Plot, Conflict, and Outline

18 Oct

I’ve been working on character, plotting, and setup for the first part of my novel (which has 4 parts: Part 1 is Setup (of course), Part 2 is Response, Part 3 is Attack, and Part 4 is Resolution, which I got from the book “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks.


Part1: the Setup of my novel, which is called Blue Moon (that is definitely subject to change and probably will), should introduce the reader to hero and what is going on in the hero’s life (backstory, character empathy, what is at stake, what the hero needs in her life, what “trials and tribulations and opportunities” she is “facing before the arrival of the primary conflict” so that the reader cares about what is going on with the hero.

So my first 4-5 chapters are all about the Setup and right now I’m debating on whether to name my chapters or not. To name or not to name?  That is the question.

In chapter 1, the  reader finds out that my character Jynx was orphaned as a child and went to live with her fanatically religious aunt Avena when she was seven years old. Her parents were killed in a plane crash. She wanted to go live with her uncle Bourne who has spent time with her, but her aunt, whom she’s never met, gets custody of her and raises her. We get a glimpse of how much of a zealot the aunt is when Jynx receives a letter from a lawyer stating that requests her presence at her uncle’s funeral and for a reading of his will–she calls her aunt and finds out that the aunt refuses to go to her own brother’s funeral because he was a heathen. We learn that Jynx has psychic abilities and that she hid them from her aunt.

In chapter 2, Jynx moves into her uncle’s home and learns that her uncle, along with her mother and grandmother, were all psychics, which is why her aunt disowned them–they were sinners, psychic ability=sinner/satan. She figures out that her aunt raised her to keep her away from her uncle because her aunt thought that her uncle would corrupt her with his “demon” powers and that her aunt thought she might develop them, especially if she were around him. She wonders why her aunt didn’t have psychic abilities if they run in her family.  She also wonders why her uncle, who was a lawyer, didn’t fight for custody of her instead of allowing her to live with Avena.  Her uncle owned the bookstore in town, which is now Jynx’s, and Jynx wonders what to do with it. Should she sell it? Run it?

In chapter 3, Jynx meets a few of the town’s people, including the librarian Carita who was friends with Jynx’s mother. Carita is Jynx’s godmother and has a box of letters that she wrote to Jynx but that Avena returned to sender. Carita knows about the psychic abilities that run in Jynx’s family, and is willing to teach Jynx how to use and manage hers….

So I’m wondering if I should name my chapters…And if so, how do I decide what to name them? Something to think about and research as I continue to plot my novel for NaNoWriMo.


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2 responses to “Plot, Conflict, and Outline

  1. michelelishka

    October 18, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Thanks for the link! It’s much appreciated 🙂


  2. Jae

    October 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I’d worry about whether or not to name your chapters much further down the road, like draft 7 or 8. And it all depends on your audience. I think MG likes named chapters, YA yes and no, Adult, it depends but less likely. Glad you’re in the NaNo too. I’m sure we’ll see each other around. 😀



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