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

Well, I started my first reading for the official Ph.D. program today. I’m rereading Oliver O’Donovan’s Resurrection and the Moral Order and reading Christopher Wright’s Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, which is fairly interesting thus far. It is certainly going to be an interesting summer, that’s for sure. 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

I’d forgotten how much I actually enjoy painting miniatures. Recently I’ve been thinking about painting up some miniatures that I’ve had for a while, and that are very nice, high quality sculpts. However, it has been years since I last painted anything. So, I went out and bought some good paints and some cheap Reaper miniatures (which are actually surprisingly high quality given what you actually pay for them) and I’ve been painting them. Thus far I’ve painted up a sarcophagus, a ruined well, an alchemist, and three Chinese soldiers. I have a few more cheap miniatures to paint, and I definitely need the practice, but everything I’ve painted so far has come out better than I actually thought it would. Still, my work is far from being professional quality. Anyway, I have an exercise for you. You’ve done this one a few times. Today I want you to sit down and write out your basic metanarrative. I don’t want you to building any settings or develop any characters, instead use what you already have and come up with an overarching storyline for a 1, 3, or 5 story series. Plan on these stories being between 10,000 and 35,000 words long and try to have a good flow. I want you to consider and decide on the following points:

1) What locations (i.e. cities, ruins, forests, temples, etc) is your story going to center around? What are the major powers (i.e. national or religious) forces involved and how to they currently relate to one another? How are their relations going to have changed by the end of the story?

2) What characters are involved? Who is your main protagonist? You supporting protagonists? Your main antagonist? Your supporting antagonists? How is each major character going to be different by the end of the story? Is anyone going to be dead? If so, who?

3) What is the introduction, the climax, and the epilogue of each story? What are the three pivotal events that the metastory itself focuses around? What are the major events that come in between them? Try to have a clear but general outline of your plot. Consider what has to happen in the story, and then consider what should happen in the story. Then you can start working out how to get from one to the next.

4) What are going to be your major trouble areas? What events or plot points do you just not know enough about, or are you simply bad at writing? Can you work around these trouble points? If not, is there something you can do to get better at handling them?

Plot Challenge of the Week

Well, at the moment I’m sitting in a hotel in Michigan… traveling is great for studying (at least if you’re not the one driving). I got about eight hours of studying done on the drive here… which amazingly didn’t get me through all of my material twice… though most of the way on the second time through. Anyway, I have an exercise for you. You’ve done this one a few times. Today I want you to sit down and write out your basic metanarrative. I don’t want you to building any settings or develop any characters, instead use what you already have and come up with an overarching storyline for a 1, 3, or 5 story series. Plan on these stories being between 10,000 and 35,000 words long and try to have a good flow. I want you to consider and decide on the following points:

1) What locations (i.e. cities, ruins, forests, temples, etc) is your story going to center around? What are the major powers (i.e. national or religious) forces involved and how to they currently relate to one another? How are their relations going to have changed by the end of the story?

2) What characters are involved? Who is your main protagonist? You supporting protagonists? Your main antagonist? Your supporting antagonists? How is each major character going to be different by the end of the story? Is anyone going to be dead? If so, who?

3) What is the introduction, the climax, and the epilogue of each story? What are the three pivotal events that the metastory itself focuses around? What are the major events that come in between them? Try to have a clear but general outline of your plot. Consider what has to happen in the story, and then consider what should happen in the story. Then you can start working out how to get from one to the next.

4) What are going to be your major trouble areas? What events or plot points do you just not know enough about, or are you simply bad at writing? Can you work around these trouble points? If not, is there something you can do to get better at handling them?

Plot Challenge of the Week

This is a good illustration of metanarrative from a Christian perspective.
This is a good illustration of metanarrative from a Christian perspective.

Well, I’ve run into a question that I haven’t found the answer to yet. I’ve started my new workout program this week, and today was ‘leg day.’ This involves four exercises: squats, leg press, step-ups, and sit-ups. Now, squats and leg press seem like the same general movement to me. One is done from a seated position and the other from a standing position, but still the same general movement. However, today was my first leg day and I was feeling things out, so I wanted to max myself as much as possible. I found that, at the end of four sets, 110 pounds was about my max for squats (which is pretty pathetic), but in four sets I got up to 250 pounds on the leg press and honestly could have kept adding weight, but I didn’t want to wear myself out before I got to my other exercises. So, I’m going to have to ask a physical trainer what the difference between squats and leg press is. Also, these were free weights, not resistance weights, so it wasn’t simply machines with differently calibrated resistance. Anyway, it’s time for a plot challenge, and I have something new for all of you… or at least, a little different. 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

Well, it’s almost Valentine’s day! I hope that all of you married folks are getting along and enjoying the lead up to this holiday (and not over-mercantilizing it). My plans for Valentine’s began yesterday. Alayna is going to get four days of Valentines–nothing too special or expensive (not breaking out diamonds here) and hopefully all more inventive than a box of chocolates… … …though, come to think of it, Alayna would probably enjoy a box of chocolates. I might have to put that on the list of things to do. Regardless, I’m not spilling the beans (especially since she reads this blog regularly–surprises will remain intact sweety), but I think its going to be a fun few days. Anyway, I have an exercise for you. You’ve done this one a few times. Today I want you to sit down and write out your basic metanarrative. I don’t want you to building any settings or develop any characters, instead use what you already have and come up with an overarching storyline for a 1, 3, or 5 story series. Plan on these stories being between 10,000 and 35,000 words long and try to have a good flow. I want you to consider and decide on the following points:

1) What locations (i.e. cities, ruins, forests, temples, etc) is your story going to center around? What are the major powers (i.e. national or religious) forces involved and how to they currently relate to one another? How are their relations going to have changed by the end of the story?

2) What characters are involved? Who is your main protagonist? You supporting protagonists? Your main antagonist? Your supporting antagonists? How is each major character going to be different by the end of the story? Is anyone going to be dead? If so, who?

3) What is the introduction, the climax, and the epilogue of each story? What are the three pivotal events that the metastory itself focuses around? What are the major events that come in between them? Try to have a clear but general outline of your plot. Consider what has to happen in the story, and then consider what should happen in the story. Then you can start working out how to get from one to the next.

4) What are going to be your major trouble areas? What events or plot points do you just not know enough about, or are you simply bad at writing? Can you work around these trouble points? If not, is there something you can do to get better at handling them?

Plot Challenge of the Week

Well, I’m sorry for the missing posts this week. I’m afraid its been a busy day, so I didn’t actually get around to looking at the blog until this evening. However, as I said in my post a couple of weeks ago, we’re trying something new and there are bound to be a few hiccups along the way. So, we’ll get this figured out, but please bear with us. I’m retaking the GRE tomorrow, and at least I’m feeling better, so I’m fairly confident that I won’t be walking into the test with a massive headache and a fountain of snot running out of my nose. God be praised! Actually, one of my pastors called this afternoon to check up on Alayna and I (he knows that we’ve been sick), and we spend some time praying for exactly that, so this is quite literally an answer to prayer. It’s also the first afternoon I’ve spent without a massive headache in over a week, which was a nice change.nAnyway, I have an exercise for you. You’ve done this one a few times. Today I want you to sit down and write out your basic metanarrative. I don’t want you to building any settings or develop any characters, instead use what you already have and come up with an overarching storyline for a 1, 3, or 5 story series. Plan on these stories being between 10,000 and 35,000 words long and try to have a good flow. I want you to consider and decide on the following points:

1) What locations (i.e. cities, ruins, forests, temples, etc) is your story going to center around? What are the major powers (i.e. national or religious) forces involved and how to they currently relate to one another? How are their relations going to have changed by the end of the story?

2) What characters are involved? Who is your main protagonist? You supporting protagonists? Your main antagonist? Your supporting antagonists? How is each major character going to be different by the end of the story? Is anyone going to be dead? If so, who?

3) What is the introduction, the climax, and the epilogue of each story? What are the three pivotal events that the metastory itself focuses around? What are the major events that come in between them? Try to have a clear but general outline of your plot. Consider what has to happen in the story, and then consider what should happen in the story. Then you can start working out how to get from one to the next.

4) What are going to be your major trouble areas? What events or plot points do you just not know enough about, or are you simply bad at writing? Can you work around these trouble points? If not, is there something you can do to get better at handling them?

Plot Challenge of the Week

Source
Source

Well, first of all I want to say congratulations to Sam’s father! It’s very exciting, and I know that publication (that is official publication rather than one of the many forms of self- or vanity-publication) is one of the goals both for many of the writers and many of the readers of this blog! If you have a moment please check out his blog! It looks like it’s just getting started, so the attention would certainly be helpful. Anyway, I have an exercise before. You’ve done this one a few times, but it is fairly new. Today I want you to sit down and write out your basic metanarrative. I don’t want you to building any settings or develop any characters, instead use what you already have and come up with an overarching storyline for a 1, 3, or 5 story series. Plan on these stories being between 10,000 and 35,000 words long and try to have a good flow. I want you to consider and decide on the following points:

1) What locations (i.e. cities, ruins, forests, temples, etc) is your story going to center around? What are the major powers (i.e. national or religious) forces involved and how to they currently relate to one another? How are their relations going to have changed by the end of the story?

2) What characters are involved? Who is your main protagonist? You supporting protagonists? Your main antagonist? Your supporting antagonists? How is each major character going to be different by the end of the story? Is anyone going to be dead? If so, who?

3) What is the introduction, the climax, and the epilogue of each story? What are the three pivotal events that the metastory itself focuses around? What are the major events that come in between them? Try to have a clear but general outline of your plot. Consider what has to happen in the story, and then consider what should happen in the story. Then you can start working out how to get from one to the next.

4) What are going to be your major trouble areas? What events or plot points do you just not know enough about, or are you simply bad at writing? Can you work around these trouble points? If not, is there something you can do to get better at handling them?

Plot Challenge of the Week

This piece was done by Jon Hodgson and more of his work can be found here.
This piece was done by Jon Hodgson and more of his work can be found here.

Welcome to Friday! I’ve been filling out Ph.D. applications all week and writing the dreaded ‘why do you want to come to this school’ essays along with the ‘what are your goals’ and ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses’ essays. I honestly don’t know anyone who enjoys writing those, and I’ve yet to find a ‘right’ way to do it (I’ve found a lot of wrong ways to do it though). The thing is, I actually know what my goals are (at least five year goals), I’m just worried that the university won’t think my goals are good enough, or perhaps aren’t compatible with their academic philosophy and culture. Anyway, like I said, I haven’t met anyone who likes writing these things. Regardless,I have an exercise for you. You’ve probably done this one a couple of times. At this point, if you’ve been following the blog, you probably have quite a few settings worked up from our Friday challenges. However, I’m wondering if you’re using those settings at all (if you don’t, then look back through the archive at the plot challenges and you’ll find plenty of inspiration for settings). So, today I want you to sit down and write out your basic metanarrative. I don’t want you to building any settings or develop any characters, instead use what you already have and come up with an overarching storyline for a 1, 3, or 5 story series. Plan on these stories being between 10,000 and 35,000 words long and try to have a good flow. I want you to consider and decide on the following points:

1) What locations (i.e. cities, ruins, forests, temples, etc) is your story going to center around? What are the major powers (i.e. national or religious) forces involved and how to they currently relate to one another? How are their relations going to have changed by the end of the story?

2) What characters are involved? Who is your main protagonist? You supporting protagonists? Your main antagonist? Your supporting antagonists? How is each major character going to be different by the end of the story? Is anyone going to be dead? If so, who?

3) What is the introduction, the climax, and the epilogue of each story? What are the three pivotal events that the metastory itself focuses around? What are the major events that come in between them? Try to have a clear but general outline of your plot. Consider what has to happen in the story, and then consider what should happen in the story. Then you can start working out how to get from one to the next.

4) What are going to be your major trouble areas? What events or plot points do you just not know enough about, or are you simply bad at writing? Can you work around these trouble points? If not, is there something you can do to get better at handling them?