20121119 — QOB: Cheryl’s Story

Working on the revision, I’ve realized that this is a story about responsibility and duty, a story about doing your “job.”


I’ve been struggling with how that applies to one of my secondary sub-plots that is essential.  My story world is being studied by humans that would technically be considered aliens to my story world.  One of my main characters is one of these aliens.  From a meta-viewpoint, she’s how I translate my world for the modern reader and introduce the science fiction element that serves as a counterpoint to the primitive/Age of Sail aspect of the book.

I’ve toyed with the idea of removing that element/aspect completely but I think it’s an element that really makes the story unique and interesting.

Over the past few nights, I’ve been doing all sorts of mind-maps about the characters, the story lines, and the themes, trying to find a way to make everything fit together.  I got several great ideas from all that.

Tonight, I decided to go back and start at the top.  I’ve created a log-line for each main character’s story and I’m re-casting these log-lines with the new understanding I’ve got from the theme.  My heroine’s log-line was easy:

A naive princess cobbles together a navy from deserters, cut-throats, and pirates to fight to regain her throne after her father’s assassination only to be betrayed by her mother.

The Sergeant Major’s log-line came together nicely:

A hardened warrior fights his master’s battles but when his master dies, he faces a choice of which Queen to follow and which oath to break.

But when I got to The Maid, I realized that I’d never been able to come up with her log-line.  This whole subplot had bothered me from the beginning.  With the new framework provided by the theme, I got this (still rough):

An undercover researcher, already on probation for getting too close to her subject, fights to save her friend from illegal technology only to discover the xeno-sociological find of the millenium has now set its sights on her.

This subplot was floundering but now, after this, I think I know where to go with it.  I was using Cheryl as the representative of the University but now she’s going to get stuck between the University (who all think she’s crossed the line and needs to be sent back home), the Council of Magery (to whom she is an abomination who must be destroyed), and her friends (who are getting suspicious that she’s not just a Maid from the hinterlands.)

I’ve still got to do the log lines for a few of the villains: Katarina (Alicia’s mother), Lady Gruenewald (Alicia’s Grandmother), some university representative (who only plays a bit part at the moment), the Vice Chancellor of Magic, and MAYBE King Denis or Emperor Wiman.



And I don’t think I’ve posted this here but these are the people I’m talking about:


From left to right

* FIdel, the Assassin Mage

* Mr. Dreyfist, the Pilot of the Lightbringer

* Cheryl Moncrief, the Maid

* Sergeant Major Maurice “Momo” Henslin

* Emperor Wiman (in back)

* Princess Alicia (with the gun)

* The Traitor Queen Katarina (with the crown)

* King Denis, the Usurper


2 Responses to “20121119 — QOB: Cheryl’s Story”

  1. I really like the Maid’s subplot! It does add a nice twist to the story, as well as adding the potential for a sequel–what other worlds do these humans study?
    Love the group shot. Bet it was tough to get them all to stand still and not gouge each other’s eyes out! 😉

  2. Like Larkk/Kirsten, I find the maid’s predicament to be engaging. You are going to have some juggling to do to keep her story line from moving too far forward. Great work!

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