Here There Be Spoilers: 2

This week I’m sharing my notes on the overall plot of the novel I’m currently calling Mad Max Motorcycle Librarian. If you’re new here, you can check out Part One, or just dive in here and enjoy the ride. This week contains MAJOR spoilers.

This is probably also a good time to point out that things are going to change over the life of this project. That’s actually one of the reasons I’ve been nervous to share my process publicly like this before, because I make huge changes all the time and I don’t want to disappoint anyone if their favorite character gets the ax or if I decide a major plot point just doesn’t make sense. I’m definitely open to some feedback and suggestions, but know that even if you send brownies and a six page treatise on the importance of the character you don’t want me to murder, I may very well still kill them off. And with that, onward to my sketchy, sketchy notes.

  • Our main character, as yet unnamed, works as a motorcycle courier in a far future parallel Earth dystopia, transporting books, mail, packages, and sometimes chickens or even passengers. She doesn’t currently have a name, and I’m looking for both a cool nickname (think Tonks) and an embarrassing first name (think Odalina, or Ashley, which become old fashioned and overused).
  • On her rounds one day, our main character (MC from here until I figure out a name) meets a young girl who has recently moved to the area. The girl is curious about the natural world around her, desperate for affection and someone to pay attention to her, and oddly nervous at times.
  • MC figures out after a few visits that the child’s stepfather, the only person she lives with, is abusive. She debates intervening and decides not to, because she doesn’t want trouble and can’t actually do much. She does, however, find books the child will especially like, and helps her get started raising an orphaned crow.
  • One day when MC visits, stepfather is in the middle of actually physically harming the child, and MC, without thinking, attacks him in some way. She kills him, and to avoid being charged as a murderer, she and the child flee on her motorcycle with only what they currently carry.
  • MC has heard that other parts of the world are better than the moderately-OK area she lives in, and she and the child set out to find them. Child has seen some of the world but not the bit they’re headed into. They see really cool stuff and also dangerous stuff. (I am so excited about dreaming up this stuff!)
  • Eventually they find a reasonably nice place and stop to rest and earn money for supplies, and are considering staying.
  • Except! Turns out there are folks searching for them. The stepfather isn’t actually dead, and also MC still had several years of servitude left, which she has walked out on. This will be hinted at but no major details yet.
  • Off they go again into the wilderness, and they experience at least one more really terrible place on their travels.
  • The motorcycle breaks down in a serious way, but they manage to limp into a nice place, and/or are rescued by kind folks.
  • They meet a small band of misfits, including an Arya Stark clone, and discover that the misfits live together, help each other, and are essentially Social Justice Warriors trying to right wrongs through food deliveries and explosions.
  • Child wants to stay. MC also wants to stay, but she’s always been on her own and doesn’t like the rules the group insists on. Also, she spots some people one day and reacts really badly to seeing them, but we don’t know why. Considers leaving child and going on on her own, but she doesn’t like that idea and also doesn’t like that she’s “gone soft” enough to consider staying for the child.
  • They get word somehow that the stepfather and/or others are coming for them.
  • Now MC has to decide whether to run or stay and fight.
  • Probably she decides to leave or even tries to leave but decides to go back, or her fix to the motorcycle doesn’t work, or something
  • She goes back, explains that she attacked child’s stepfather and fled with child, and also that she herself was sold into servitude by her family in exchange for car repairs or a car, and she’s still several years away from being free. Turns out those folks she saw and was nervous about are her parents. Asks new friends to help.
  • New friends say yes, of course, why wouldn’t we?
  • Some kind of climax! Maybe with explosions!

It’s rare that I have a novel so thoroughly fleshed out so early in the process, so I’m excited and hopeful about that. Right now I’m in that wonderful place where every idea leads to six more and they are gradually filling out a detailed picture of this world and the story that takes place there.

Pins, articles, infographics, etc that were useful this week:

Shitty First Drafts

10 Elements of a Main Character
5 Elements You Need to Write a Novel Outline

 

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