So this week, in spite of having an odd cold, I had some breakthroughs. For instance, one of the reasons I had trouble getting on with my Plotting blog series is because several of my books -- especially mysteries -- started coming to me.
But it was the front stories that were coming to me. The character arcs for the series characters. Maybe some mysterious happenings, but not the story behind them.
So I started idly putting together the Mystery version of the Situation Game. Just the most rudimentary, "slap anything together and call it good" sorts of stuff. Then I sat down and rolled a story from what I had, with the idea of maybe coming up with a mystery behind that Man Who opening scene I thought of last week....
And Holy Freakin' Moly... IT WORKED!
At least I think it worked. So far. Obviously I haven't written the whole book yet to see how it will ultimately work. But I'll talk more about this on Friday. In the meantime, I'll just mention the basic idea of it:
I used the Random Relationship Circle game I mentioned at the end of this post last fall. In that you roll characters and their relationships to each other to create a cast of characters. (I've made some adjustments.) I did some brainstorming on that, and then I spun a "Wheel of Motives" and did more brainstorming. And finally I applied my existing idea, and that pulled it all together.
I am however, adding a few more things to play with. I've got a "Wheel of Reversals" to use for plotting, and a "Big Wheel of the Crime behind the Crime" which may take the place of the motive wheel, or work with it. It also might replace the Crime Wheel in the Situation Game.
More about all of this on Friday. Fridays will once again be Story Game posts. For now they will be miscellaneous topics -- such as Creating Your Own Game For Your Own Genre, and mini-games and exercises.
On Tuesdays (and sometimes Wednesdays) I'll continue working my way through plot theory. We're still on Character Entrances. This week is really an extension of last week's post. I'll look at a couple more movies which also use conflict to set up the characters before we even know them. I'll be talking about Flashback (1990) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), and perhaps some others. I may do an additional post on Wednesday, because I wanted to get to the concept of "Save the Cat" and also to Delayed Character Entrances and a few other smaller issues in character entrances.
Because we really do need to move on to catalysts and inciting incidents.
See you in the funny papers.