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