I’ve been a bit stuck on Blood of the Goddess for a bit now, and a thought came to me while I was driving in to work tonight. A while back I’d been part of the “Above and Beyond” class over at Evolution Writers, which my wife Nonny had been teaching. Thinking about A&B, I think some of the exercises might help me sort through the problems I’m having and help me move on. For the curious, I’ll post these publically, though most of it will be behind a cut link so as to not spam you.
I’m skipping the first exercise as it was mainly designed to help you pick an idea to work on in the class; that’s already a given as to what I’m going to apply the course to. The second exercise is about the story premise:
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Siobhan runs a florist shop in the heart of Providence near Thayer Street, close to Brown College and Johnston & Wales University, called The Wild Rose. It also serves as a New Age store, selling pagan books, herbs, and oils for use in ritual. The shop has been in the family for many generations, though the New Age materials were added by Siobhan when she took over running the shop after her mother Mary’s death.
Her father moved away from Rhode Island, seeking to start a new life and to distance his daughter Sarah from the influence of her older sister. Years have passed without contact between them, until one day Siobhan receives a call from James asking for her help. To her surprise, James is acknowledging his own talents, and a vision of danger gives him great concern for Sarah or one of his roomates.
Surprised to learn that her sister is going to college in Providence– and upset that she was not told before– she agrees to look in on Sarah. She can tell that James is wrestling with his conscience, but his Native American heritage makes it clear to him that gifts are not given without reason. The catch: Sarah hasn’t talked to Siobhan in years, and James has convinced her that her sister is a devil-worshipper.
While trying to track down her sister, she runs into an attractive ex-Marine who is under attack from someone with dark talents and her ex-fiancee Robert, who turns out to be a werewolf. While both men try to help her find her missing sister, they both have their own problems that require her aid. Soon she starts to see that their problems and her sister are connected, and she’s in over her head.
Can she find her sister and stop the evil rising in the heart of Providence before it’s too late?
1) Who is your protagonist? (If you have more than one, that’s ok. List them all.)
The herbwitch Shiobhan McGowan and the ex-Marine Glenn Chase.
2) What is hir main conflict or goal?
Shiobhan wants to find her missing sister.
Glenn is drawn to Shiobhan and wants to help her unravel the mystery surrounding her sisters abduction– which had involved him being knocked out.
3) What does zhe most want? Why?
Shiobhan wants love– from her family, and in her personal life.
Glenn, as an ex-Marine, wants to serve and protect– both his country and those he is close to.
4) What subplots or plot layers come immediately to mind? (A “plot layer” is a subplot that directly affects the main character, such as a romance; storylines referring to other characters are subplots. If you don’t have any yet, don’t worry about it. 🙂 )
* Romance between Shiobhan and Glenn.
* The attack on Glenn at the club and the abduction of Sarah.
* The attempts on Glenn’s life and the drain on his talent.
* Robert and the disappearances amongst the Pack.
* Romantic tension between Shiobhan and Robert.
5) Who are important secondary/supporting characters? What are their main problems, conflicts, and/or goals? What do they want?
The werewolf Robert, who is facing the choice of supporting his Pack leader in hunting humans, or killing the Alpha to take control of the Pack. Robert wants to find a solution to this dilemma that he must face, when neither choice is acceptable to him.
6) Who is your antagonist? What are hir conflicts and goals? What does zhe most want? How do they conflict with your protagonist’s?
The first antagonist is Melissa, Glenn’s ex-fiancee who is a dark herbwitch. She has blocked his talents and has been feeding off his power for some time now. She seeks to gain personal power through the awakening of an elder vampire. To this end she has been supporting cultists in preparing a Harvest of young women to feed the vampire when she is awakened– one of which is Shiobhan’s sister Sarah.
7) What do I love about the story?
The characters. Shiobhan is a strong woman, but she is also conflicted and over her head in a crisis of this proportions. Yet she manages to keep her calm and strives to do her best in the midst of everything crashing down around her. She’s strong enough to resist the urge to go back to Robert when he reappears, but wise enough to reconcile with him and let go of the hurt between them. While torn with fear over her sister’s abduction, she finds solace and comfort in Glenn, and lets herself have hope– letting the relationship between them unfold and blossom.
Glenn may not be a traditional “alpha male” in the caveman sense, but he’s got some of those tendancies which will become more apparent the longer he gets involved with Shiobhan. The closer they become, the more his talents will raise to the surface and he will have to learn how to master something that has only been subconscious before. Even though he’s concerned about his feelings for Shiobhan being a rebound reaction to Melissa leaving him, he doesn’t dismiss them out of hand but explores them instead.
And Robert, Sarah, Taz, and Kelly… all have their own stories to be told after Glenn and Shiobhan’s is complete.