cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 The next task is to list all the characters and assign them a role. The roles are: protagonist, antagonist, mentor, power player, and supporting/minor characters. It's okay to have a character fall in many roles. Here goes! [Since there are a lot of characters, I'm making a distinction between support and minor characters. Support characters are those that support the protagonist and have more ink time. Minor characters may just make an appearance or have a line or two. Not all these characters will appear in this book.]

Agnes - protagonist
Robert - supporting/mentor/power player
Mr. Pritchett - minor
Mrs. Estrada - supportng
Detective Estrada - power player
Ms. Brannan - minor
Mr. Lebrowski - minor
Mrs. Shapiro - minor
Mr. Lane - minor
Mr. Torgerson - minor
Ms. Lemelin (Kit) - supporting/mentor
Ms. Halser - minor
Ms. Killian - minor
Mr. Tinoco - minor
Mr. Guidry - minor
Mr. Crandall - minor
Detective Mogensen - power player
Detective Mayfield - power player
Ms. Aguilar - minor

Actors and cast (including director and choreographer):
Norman, Mildred, Kevin, Andrew, Lester, Wanda, Victor, Anthony, Max, Jason, Edith, Vivian

One of the actors is the antagonist (killer). :) 


...

Since the rest of this post concerns itself with plot, I'm going to create a new post specific for that. 



 



cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Here's the post for day 2 from my writer blog for reference.

I already have my plot synopsis, so I'm going to skip the paragraph part. 

The point of view is Aggie's. Everything is filtered through her eyes, and I want an up close and personal feel, so I'm going with first person using I and me pronouns. 


This is a really short one since I'm not doing the one paragraph summary, though. Onward! 


cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
I finished my mini series of how to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo in five days, except I didn't prepare my own idea because I spent so much time writing the blog posts. *sigh* It's two hours until midnight of the main event, and I'm sitting in a local diner ready to get to work. Since I actually like the way I laid it all out, I'm going to follow my own blog's advice. 

Here's the link for day 1 for reference. I've already done most of the prep work: I've registered, I have my idea, and I have my one sentence summary. I'll answer the final questions at the end, just because they will come up later.
  1. What is the story about? It's about a thirty-one year old English teacher and her husband who go see a play at the local theater. The teacher, Agnes, notices the actors are acting weird, so she sneaks behind stage to investigate, only to see that two actors have been murdered during the play. She must solve the case before the play concludes and everyone goes home.
  2. Why do I need to tell this particular story? I'm bringing my love of teaching and Shakespeare on the page and combining it with my love for solving murder mysteries. Quite frankly, these characters won't leave me along (especially Agnes - she's persistent) until I write the story.
  3. Why does it compel me? It combines several aspects I love. I love as good mystery, and I want to practice laying down clues to solve a puzzle.
  4. What feelings does the story bring up for me? Excitement. I'm definitely excited to follow Agnes down these rabbit holes to solve murders. 
  5. How do I want to convey the feeling to others? By carefully laying down clues and red herrings, I'm hoping to bring a level of suspense and mystery to the page. I want readers to get excited and curious about who could be the murderer (or murderess). 
  6. What actually happens in the story? Readers get a glimpse into Agnes and her husband's lives. They get to know their minds and their relationship to be able to further build on top of it in later books.
  7. What's the conflict? Agnes is an outsider who tries to solve the murder. There is a level of urgency because once the play is over and people leave the theater, it'll be more difficult to solve the case. 
  8. Who tells the story? Agnes. She's our main character and amateur sleuth. Since she is the one solving the cases, it's important for her to tell the story so we can get a glimpse inside her mind to see her thought processes.
  9. Who is the story about and why? It's about Agnes and her life with her husband in a small town in Vermont. Together, throughout the series, she will share her challenges and successes with readers. She will cry about health issues, get frustrated with her husband, and celebrate her victories on the page and with readers.
  10. What themes do I want to explore? Family and companionship are big ones. I'm trying to explore what it is that makes a family and how people define it. Also community, especially a tight-knit one such as the small town in which they live. There's always pros and cons to small town life, and I want to explore those in the series. I want to also explore friendship and platonic relationships as well. Also - fulfillment and what it means to be satisfied in life, how sometimes we don't get everything we want, and how to redefine success and happiness. 
  11. Who is my intended audience? People who enjoy a good mystery while also delving into the personal lives of characters. Cozy mystery readers will enjoy the story, as may teachers and lovers of literature since there is a literary bent to it.
  12. What genre does the story fit in best? Cozy mystery.


Even though I thought I knew all these answers, the question about theme was the one that struck me the most. I had to pause and really think about what broad topics I wanted to explore within the series. It helped me hone some of the feelings I want to invoke within readers as well. 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 I forgot to update from the seven day challenge. To recap, I challenged myself to write 100 words per day for 7 days in a row. And I did it! The week after, I wanted to do 200 words a day, but I didn't do any days. [Way to fail, right?] This week, it's supposed to be 300 words a day, but I'm waiting for Camp NaNoWriMo to begin. My Camp goal is 40,000 words for the month, but I think I'm going to take that down a notch. While I really do want to finish this novella during April [and I really, really do], I don't want to pressure myself like that. I'd rather get it done right the first time, even if it'd take me longer to write. 

Now I'm just prepping for Camp. I'm doing this 5 days of prep series on my blog, and the cool thing about it is that I can prep along with readers. I have a general outline and list of characters, but I don't feel like I know anyone yet. They feel like cutouts, especially the minor characters (and the murderer). Since it's a mystery, I really need to flesh out the motives of some other characters to not make it totally obvious who the murderer is. I'll have to give others a reason to want to kill the people. [And I'm thinking I should pare it down from five dead bodies to maybe two. It's a novella, after all.] After I lock down some other suspects and find their motives, I'll have to give them airtight alibis as to eliminate them. Oh, and clues and red herrings. Obviously, the other minor characters are red herrings, but I really need to sit down with my plan and outline it in such a way to know when I'll drop in the clues/red herrings. 

I might be overthinking this, but with this being my first mystery novel[la], I feel that over-planning is far better than under-planning and risk missing vital info - or giving away too much too quickly. 

Anyway, those are my basic thoughts on it and kind of a plan of what I need to get done.

Now it's time to figure out who dies and who lives. I have the original motive of my killer [no spoilers in case someone's actually reading this thing], but I'll need to link it strongly to the other person. Love is always a strong motivator. Maybe they're having an affair? Someone else on the cast stands to have something to lose? Like the significant other? Money's also a great motivator. Maybe someone on the cast paid for theatre school [is that a thing?], and needed repayment sooner than usual but the two people couldn't pay - and "slit."

Of course, it's not really slitting their throat since they die...some way else. [Spoilers and all.]

I think, now, it's time to really get to know these minor characters. Give them more than just names and ages and personality types. Time to dig deep. If I get enough figured out in time, I just might be able to make my 40K word goal without most of it being fluff or ideas running into dead ends.  

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