Today’s the day! I get to start on a whole new project! WOOT!
And then reality hits… As usual, I have a location, a time period, a general genre of focus (apocalypse) and two partially fleshed out characters.
Plot? Not so much.
Time to dig out The Story Engine deck and see what I can conjure up, huh?
Protoganist #1 – Rorie Johannsen
My initial mental picture of Rorie is a confident late twenty-something security officer in a corporate building. She’s no-nonsense, charismatic, and seems to have her shit together. (Hah! When do I write a character like THAT?)
She still lives with her mother, and they’re the best of friends.
Cobie Smulders comes to mind…
After pouring over the Story Engine deck, I picked up some interesting tidbits about Rorie. Here’s the spread:
Rorie Johannsen, a well-loved, charismatic, illusory security guard wants to escape the madness of a virus but she must accept a loss she’s been in denial about.
Oooo! Why is she illusory? Who or what did she lose? How deep is that denial? I can work with this!
Protagonist #2: Chance Campbell (nicknamed CC)
I knew from the beginning that Chance worked at a carnival. In fact, the time period and location is Portland, Oregon in late May/early June. Rose Festival, baby! Chance is a carnie, traveling the circuit to make a living.
She’s hardscrabble, has seen some time on the streets and is a survivor.
Up until I created the current banner for my Patreon page, I didn’t have a clue what Chance looked like. (Go to the main page to see it.) Once I had the generated image of the woman walking away, she reminded me of Emma Watson.
To fully flesh out Chance, I returned to the Story Engine deck.
Chance Cambell, a hardened, pensive, broken carnival worker wants to gain freedom from a violent monster but she must become what she fears.
Toss in an abusive relationship, and it’s pretty obvious where Chance is coming from and where she’s going.
But what about the virus that Rorie’s trying to escape?
The Plot – A Virus
I know – a pandemic has been done…as recently as 2020. Bear with me.
As I’ve stated before, this is an apocalyptic genre novel. Not post-apocalyptic (like Orphan Maker) where society is picking up the pieces. There are a couple of outside influences in this book that will trigger a zombie-style virus.
Now, wait a minute! Don’t run away yet! Hear me out!
The focus of the book isn’t on zombies. In fact, being bitten by one doesn’t necessarily create another. The rate of infection is fast, but most will die instead of reanimate. There will be a point something something percent of the population that will became dangerous, but this isn’t going to be The Lesbian Walking Dead. Promise!
This is a novel of survival – surviving the physical threat of a world gone mad, and our two protagonists must also help each other deal with their personal conflicts.
Since both women have their private hurdles to overcome, I pulled another conflict card from the deck that pertains to the pair of them and their future relationship.
Rorie must accept a loss that she’s been in denial about. She can only succeed by leaving the familiar behind and facing the unknown.
Chance must become what she fears to free herself from her monster. She can only succeed by facing what she’s been running from.
That’s the framework I need to write the book. These prompts can take you and me ANYWHERE! I can’t wait!
Tomorrow, however, I begin writing my private RPG campaign, Blade & Silk.
I will not be posting anything next Sunday! That will be my first official workday for Eclipse of Shadows, so I’ll spend that time blocking the outline and prepping my Scrivener files.
Expect to see the first scene from this novel on Patreon next Tuesday!