot of fun, and it takes some getting used to, so I’m afraid I don’t have a lot left for the blog today. Anyway, I have a plot challenge for you today. I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to develop a part of your world based on what you see. It should be a setting that is believable in your world, and that has potential for stories in it. Here’s you’re picture:

bridges fantasy art cities_wallpaperswa.com_47

So, I don’t know how many of you love either P&P RPGs or miniature models as much as I do, but I just backed this kickstarter. It looks to have a well-developed world, some great art, a fun system, and the miniatures are just beautiful. Take a look at it, if it looks like you’re kind of thing, back it with me. The basic pledge levels aren’t overly expensive and you can get some cool stuff out of them. That being said, I have a post for you. Anyway, I have a writing exercise for you today, but if anyone wants to chime in with ideas, please do. For today’s exercise I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to use it as inspiration to design one part of the world you’ve started. This could be fleshing out one of the nations that you’ve already come up with or it could be creating an all new nation or continent for your world:

med

Plot Challenge of the Week

So, I’ve been teaching a class on leadership in missions, and this happens to be a class full of Pentecostals (literally… there is one student who is not Pentecostal in this class). The class actually shows the range of the Pentecostal church ranging from very literate, well-thought out, reasonable argument to off-the-wall crazy talk (I had one student explain to me that Protestantism and Pentecostalism are different religions, that all Evangelicals are Pentecostals, and that Baptists are a third different religion completely separate from Protestants and Pentecostals). I also find it interesting that the vast majority of the class is Pentecostal since, at the moment, the fastest growing and generally dominant Christian denomination in Latin America, Africa, and Asia is the Pentecostal denomination. That being said, the topic of miraculous gifts, and especially tongues, has come up multiple times throughout the class. The primary scriptures used to support Pentecostal teachings on tongues (and miraculous gifts in general) is 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. I was rereading 1 Corinthians 14 today in my devotions and the thing that struck me about this chapter is how heavily Paul emphasizes order. First, he speaks primarily of prophecy (which he defines as edification, exhortation, and consultation) and he compares it to tongues. Paul’s primary argument in the first half of the passage is that prophecy is superior to tongues because prophecy edifies the body by engaging the spirit and the mind of the church as a whole while tongues engages only the spirit of the individual. Further, in the second half of the chapter Paul then emphasizes that both prophecy and tongues are to be used in the church in an orderly manner. He sets forth specific rules as to how they are to be used, and commands those who cannot obey these rules to remain silent. I find it interesting just how much of the modern Pentecostal church ignores this section of the chapter almost entirely. Anyway, I have a plot challenge for you today. I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to develop a part of your world based on what you see. It should be a setting that is believable in your world, and that has potential for stories in it. Here’s you’re picture:

temple-citadel-arena

Plot Challenge of the Week

Okay… test is done. Traveling is almost done (one more trip next week and then we’re done with that). We’re exhausted. Life will get back to normal(ish) soon… until we have to move for a Ph.D. program anyway… July is probably going to be a crapshoot of a month. That being said, I have a post for you. Anyway, I have a writing exercise for you today, but if anyone wants to chime in with ideas, please do. For today’s exercise I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to use it as inspiration to design one part of the world you’ve started. This could be fleshing out one of the nations that you’ve already come up with or it could be creating an all new nation or continent for your world:

japanese_village_12-0

Plot Challenge of the Week

Alayna and I were able to spend a rare afternoon off yesterday just enjoying some time together. It was really, really nice. Really nice. Honestly, I’m amazed that we both work so hard and so much and then complain to each other about how lazy we are (calling ourselves lazy, not calling each other lazy, just to clarify). It was nice to just walk around a park together and read together at a coffee shop. Anyway, I have a plot challenge for you today. I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to develop a part of your world based on what you see. It should be a setting that is believable in your world, and that has potential for stories in it. Here’s you’re picture:

2D-Art-Ioan-Dumitrescu-Alien-Planet-Crash

Plot Challenge of the Week

So, Alayna and I have been looking for parenting books, and I’ve specifically been looking for a good, solid book on the theology of parenting, or perhaps solid theology as applied to parenting… parenting as applied theology maybe. Anyway, however you want to phrase it, I haven’t found one. I’ve found dozens of books that claim to present biblical principles of parenting, but none of them seems to apply strong techniques of hermeneutics and theological reasoning/categories to the discussion. In fact, the majority of them seem to start with some particular form of parenting that works (or at least the the author believes works/prefers), and then tries to work backward to find biblical passages that support that particular philosophy or parenting technique. So, I’ve been thinking, perhaps if I can’t find a good book on the theology of parenting, maybe I’ll write one someday. It would be an interesting field to study, that’s for sure, and could perhaps provide a more solid foundation on which to build parenting philosophies and techniques. Of course, as a friend of mine pointed out today, I could wind up being the Marcion or Arius of parenting… that would be a problem. Anyway, I have a writing exercise for you today, but if anyone wants to chime in with ideas, please do. For today’s exercise I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to use it as inspiration to design one part of the world you’ve started. This could be fleshing out one of the nations that you’ve already come up with or it could be creating an all new nation or continent for your world:

fantasy-wallpaper-1920x1200-iltwmt_0

Plot Challenge of the Week

Welcome to Friday! Are you tired? I’m fairly tired. This has been a good week though. I’ve gotten a lot done, and that apartment is actually (mostly) clean for once, which is a nice thing. Alayna has the weekend off, so we’re going to get some good, quality time in and enjoy ourselves. Anyway, I have a plot challenge for you today. I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to develop a part of your world based on what you see. It should be a setting that is believable in your world, and that has potential for stories in it. Here’s you’re picture:

Ever wonder where the Shire came from?
Ever wonder where the Shire came from?

Plot Challenge of the Week

I was at the graduation ceremony tonight for a friend of mine who just graduated from her training to be a fire fighter. Now, I’ve been to plenty of graduations over the years, and so there generally nothing new, but I’ve never been to a graduation in which they played heavy metal as a part of the ceremony. Another friend who was sitting next to me kept saying ‘this is a hard core graduation.’ The fact that he said this several times amused me. Still, I found the heavy metal graduation (which is what I might refer to it as from now on) to be fairly interesting overall. Anyway, I have a writing exercise for you today, but if anyone wants to chime in with ideas, please do. For today’s exercise I’m going to give you a picture and I want you to use it as inspiration to design one part of the world you’ve started. This could be fleshing out one of the nations that you’ve already come up with or it could be creating an all new nation or continent for your world:

This piece is by a German artist who goes by Celarx on Deviant Art. You can find more of his work here.
This piece is by a German artist who goes by Celarx on Deviant Art. You can find more of his work here.