We have several polls set up on FanLit Forever to determine how we are going to work Challenge 3. I think we are fairly safe in assuming the poll to determine how many chapters the challenge will run is going to result in a 6-chapter challenge.
Won’t it be nice to get away from these one-chapter challenges?
Anyway, I’m going to write this blog entry on the assumption that we are working with 6 chapters, a maximum of three entries per chapter of no more than 10,000 characters each.
It looks like option F is going to win the “type of challenge” poll. That means in the first round we will have to write a chapter in which something happens to make the hero/heroine face a problem AND include three objects which have yet to be named.
For the sake of this blog I’m going to pretend the winner of the premise poll is “An accident/shipwreck/plane crash/carriage accident leaves two people stranded together,” and the three objects are Goose Feathers, Earth, and A Book.
Pulling it all together round one requirements would look like this. Write the first of a six chapter story in which two people are stranded together by a travel-oriented accident and thus forced to deal with a problem. The chapter is to be no more than 10,000 characters long. Goose Feathers, earth, and a book must appear somewhere in the chapter. No more than three attempts to write such a chapter may be submitted.
We’re looking more like Avon every day.
So, how do we get from that to a chapter?
Let’s say Cindy’s horse, Jack, wandered over here from Christina’s blog. Maybe he was pulling the carriage that tipped over ten miles from the nearest inhabitation. Quit laughing, it could happen if the right person is holding the reins.
We could go any of several ways with this. For an Historical Romance, the two people could be old flames who suffer a carriage accident. They end up in an abandoned hovel and rekindle old passions while coming to a new understanding of their past. One that requires they eventually settle fundamental differences. For a mainstream it could be brothers who had a falling out. For Fantasy one of the people could turn out to be Jack, the horse, who is psychic and has a few things to say to his mistress about what she intends to do with him when their rocket ship crashes on Earth instead of Sentaury 3.
I’ll go with the two brothers, and call them Andrew and Benedict. They both fell in love with the same girl, who flirted with both, encouraged fights between them, then married someone else. Then she ran off with someone else. At the time they agreed to bury the hatchet, but then never spoke to one another again. Andrew’s plane crashes near the family’s remote cabin. Benedict is already at the cabin and rides Jack out to rescue Andrew. Unluckily Jack won’t let anyone but Benedict ride him, and so they are stuck at the crash sight. Andrew can’t move on his own, but isn’t so badly injured he will never recover. He jokes about doing a nose plant in a plain and coming up with a mouth full of earth. Benedict makes him comfortable with goose down pillows he found in the wreckage. In the chapter they come to realize it wasn’t the girl who put the wedge between them. It was Andrew’s belief that Benedict always usurped his place in the family as Andrew is the eldest but Benedict, a math wiz, runs the family business. Note that they do not settle their differences, merely face the fact they exist. The whole thing comes up when Benedict, who has an eidetic memory, starts reciting passages from the girl’s diary which he read while they were competing for her. While discussing the passages they come to appreciate one another more.
Remember, in round two something must go wrong. Leave room for that to happen.
Unluckily the brother’s story only comes in second for the first round of Challenge 3. In the second round, if the first option – “Write based on the winning chapter from prior round (except first round)” – is chosen then either the brothers must work their way into someone else’s storyline, go to “Continuations of Challenge Chapters” or disappear.