Plot Challenge of the Week

Well, the week is nearly over! I studied more math yesterday, and I like to think I’m making progress. Hopefully that will show on the GRE. I find studying for this test very frustrating. I’ll spend 3.5 hours working my way through 17-20 math problems with the help of my wife and feel like I’ve learned nothing (this isn’t actually true, just the way I feel right now). I’ll get most of them wrong on the first try and have to go back with her help to figure out why I got it wrong and how to get it right. Some of them we’ll have to work 2, 3, or even 4 times before I understand it, and some of them I still don’t understand (and yes, she’s an angel for putting up with this on her days off). Then, the next day, I’ll spend an hour going through 63 verbal problems, get 4 of them wrong on the first try, and find out that 2 of them I got wrong simply because I misread a work in a paragraph. The other two I got wrong because I had the right answer and then second-guessed myself because I’m an arrogant jerk and am convinced that the test makers are dumber than I am (subconsciously convinced of this of course–I wouldn’t say it outloud), and thus had the wrong answer. I need to stop making assumptions like that. All in all, I need to improve in both areas, but the verbal questions are too easy and the math questions are too hard. I guess I’m saying that I wish I was more balanced. Anyway, I have a plot challenge for you, and it’s something a little bit different. In this challenge I want you to work on plotting out a particular chapter or set of scenes. I’ve given you some exercises concerning metanarrative, but now I want you to focus in on the micronarratives of the story. So, I’m going to give you a couple of characters, a setting, and a grand plot, and I want you to plot out one chapter of a metanarrative involving them.

Metanarrative: The work as a whole is a work of fantasy. Wilem, a captain in the army of King Leopold the Fifteenth of Isandria, is caught behind enemy lines with his troops. He was part of an invasion of the neighboring country of Ligoth that ultimately failed. Several of the Isandria units were cut off from their main force and the Ligothi military is currently hunting them down. All of this takes place in a metanarrative about Isandria’s fall from power, and ultimately of King Leopold’s abdication under duress to King Kirthian of Ligoth. Wilem’s story fits into the metanarrative in that his few soldiers are, unbenounced to them, a threat to King Kirthian’s heir, and thus significant military power is (at this point in the story) being dedicated to hunting them down, which has stalled Ligoth’s counter attack against Isandria. Kirthian is convinced that they are an assassination force, but Wilem and his soldiers don’t even know the heir is nearby, and just want to escape with their lives. In the story they will eventually be hunted down and killed, though Wilem himself will survive by passing himself off as a Ligothi and at the end of his story will be integrating himself into the life of a small Ligothi village.

This chapter: This chapter falls in the middle of Wilem’s story. His unit has already been cut off and is stranded behind enemy lines. There are about 25 soldiers with him, though I’m only going to give you three or four. The Ligothi army is hunting them, and at some point in the chapter they need to discover this for sure (though they already suspect it), and the chapter should end on some kind of cliff-hanger.

The Setting: Wilem’s unit is hiding in the middle of the Kirgwood, a large forest that stretches for some 70 east-west miles between the towns of Kirlem and Valosk, and about 120 miles north-south between Lake Piorin and the town of Harlik. Ithali’s monastery is in the Kirgwood itself, some 25 miles south and 5 miles east of the town of Valosk, and Brazak’s village is a logging village 5 miles west of the monastery itself. Forzin’s regiment is currently based out of the town of Harlik, where the invading forces were defeated and cut off.

Characters: I’m going to give you several characters. You don’t need to use all of them in your chapter. In fact, you only could use all of them if you were bouncing back and forth between several points of view. So, if you want to plot out the chapter entirely from Wilem’s point of view, that’s fine, just ignore the characters that don’t fit.

Wilem: the optimistic, even chipper, commander of a small groups of Isandrian soldiers who’ve been cut off from their army.

Goral: Wilem’s older, dour second in command. He’s something of a doomsayer.

Sinit: a mage who was attached to Wilem’s unit. He is not technically under Wilem’s command, but he is taking orders for now because he’d like to survive.

Blask: An experienced scout in Wilem’s unit. The man is a little bit insane, but good at his job and very loyal.

Kirthian: the king of Ligoth who is convinced that Wilem’s unit is an assassination squad sent to kill his son.

Ithali: The prince of Ligoth who is currently studying at a monastery near where Wilem’s unit was stranded. In Ligoth monasteries double as schools of sorcery. All sorcerer-priests in training are expected to be celibate during their training, though they are expected to take wives upon graduating.

Lorelai: a village woman in the town of Krask that supports the monastery where Ithali is studying. Lorelai’s husband was a Kigothi soldier who was killed in the invasion and she is currently in mourning.

Brazak: the grandfatherly headman of the town of Krask. He is a sorcerer-priest himself, though he has never held more than a middling rank and is not particularly powerful in either political or magical terms. Still, he has friends in the Clergy ranks and is not entirely without influence.

Forzin: a captain in one of the regiments that is hunting Wilem’s troop. Forzin is blindly loyal to his king and a zeolot of the Kigothi religion.

Marin: a ranger in Forzin’s command. Marin is a capable soldier and woodsman, but he is also a heretic, though he keeps this very hidden.

Your job today is to use what I’ve given you here and your imagination to plot out the chapter step by step. Figure out the major events that need to happen, in what order, and how to make them interesting and fun.

Plot Challenge of the Week

Well, I had my last meeting for the semester yesterday. I’ve got my final reading done, and I just have a final (2 long essays) left to complete. So, it’s been a really good semester and I think that I’ve proved to myself what I set out to prove at the beginning of the semester. So, all things considered, I’m very happy with the way this semester has turned out. Anyway, 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. Here’s your picture:

dark-fantasy-landscape-hd-1080p-12

Plot Challenge of the Week

(Photo Credit)
(Photo Credit)

Well, I hope that all of you are having a wonderful day! So, welcome to may, and it’s time for a plot challenge. So, let’s get to it. You all have done this challenge a couple of times already. So, you probably know the rules, but if not: I’m going to give you a few rules that your setting must fit into, and you create a setting that fulfills those rules. Feel free to create a setting that you intend to use with characters that you’ve created.

Your requirements:

1) Your world must be a setting that include both science fiction and magic. You could incorporate the two as in Star Wars, or you could create two worlds in one as in Piers Anthony’s Phase and Proton.

2) Your setting must involve multiple worlds. This could be as small as a solar system, or as large as multiple galaxies.

3) Your setting must include pirates… because pirates are cool!

4) Your setting must include at least two significant, conflicting empires.

Plot Challenge of the Week

Well, we seem to have an extra Friday this month, which means that we have an extra plot challenge. This is going to be something more challenging, and a little bit different. You’ve done several character challenges that focus on pictures, and you’ve done several setting challenges. This week, we’re going to combine these two type of challenges. I’m going to give you a single picture, and I want you to design your setting around that picture. Note that your setting should revolve around the location pictured, but it should expand beyond the location pictured. In other words, you should use the picture provided as an anchor for your setting, and build a full setting around it. Your picture is below:

This picture was found here, but it obviously belongs to someone. If that someone is you, please let me know and I'll be happy to give you credit.
This picture was found here, but it obviously belongs to someone. If that someone is you, please let me know and I’ll be happy to give you credit.

Plot Challenge of the Week

fantasy-landscapes_422_13243Well, it’s time for another plot challenge, and this week’s is a setting challenge! If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, then you’ve done this challenge a couple of times already. So, you probably know the rules, but if not: I’m going to give you a few rules that your setting must fit into, and you create a setting that fulfills those rules. Feel free to create a setting that you intend to use with characters that you’ve created.

Your requirements:

1)Your setting must be a fantasy setting.

2) Your setting must include griffons.

3) Your setting must have at least one coherent governing body.

4) Your setting must include a sizable body of water.

5) Your setting must include some kind of fish people.

Plot Challenge of the Week

Well, yesterday was officially the first day of spring! I’ll be honest, I kind of wish we’d had more of a winter where I live. Winter is my favorite season of the year. I love it when everything is dead and covered in ice and snow… that didn’t really happen this year. Anyway, or today’s post you have to work up a basic character sketch based on each of the pictures below. Feel free to use these characters for a story, or to design a setting around, but remember that the goal is to build the characters. All of the pictures below were done by the excellent Alexiuss, who’s work can be found here.

Antecedent_Terminus_by_alexiuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equinox_by_alexiuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loretta_by_alexiuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

neurotic_indisposition_by_alexiuss-d16a6s3

Plot Challenge of the Week

This piece was done by Alexiuss, whose work is available here.
This piece was done by Alexiuss, whose work is available here.

It’s Friday again, and that means that it’s time for another plot challenge! I’m rather proud of myself, personally, because I’m writing all of these posts back in January (what can I say, I needed a break), and writing forty some posts in a week has not been easy! So, I’m sitting here back in January writing these posts and watching Bones, which is a great show. Speaking of, your challenge this week involves watching something. So, here are the rules: I’m going to give you a goal. Sometimes this will come with characters and/or a setting, and sometimes it will involve rewriting other things. So, you have to complete the goal using the tools that I provide you with.

Your challenge: Sit down and watch a movie you like. As you watch, take some notes on who the character’s are, and how they are developed. Also take notes on some of the basic characteristics of the setting. What are the key setting features that cannot change? Once you finish use the same characters and basic setting features to create a plot in a different time period. For instance, if the movie is set in the 1980s, set your plot in the 1500s. If your movie is a fantasy movie, set your plot in the far future. Have fun with this and be creative. You might want to examine some modern adaptations, both good and bad, to get some ideas of what to do, and what not to do.

Plot Challenge of the Week

Alright, it’s the first day of March, and spring is on the way here. So, it’s time for another plot challenge! This week we’re back to the normal plot challenge, and you know the rules! I give you a setting and a few characters, and you come up with plots that use them.

Your setting: The deep desert of a fantastical middle east. Genies are real, magic is common place, and Arabian warriors are commonly aided by mythical creatures.

Your characters:

Sekret Ibn Sul: Sekret is a sorcerer of some power, but he has rejected the law of Allah, and refused to abide by the teachings of the Qur’an.

Hadish Al’Hallet: Hadish is the son of a Suni Shaykh who sees himself as a blessed warrior of Allah. He believes that it is his mission to convert unbelievers by any means necessary.

Kur Ibn Turan: Kur is a merchant, a swindler, a manipulator, and (to hear him speak of it) a devoted muslim. He sees profit in everything and always enjoys a challenge.

Horab Ad’Din: Horab is a djinn, and at best he is not very nice. At worst he may, if released from his captivity, reshape the world in his own image.

Plot Challenge of the Week

dust_inlineIt’s Friday, yet again! So, that means it’s time for another plot challenge. This week’s challenge is actually going to be a setting challenge. So, first of all I hope that you all have had a great January! Good luck for the upcoming holiday, and I hope you have someone special to spend it with. So, the rule for this plot challenge is simple. I’m going to give you a few rules that your setting must fit into, and you create a setting that fulfills those rules. Feel free to create a setting that you intend to use with characters that you’ve created.

1) Your setting must be post-modern, but not far future. It may be post-apocalyptic if you want, but it doesn’t have to be.

2) Your setting must contain major corporations in some fashion.

3) Your setting must include a major villain, but that villain does not have to be human, or even humanoid.

4) Your setting must be a habitable environment.

5) Your setting must be a single world, but may include a moon or other near orbit location.

Plot Challenge of the Week

Well, it’s that time of the week again! So, this week’s plot challenge is another character challenge. For today’s post you have to work up a basic character sketch based on each of the pictures below. Feel free to use these characters for a story, or to design a setting around, but remember that the goal is to build the characters. All of the pictures below were done by the excellent dinmoney, who’s work can be found here.

demon_soldier_speedpaint_by_dinmoney-d2yq7gd

genji___level_2_by_dinmoney

samurai_035_by_dinmoney