By October 31, 2005

Nanowrimo? I hardly know her!

I may not be participating in National Novel Writing Month this year. The problem? Same as my previous attempts, I lack a storyline. I have some decent ideas for characters and their backgrounds, but nothing that really ties them together, and certainly nothing that would result in anything reminicient of an epic conclusion. I could easily crank out some character sketches, but that’s as far as my ideas take me.

I’m going to put it up here as a poll, so you can give me the thumbs up or thumbs down before I begin my 50,000 word oddessey. For some reason I’m more nervous about putting my idea up than talking about nearly failing my motorcycle safety course or the dorkiness associated with running a roleplaying game about zombies.

OK, here goes:

$nameUndecided is a highly respected and skilled guard for an old king. His primary duty is to safeguard the king’s young queen. He follows her everywhere, and in Lancelot fashion falls in love with her and they have copius amounts of knight-on-queen humpy near babbling brooks with wildflowers gently blowing in the spring breeze. Of course, they are found out — by the king’s somewhat spooky advisor — and the queen is locked in a tower for the rest of her life. The king’s advisor has other plans for $nameUndecided, however. To make amends for breaking his vow of servitude, $nameUndecided is cursed to become a gargoyle, crouching motionless and silent until bidden to do the wishes of the king and the rest of his line, forever. As war and time march on, $nameUndecided is made to do some fairly unscrupulous things under the command of the king and his decendants.

Fast forward to modern era. $nameUndecided is brought to America as an exhibit on European architecture. He has been dormant for some time, but tingles to life as he feels one of the king’s decendants near: a young woman named Clara who is completely unaware of her heritage and her hold over the cursed knight.

This is where I sorta fall apart. Shit happens, $nameUndecided comes to the rescue, ancient Christian watchgroup starts to hunt down the “demon” gargoyle and its evil mistress, and soon there’s lots of shooting, crashing through buildings, the Spear of Longinus, and copius amounts of gargoyle-on-woman humpy near babbling brooks with wildflowers gently blowing in the spring breeze.

What say ye?

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6 Comments on "Nanowrimo? I hardly know her!"

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  1. cymwyd says:

    OK, I’m stupid, I can’t figure out how to respond to the poll. I think you should spend some time writing this, the concept, albeit not novel (as in new) has potential if you can spin it. Or you can go totally camp and spoof the hell out of fantasy lit lite.

    You’re right – you have no plot. What ties these characters and times together? Clearly the evil Grand Vizier has set in motion some series of events that bring Sir Gargoyle and Fair Maiden together in modern times. You can probably also link in the not-so-savory tasks the gargoyle has has to perform over the centuries, as part of the master plot. Sir Gargoyle and Fair Maiden obviously unravel the knots and resolve the current situation (please don’t let her kiss the gargoyle and have him turn back into the handsome knight!!! please please please!)

    Issues I see: “Camelot”. You’ve already set up Arthur, Lancelot & Guinevere. The Grand Vizier seems to be Merlin with a Rasputin cast. It would be a challenge not to make the early part be too fairy-tale like or cliched.

    Once you get into modern times, I can see interesting character development between Sir Gargoyle and Fair Maiden. Especially if you write Fair Maiden as a normal contemporary woman and don’t make her either a clinging vine or a doormat. If you do, I will be forced to …well, I’ll count to 3 and think of something! I know my reaction on meeting a gargoyle would not be to run off looking for a babbling brook 😉

    For your villain and his master plan – please do not use the Holocaust, racism/slavery, or “the war on terrorism” as part of the evils thereof. Too cliche. I think what scares me most is “the banality of evil” – another challenge, if you go that route.

    So – I think this has potential. I think it also has huge challenges. I’d like to see what you do with it. And may I, pretty please, see the final product?

    Not sure any of this was actually useful…let me know.

  2. drfaulken says:

    Your comments are quite useful and I appreciate them 🙂 You are so very right on many of these points. The problem with the story as described thus far is that the characters of origin — the reason that Carmichael (working name for the fallen knight) is the way he is now, etc is due to archetypal characters behaving very … archetypally 🙂

    So yes, it’s hokey and it’s cliche. But hopefully I can grind through this part of the story and come back to it after the 50,000 word finish line is crossed. As they say, “fix that in editing.” Your characterization of Keenan (the king’s adviser) as Merlin meets Rasputin is dead on. I just got through writing the section where he convinces the king to curse Carmichael.

    In regards to Clara, she will not be a Martha Stewart. In my first run of this story she was a law student volunteering at a womens’ crisis center; this time around I’m not entirely sure what the take will be. I found the lawyer-in-training bit boring.

    That’s all I’ll reveal for now, other than that I’m already struggling with my desire to carry Nanowrimo out. It’s daunting, and the more words I put to my novel the less I seem to want to put towards Gibberish. We’ll see how it pans out.

  3. cymwyd says:

    “In regards to Clara, she will not be a Martha Stewart”

    Actually, Martha is tough as nails, despite the fluffy cream pies. I was thinking more that you shouldn’t let her be Juliet or Sandra Dee ;- Why not let her be an ordinary working woman? Maybe someone in an IT field – surely you know some good strong women in that field that you can use as models!

  4. drfaulken says:

    It would be excellent to model her after a particularly cut throat executive who promised to turn the company around but instead just laid off a ton of well-qualified people.

    But then the sex scenes would just be scary.

  5. configuratrix says:

    Well, yeah.


    I agree it’s possible to take a cliche’d plot and make it real / interesting in the writing.

  6. configuratrix says:

    Plot or plot elements etc.