She comes in looking for more water but leaves having escaped a rape and getting her district’s water ration reduced.

Five options:
1) Therefore she determines to break into the pumping station to rig the timers, but she needs a magician who can hack the timers.

2) Therefore she determines to sell a family heirloom to bribe the mayordomo for more water, but he’s greedy and what she brings isn’t enough.

3) Therefore she goes to the mayordomo’s home to ransom him, but she finds him dead upon her arrival.

4) Therefore she must talk down an angry mob of her fellow Bel Avi upon returning home, but the city guard arrive to impose martial law before she can calm them down.

5) Therefore she determines to steal water from neighboring district, but discovers that district has been obliterated.

6) Therefore she shadows the mayordomo hoping to find blackmail material, but she’s caught and captured while snooping by the rapist guard.

162 words on day 947

In My Head

I wrote in my head yesterday while driving. Today I’ll try to transcribe those thoughts below.

The girl thinks Narkkid is her mother due to a scrap of paper with her military service number printed on it next to “Mother”. There is a “Father” section, but she was unable to locate any information on him.

This is when it gets weird: I do a whole clone thing and devise a situation where clones caused some social issues in near past and now all cloning is done via deceased DNA. Except in this case, Narkkid’s DNA got used. I manufactured a transposed number in the id sort of thing so that it might seem accidental that hers got used.

I try to leave the government contractor blameless in the end, but still seemingly the bad guy for awhile—they want to get the girl back too since they realize she’s proof they broke the law (how they find out I’m not sure). Or the real bad guy kills the main doc and pins it on the girl. Not sure. The technique for cloning renders the clone sterile and the cells themselves ‘self-destructive’ so that the IP is preserved. Thus the only way to make more clones is to have the original donor’s DNA which the main doctor destroyed (or so he thought).

The trouble with the clone thing is working out how successful and prevalent it is. There’s got to be some reason why the girl is special above and beyond her cloneness. Maybe this is where her inlaid bionics and cyber come in to play. Must be she’s the first/best version to accept the wetware, so they’d like to do more of her.

Then comes the accident which is no accident part and the real bad guy. I’ve done such a great job obfuscating the start-up that I still don’t know much about the RBG. I’m thinking maybe this is just some fellow officer who was a bit pissed about Narkkid leaving the service that he somewhat on a lark posted her DNA out there via the transposition and serendipity turned it into a great thing for him. Big kudos he didn’t want to lose face on when people found out it was Narkkid, which they would since she was popular enough. He’d been planning on killing her in some garage ‘accident’ but then the doc spoiled the germ cells and he had to now keep Narkkid alive. Even if the dates didn’t work out, in the military forgiveness is easier than permission. If Narkkid gets dead at any point it retcons the cloning.

Ultimately they (start-up and military RFP) didn’t anticipate the clone to be as self-directed and sharp as she was. They thought they’d get a worker bee but they got a queen. Which is what queered the whole deal. Maybe at some point RBG decided to cut his losses and kill them both. Plus there’s got to be some dealing with the paperwork. You kill the doc, but he’s got papers somewhere, right? Files?

Upon seeing Narkkid, the girl immediately realizes she’s a clone and not a daughter. She splits to protect the woman, whom she thinks must be hiding out or something since she’s not dead yet (the girl knows a lot, but not everything).

That leaves me with the question of the father on the birth cert. Is that just pure sham? Or is that a red herring. It can’t be a red herring if the girl knows immediately unless the girl doesn’t get back in contact with Narkkid before she starts her own hunt.

621 words on day 914

Better Than Nothing

So I thought I’d do a bit of plotting. I can’t get the Benhá thing out of my head and I’ve not plotted that ever. Too scared I suppose. Maybe I should plot it several ways. Pick one that seems best.

Setup: perfectly happy island girl discovers she’s got dermatographia.

Hook: the man who owes her money turns up dead in her normally peaceful village and she’s suspect número uno.

PP1: rather than stay to face mislead justice she decides to flee with a man she’s just met, a Solex monk.

Pinch 1: Roundmartin’s goons burn her home town to the ground looking for her.

MPT: Charming discovers she’s Roundmartin’s niece and that she has the same prophetic powers he did.

Pinch 2: Roundmartin’s thugs attack the monastery she’s staying at.

PP2: Charming discovers where Roundmartin is and goes to confront him and give him back his power.

Conclusion: having given him back his power she some how defeats him at the last minute.

164 words on day 729

The Lull on Gondola 92

“What the hell?” you ask yourself. “Didn’t he say he was going to write up these plots of his?”

Yes, I did, and I have been. I did also say unless I didn’t. In yesterday’s and—you’ll soon learn—today’s I’ll be didn’ting. I’ve found tons of inspiration in Ian McQue’s illustrations and try to conjure something each time he gins (perhaps I should say ‘scotches’) up something new. He scotched something up yesterday and I want to followup today as well.

However, I don’t want to do the typical narrative I’d normally do. Back during NaNoWriMo 2009 when I made a half-hearted and ultimately failed attempt to participate in that event, I got to a point where I no longer wrote but instead wrote what I would write if I could write. At the time it felt like cheating. I neglected the material afterward thus retroactively making it cheating. Two days back I read something that placed that kind of effort in a different light. I no longer consider such meta-writing cheating as long as I come back to the meta and actually write the narrative.

What follows _could_ be cheating. But it might not be.

From yesterday…

Mr. Cameron—at least—knew enough to stay away from me. I doubt the other refugees, our accidental comrades, even noticed me on the bow [boat part I couldn’t find the name for]. And the six person crew of Gondola 92 were either too busy or too scared to warn me off to a safer spot. But Frakes noticed me right away, and once he was no longer busy he came to get me down.

Gulls shrieked and swooped and slid under me. They rose up from under the ship on swells of air I never felt on my face or in my hair. Occasionally one might churn it’s wings but only to gain better advantage on another or to make an abrupt turn. As long as I watched I never observed one to stroke it’s wings to fly. These white birds just glided.

Behind me, a woman we pulled from the caravan redescribed the events of the [some group] attack and the rescued rescue to Mr. Cameron. It was a tribute to his stoicism that she prattled on ignorant of his loss and oblivious to his pain. I wanted to push her off this boat and into the smoke and fog buoying below us, so I could hug him or hit him. I wanted to bring back Captain Munro too. I wanted to tell him it wasn’t his fault she died. I wanted to tell him it was me, but I wasn’t even able to convince myself of that; I think he may have been convincing himself it wasn’t me.

This scene is what I’ve come to call The Lull in the plot narrative I’ve been cleaving to for comfort lately. A time to think, a time to reconsider, and a time to decide to go tot he next level…or not.

Prior to illustration Partly, Munro, and Mr. Cameron were involved in some sort of attack from the [the guild?]. During the attack and subsequent flight Partly’s fear and anger increase until she’s unable to contain her rage and she erupts with power (yeah, I don’t know when/how/why she got powers either, but she seems to in this version). The result of that blast is that Captain Munro is killed saving Mr. Cameron [the guild?] is mainly thwarted and the two that live get mixed up with some Lander caravan they were trying to rescue or help out in some way.

Yesterday I didn’t have a reason for that Lander involvement, but now it suddenly strikes me that these Landers had the [McGuffin] and the crew of the Marcail were bargaining with them to get it or were trying to find them and only did so just as [the guild] attacked. In any case, it seems appropriate for the [McGuffin] to have gotten lost or to have been picked up by [the guild]. So no Munro and no [McGuffin], and Partly is probably responsible for both.

Anyhow, the Military who also wants Partly but has thus far been a bit more polite in their pursuit of her and truly doesn’t have nefarious plans (just conflicting ones) rescues the rescuers. [The guild] are run off or scattered or at least escape the military intact. Partly, Mr. Cameron, and the surviving Landers from the caravan mingle on the deck of Gondola 92. A garrulous Lander woman from the caravan buttonholes Mr. Cameron, and, ignorant of the facts and his grief, precedes to recount the marvelous and frightening events which just transpired. Partly wants to go to Mr. Cameron and help him in some way but she’s afraid of what to say and there’s that chatty woman.

Lt. Frakes, whom we’ve met earlier but I don’t know how or why, goes to Partly to talk and to get her off the bow [thing I still can’t find a name for. Would it kill you nautical bastards to provide a freaking picture with your voluminous glossaries!!!]. Where she’s perched like a gargoyle or a figurehead happens to be dangerous itself, slightly distracting to the boat’s pilot, and because of it’s lever-arm distance from the boiler could easily jostle her off into the clouds even if Partly were being careful not to fall off on her own. Frakes does the scared-dog conversation to coax Partly to safety. He lets her think she’s decided to come down.

That conversation likely has overtones of suicide and grief. I’ll probably have to do at least a couple of the stages of death related grief. Once off, I think Frakes will do tough-love to get her to chat with Mr. Cameron. Of course that means that somehow Frake needs n to know stuff I hadn’t planned for him to know. (Maybe there’s some pre-Partly relationship between he and Munro (and Mr. Cameron)).

So eventually Partly and Mr. Cameron talk. It seems likely that Mr. Cameron will entreat Partly to keep fighting ‘because that’s what Munro would want.’ She’ll be ready to decide to become The Martyr, but won’t decide such till after facing Tsien.

How much more will we need to engage the rest of the crew of Gondola 92? Probably some since I imagine there will be a few members introduced in the prior rescue scene.

I’ll need to sort out Frakes’ agenda. I think he’ll be more aligned to Engineer Coffee’s faction than to the straight Tsien line. Which would be great if I knew what those were. Whatever they are to them, to Partly they are nearly identical, so convincing her to side with Frakes or with Tsien will be a true struggle for Frakes.

1132 words on day 685

Your Descent

I must have started a day late or missed a day or doubled up because it’s the Eleventh and I’m on my last of ten plots. There is no time to sort that out now though, only time to write on.

Tritti from The Shany thread stepped up yesterday for the Ascension plot; I think You might be a fun volunteer for the descending corollary.

Theme – Descension

Setup – You are hired to impede the delivery of a [McGuffin] to the Adroit Supplicant (just made that name up) in ah’Taconschientee.

Hook – You meet with a shadowy figure of power you suspect is a demi-god; the meet is odd since clients of any caliber rarely engage you directly. Additionally, the figure forgives you.

Plot Point 1 – A usually open informant proves uncharacteristically reticent; you stoop to toture to gain the location and time of the hand off.

Pinch 1 – Tritti implores you not to kill her or to block her delivery of the [McGuffin] to Adroit; she escapes and you tear up a market looking for her.

Mid-point Twist – You discover the man guarding Tritti is a demi-god, and the real threat to accomplishing the task you were hired for.

Pinch 2 – Tritti and Brother Gane block your efforts to get backup; you resort to black magic to increase your skill.

Lull – You speak to the Adroit Supplicant and blame him for your desperation.

Plot Point 2 – You decide the only way out is the way down; you vow to kill the demi-god expecting to die in the effort.

Conclusion – You do kill the demi-god; you do die in the effort.

Some of that’s a little squeezy, but I think I could work it out to make sense without significant overhaul. At least it’s a shit ton further along than I’ve been in the past with You or The Shanty thread.

319 words on day 678

Tritti’s Ascension

Yesterday when I was writing or thinking about that wretched Wretched Excess plot I spent some time looking up other’s lists of master plots. So far I’ve only collected them into my writing wiki and skimmed the contents. I find the variety interesting; I may employ some of them in future months.

My twenty master plots book wraps up with a bit of a cheat if you ask me. Tobias combines the chiral Ascension and Descension plots as if he were running out of paper to print his book and just now noticed how similar they are to each other. I don’t begrudge him the aggregation, but I would be less critical had he done the same with his other matched plots.

Anyhow. He contends the difference between these plots and others is the gradual nature of each, the protracted crescendo or decrescendo of the main character. The plots I find them similar to, Transformation and Wretched Excess, should be administered quickly and focus on the effect each change has on the character rather than drawn out and focusing on the character…or something like that.

Both Ascension and Descension rather an ultra-real charismatic character who can hold a reader’s attention and carry the whole plot.


I keep thinking maybe a day with these plots in my head will turn them into something appealing by evening. I suspect I’d need to devote brain time to the effort to get anything out of it. Funny that.

I hope Tritti the Pilgrim from The Shanty thread helps me out here tonight.

Theme – Ascension

Setup – Tritti pilgrimages to ah’Taconschientee.


Plot Point 1 – Against tradition, Tritti decides to enter ah’Taconschientee to deliver the [McGuffin] Johnka gives her. She meets Brother Gane.

Pinch 1 – In the land-side market You attempts to kill Tritti. People she’s just met protect her with their lives.

Mid-point Twist – Johnka confesses to Tritti that he is a demi-god.

Pinch 2 – You kills Johnka but misses Tritti.

Lull – Tritti recovers from her wounds at Brother Gane’s monastary.

Plot Point 2 – Tritti inspires the monks to escort her back to ah’Taconschientee to complete the delivery.

Conclusion – Tritti fights off the folks she’s been battling and ultimately delivers the [McGuffin].

378 words on day 677


You’re still waiting for me to come out and say, “I love this plot. Love, love, love it.” Today’s plot I like well enough, but I find the naming of it a bit in accurate. Wretched excess describes a situation in which a person of normal means finds themselves indulged with great bounty. That bounty could be love, companionship, adoration, money, resources, luck, or whatever, but they find themselves with an abundance of it. Then they discover who they really are.

The book’s author goes an entirely different direction which I’d describe as more Disgusting Extremes. A mundane character descends into a state where they’ll do just about anything in order to survive. The actions depart from the social norms so extravagantly that they are borderline beastial or alien.

I’ll have to remind myself what the happy ending and upsides to this interpretation are according to Tobias. Lovely. There doesn’t seem to be one.


I thought about this off and on today. I didn’t really settle on anything good, so instead of hours of germination I’ve still got a cold keyboard.

Let’s see if I can work something humorous and timely and light.

Theme – Wretched Excess

Setup – It’s snowing and a man must shovel his driveway.

Hook – A cold-weather clad man stands on his front step wtih a snow shovel in hand; after he wipes the effects of a flurry of snow in the face from his face snow crashes down on him from the roof.

Plot Point 1 – Admiring his finished driveway he decides to shovel the sidewalk in from of his home as well.

Pinch 1 – So caught up in clearing the sidewalk he doesn’t notice new snow covering the driveway again until he’s at the end of the walk.

Mid-point Twist – After shoveling his way back up the sidewalk and the driveway he sees that the sun has melted his neighbor’s driveway without any human effort.

Pinch 2 – A snowplow comes by to clear the road out front and not only carves a huge wall of snow up onto his clean sidewalk and driveway but also hoses him down with slush (or maybe salt spary/anti-freeze).

Lull – Finally dug out from the snowplow he sips cocoa inside at his neighbor’s home. They remark on some of the irony and the lack of other neighbors shoveling their drives.

Plot Point 2 – So much time passes while at his neighbor’s the snow has returned and covered his drive a third time.

Conclusion – Maniacally shoveling through the snow a third and final time the day ends with the man collapsed on the front step huffing. He watches several neighbors pulling out of their warm garages and easily driving away in the light snow at the end of the day.

I’d say that kind of worked. At least it wasn’t Iago or alcohol. THis is a plot archetype I’d come back to find a different story instead.

486 words on day 676