Or, Running Of The Bulls
Ever have one of those epiphanies that arrive with an almost audible, physical *pop*, as though the subconscious has thwacked your skull from the inside? The Writer Monkey did yesterday morning before day jobbery ensued, and it's all thanks to The Weekend Novelist. Seriously, folks, this stuff works.
When last we met, we were discussing the possible uses and abuses of a multiple protagonist story. After much consideration and exploration, I've reached the conclusion such an endeavor would not be suitable for Big Dang Project. But--and this is a J-Lo sized but--the exercise did lead me to the aforementioned mind-striking epiphany.
First, I gave each secondary character eligible for promotion their own index card, upon which I wrote down their object(s) and details of their subplot. I then surrounded poor beleagued FK with the aspirants to consider their subplotty relation to the main story. While I concluded the subplots would remain on back and side burners, it did help me clarify their roles more, well, clearly. I can almost taste them now, and they should drive the main plot nicely. I also gave the subplots due consideration as to the effect it would have on the overall story, how the dynamic would change. Perspective is a powerful thing. Here's the insight I gained, as well as the dynamic shift if I'd chosen to go with two protags:
Dear Old Dad: Father/son story--their histories are more similar than FK suspects. Healing would be a theme as well as redemption.
Imperial Assassin: Buddy story. IA knows more than he's telling, but I discovered his secrets should remain so as long as possible. Though I think they will be friends in the end.
The Minstrel: Love story. While I'm going to enjoy watching this romance grow, as a minstrel her focus is going to have to be on her patron family and how to best serve their town in their time of need. I did, however, realize she's going to be a catalyst to the whole thing. Meaning she will be the key to FK's resolution of the crisis.
The Good Son: Story of brothers. There's some really great potential here for a conflict of personalities spiced up by a healthy dose of misconceptions and sibling rivalry as they learn to work together. However, this works better as a subplot than part of the main action.
Childhood Sweetheart: Story of recaptured love. This has some really great potential, too. However, her character tells me that, like many people after a bad breakup (and we've all been there), she'll unwittingly be more interested in returning some of the pain given her before she relents to the main plot. And FK will need all the help he can get-not to mention he's changed so much they're not really suited anymore. So, again, this subplot needs to remain where it is. It does lend itself nicely to a love triangle betweek FK, ML, and her.
So, there we have it. What I learned from Multi-Protagonal Theory as put forth by TWN. Now it's on to plotting with the
Til next check-in, fellow monkeys and ROW-ers!