I like to have some sense where I’m going when I write but I also like to be open to discovery. So I tend to have more general outlines than detailed ones. I did a preliminary outline the other day, but because I’m working on a movie instead of a play script, an interesting thing happened.
Instead of breaking down by plot points or significant events, the outline fell into place by locations. I now have three major sections of the film, which take place in increasingly large and fanciful places.
My outline is far from complete, but it gives me some of the questions that I will need to answer. In rough form, it looks something like this:
- I. THE VILLAGE
A. Jon and Bard (Darrion?) in tavern
B. Beastmen come to the Village, looking for the McGuffin, which Jon once had
C. Fight against the beastmen
D. Jon needs to go to the City, Darrion invites himself along
a. Why does Jon go the City? He had the McGuffin, but he left it in the City.
b. If he leaves the Village, hopefully the beastmen will follow, leaving the village safe
c. I think Darrion just goes along for the adventure
- II. THE CITY
A. Challenge entering the City – meet the surly guy (Bear?) – the “Little John” scene
B. Meet the dwarves. (Why dwarves? could and probably will be a whole ‘nother blog)
a. Background info on the McGuffin, Jon’s past
b. Need to take the McGuffin to the dwarven hold of Citadel Stone
C. Challenge leaving the City – why is it hard to leave?
D. With the help of Bear and Tatters, escape the city (Tatters brought in for this purpose?)
- III. CITADEL STONE
I have only vague ideas what happens here, but I can picture the set...
Note that I have inserted challenges/conflicts at certain points, even though I don’t yet know what exactly they are. There is a danger here that my challenges will feel contrived because, well, they are. I will need to tie them in to the ongoing plot or be willing to drop them.
The beastmen, by the way, let me have orcs without having orcs. In a D&D game they could be gnolls, bugbears, overly hairy hobgoblins, or other things. But having them furry and animalistic is a good visual and keeps them from looking like anything in either the Lord of the Rings or previous D&D movies. And of course, the McGuffin will not be called that.
Note: Next Thursday is the first day of Norwescon, our largest local SF convention, so there might not be a blog for that day.