Planning a Fantasy Romance #4 – The Story Core

Following on from my overview on my main characters in my last post, it’s now time to start on a character arc for both of them.

Once again, I’m following Libby Hawker’s lead. I used her book, Take Off Your Pants, to plan my last Historical Romance, and ended up with my strongest, most coherent and complex story to date.

What I love about Libby Hawker’s ‘method’ is that using her strategies for planning a novel actually makes you more excited about the story – whereas some of the more ‘traditional’ books on planning use a lot of writing jargon and take you through endless steps that eventually (for me anyway!) kills any passion you might have initially had for your idea!

This method builds your plot through creating a story core. I will need to create two of these, as I have two main characters, but here’s Lilia’s.

f4c5cd959b9adcab20afa8bd0c9d09f3Story Core: Lilia, daughter of Shale and Fleura

Main character: Lilia, young cook who works in a tavern in Orin Island’s port.

External goal: She must protect a dangerous magical talisman, so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Antagonist: Saul of Anthor (working name, could be changed). He is a member of the Shadow Brotherhood, who found half the talisman that would release the Shadow King from his mountain prison. He is on the run when he meets Rosa and, in desperation, entrusts her with the talisman, planning to come back for it later.

End: She manages to face her fears, defeat evil, save her home and finds love – a soft, happy ending.

Flaw: Has a fear of death and so is afraid to truly live.

Ally: Lilia has two allies – the first is Perrin, who is her friend throughout the book (despite the developing love story). The second is Robana, a cunning woman (a type of witch/healer) who lives a hermit’s life in the woods in the centre of Orin.He is the one who tells Lilia what has come into her possession. Knowing that she cannot do this alone, he set off on the trip with her and Perrin to help them.

Theme: We do not conquer our fears, or problems, by running away from them.

Tolkien’s quote, “You can only come to morning through the shadows,” encapsulates both the theme and the dominant symbol of the book, which is ‘shadows’ and ‘darkness’.


Story Core: Perrin, son of Ailin and Neasa

MartyMain character: Perrin, young man who works in his parents’ tavern in Orin Island’s port.

External goal: He must help Lilia protect a dangerous magical talisman, so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Antagonist: Saul of Anthor – who is both the antagonist and love rival.

End: He manages to find meaning in life, defeat evil, save his home and finds love – a soft, happy ending.

Flaw: Selfish, only interested in the pursuit of pleasure, personal freedom and money.

Ally: Perrin has two allies: Lilia and Robana.

Theme: We do not conquer our fears, or problems, by running away from them.

 

 

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