By word count alone, I ended up negative today in NSR. I wrote the next new section in Quinn’s POV — braving Melville to do so — and then axed the only section in Dr. Charles Merritt’s POV in the second major draft, which was longer. I also did some shuffling around of character placement. A character needed to die a bit earlier than I planned. Good work, even if the word count doesn’t reflect it.
Then tonight my Amazon order arrived containing The Complete I Ching. I’d bought this book as research for my hero in 7Crows, and whoa, it’s so interesting! I’ve been trying to plot it out, but couldn’t seem to get the pieces to fall into the right order in my mind. So I decided to play out a toss of the coins and see if I could get a plot. I got so many good ideas, it was freaky. I ended up plotting the whole thing tonight.
For example: Tian’s, the hero’s, static trait is that he always consults the coins. The first scene shows him doing this. So naturally, in his darkest moment of betrayal, he checks the coins, and rightfully gets the hexagram 36 – Ming Yi – Brilliance Injured or Darkening of the Light. I was getting ready to move on to the Masquerade, when one line from the description caught my eye: “Hunting in the south, captured the great chief.”
Hmmm. Interesting, I thought. I ended up adding a scene where they do just that — capture the Queen’s right hand man.
This static trait comes back in the first climax, where he distracts someone who knows him well by doing the casting again before “making a decision” when he’s really just buying time. There, he casts 18 – Gu – Worm or Decay. I just love the whole idea of it.
I’m sure I’ll need to do more tweaking, but the outline of plot is here. I still need to think of one crucial item that ties Morghan’s father to the theme, and I need to spend a bit more time making sure her dark moment is appropriately hopeless. Anyway, here is the first draft of the block outline for 7Crows.
|001||Tea with the Stars||Morghan|
|002||Dragon Hid in the Deep||Tian|
|003||At the Captain’s Table||Morghan|
|010||The Crow Queen||Tian|
|011||Flying in Darkness||Morghan|
|012||Trap is Sprung||Morghan|
|013||Dragon Flying Low||Tian|
|016||Wing to Wing||Morghan|
|017||Suspicion on the Wing||Morghan|
|019||The Queen’s Right Hand||Morghan|
|021||Tower of Crow||Morghan|
|022||Consult the Oracle||Tian|
|023||As the Crow Flies||Morghan|
My typical section averages around 1K, so this will be right in line for the size requirements. Assuming it doesn’t grow too much in draft…