Thursday, February 11, 2016

Story Developer #2: Testing Your Story Idea

Finally got the second one done. Sorry about the delay. More technical issues with GoDaddy. This episode talks about DropBox, the Snowflake Method and then we test some of your ideas while writing a logline and a controlling premise. It runs about 17 min. I will try to set up the Video Hangout later today but I'm too tired right now.

Randy Ingermanson's E-zine: Advanced Fiction Writing with Larry Brooks

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell


  1. Two out of the three ideas I had passed the initial tests. This one had the most promise by far:

    For Chocolate:

    Logline: In the initial phase of the plague, a low level knight uses his fatal contagion to save his people by surrendering to alien invaders.

    Freshness test: Combo of SciFi Fantasy with twist to SciFi spiritual would be unique. Classic Fantasy with Classic SciFi followed by a whole new type of SciFi: Exploration into metaphysics, consciousness and morality.

    Conflict Test:
    Love vs. Duty=>He is in love with his wife and must leave her to serve her and their people.
    Immortality vs. Death=>He will be remembered in his death.
    Between mind and physical limitations=>The "aliens" cure him and keep him. He fails his people, misses his wife, has a valuable secret but can’t return.
    Between protagonist and society=>He takes on the ethos of the advanced civilization but longs for his home.
    Between protagonist and the universal.=>Elements of destiny and manipulation of destiny as the Oracle plays with time and chance.

    Theme Test:
    New ideas and science that are largely suppressed.
    We labor under the strong belief that we are powerless in the face of destiny.
    Exploring what we could be capable of if we acknowledged the PEAR institute studies and explored their implications to full measure.

    Theme: Forsaking a culture that is killing you and destructive to the future. OR We are the Masters of our own destiny.

    Character-A warrior knight of the feudal kingdom
    Situation-Acquires the Plague
    Objective- Wishes to protect his wife and unborn child
    Opponent-From himself and a force of alien invaders
    Disaster-Instead of succumb to the plague the aliens cure him and keep him.


    When a warrior knight in a feudal kingdom contracts the Plague, his last act is to try to protect his wife, his unborn child, and his people. He allows an alien force invading his world to capture him, but when he fails to succumb to his illness, he discovers the "aliens" are a sisterhood of humans keeping rare plants alive after a distant apocalypse. Now their prisoner, he finds they are able to mentally manipulate the future, making his people's war on the sisterhood futile and dangerous.

    Hook, Line, Sinker:

    1. Hook: The knight comes home from the war despondent over the loss of his friends and discovers the king has rewarded him for his valor. A wife sits on his bed in his chamber.

    2. Line: Destiny is not an accident.

    3. Sinker: The theme is contrary to what most people have grown up believing. It might rub people the wrong way or be accused of being too optimistic for the genre. The research it is based on is already dismissed as pseudoscience despite multiple reproductions, because it says what people don't what to hear. This sort of thing could brand me, and effect how people look at any future work I do.

  2. Here's my try at this:

    Sweet Luna Dreams

    Logline: A Luna University freshman’s future is tied inexplicably to a terrorist cult bound for an unstable Earth.

    Freshness Test: Sci-Fi science vs. faith; I’m sure it’s been done. The twist must be unexpected and unseen. Who is the terrorist group? Would the reader identify themselves as a member of this group?

    Conflict Test:
    Action vs. Inaction – Does she accept the mission to take them to Earth or die?

    Rational vs. Emotional – Life would be easier if she allowed her heart to rule over her scientific mind

    Between protagonist and those close to her – Her mother and brothers believe one thing, her father another. She loves them all and is torn. Any decision severs a family tie.

    Between protagonist and the universal – The role she’s born to play will change the universe

    Theme Test:
    Challenges belief systems and values. Just because our ancestors and their ancestors believed in something, does it make it true? FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt

    Theme: Do we continue in group think or stand up for the right of those outside the light of our campfire?

    Character – A student of science ready to step into her bright future
    Situation – Humans are succumbing to moon sickness
    Objective – Discover an earthlike planet to relocate earth refugees from Luna
    Opponent – The cult leader
    Disaster - She’s kidnapped in order to save her soul

    Story Test:
    When a college freshman is snatched from a bright future and thrust into captivity by terrorists in the nether regions of Luna, she must discover herself and the truth that will set her free. Her journey opens her eyes to the real state of Luna’s inhabitants deep within the caverns. If something isn’t done soon the human race will become extinct.

    Hook, Line, Sinker

    Hook: A young adventurous girl with the world at her fingertips suddenly loses everything, including her freedom.

    Line: Religiosity is evidence of human corruption of the divine.

    Sinker: The story could come across as ‘preachy’


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