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July 2021: The Rogue Prince



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atlast says...



Sylas is the crown prince of Etharia. In the days after his 20th birthday, it is revealed that he has the ability to manipulate metal, which is the identifying ability of the enemy nation of Astros. Alongside Lilibet, Sylas must learn how to control his powers and keep them a secret from his father, the brutal King of Etharia.

Lilibet grew up among the commonfolk of Astros. When she was 9 her mother married the top general, placing them among the nobility. She felt like an outcast but quickly was able to play the part of nobility. When Lilibet turns 20, she is gifted her metal-manipulating abilities, and it is announced she is betrothed to her friend and Astro's heir, Thecla. A year or so later, with the wedding closing in, Lilibet grows restless and begins to sneaks through lower-class villages of Astros to spy on the Etharian royals. She is eventually caught by Sylas, but she swears him to secrecy if she agrees to help him reign in his powers.

Thecla is the Crown Princess of the nation of Astros. Quiet and obedient, she is betrothed to Lilibet, who she befriended when her mother remarried. She notices that Lilibet is acting strange/going missing late at night, and eventually decides to follow her to one of Sylas's training sessions and catches the duo. Thecla then has to decide whether to betray her friend or put her country at risk.

As their universes collide, the war between Etharia and Astros continues to grow in severity. Sylas, Lilibet, and Thecla are thrown into the ring by their parents, forced to hide their relationships to one another and fight as if they were enemies. With their countries on the brink of destruction, the trio must decide what they value more: winning the war or each other.


Goals:
  • Finalize major character list
  • Finalize list of major plot points
  • Start drafting out scenes based on plot points
  • As the story becomes more developed and complex, improve upon my worldbuilding
  • Find a real title to replace my placeholder one

I don't have a specific word, page, or time goal. My overall goal is to have the novel planned out and outlined so I can start my first draft come August. I also think this project will continue onto NaNo this November.
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Carlito says...



Love an enemies to lovers/lovers to enemies/we love each other but are sworn to kill each other sort of story!! You're also the third person now I've seen planning on doing more planning than writing during Camp, and I think that's great! I'm a pantser not a plotter when I do a first draft so all you planners really blow my mind in a good way. I hope you're able to flesh everything out in a way that's helpful to you!! ๐Ÿ’œ
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atlast says...



Thank you so much! I usually don't plan too much when I write, but this project was so out of my comfort zone that it felt necessary to dumb things down a little bit. I've already started planning quite a bit, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get a draft started by the end of the summer. :D
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Prompt 1: World-building


PlanMo 2021

What world do your characters live in? A fantasy world? A sci-fi world? The real world? If in the real world - what place? What makes the world your characters live in unique? Describe in your thread what your world looks like.

The Rogue Prince takes place in a fantasy world. The homelands of the protagonists, Etharia and Astros, are in the throes of war as a result of a centuries-long feud. In the world of The Rogue Prince, each nation is gifted a magical ability. Etharia's is the manipulation of air and Astros is the manipulation of metal.

In novels like mine, where two magical powers are set against one another, you usually see pairings like fire and ice. However, I wanted to change things up a little and stay away from those cliches. I wanted to give the Etharian's the power of air because anemokinesis it is thought to be a more peaceful magic, which contrasts with the Etharian's use of it. They are brutal fighters who aren't afraid to play dirty, and they use their magic to create massive tornadoes and devastating wind storms. While the Etharians are known for their hostility, Sylas has memories of his mother, the late queen, who used her air delicately and peacefully.

Similarly, the people of Astros contrast with their magic. Metal manipulation is thought to be more brutal and offensive than air, but I plan to show the people of Astros using it in delicate, persisce manners. Thecla, for example, is a foil to Lilibet, and she uses her gift extremely delicately. Lilibet, on the other hand, isn't afraid to show how fearsome she can be.

I did use bending, from Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra, as some inspiration for the magic I use and the vibes they give off. I wanted them to make sense for the characters without being too cliched.

Both Etharia and Astros are monarchies, but Etharia is more absolute and strict in their policies. Astros is a little more laid back. I do plan on throwing in mentions of other nations throughout the novel, but the primary focus will be on Etharia and Astros since that's where my characters are from.
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Spearmint says...



Ooh I loved reading all your reasoning about Etharia and Astros, and their air and metal manipulation! It all sounds incredibly cool and I wish you the best of luck for Camp NaNo this year!! ^-^
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atlast says...



Thank you! <3
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Prompt 2: The Beginning


PlanMo 2021

Have a think about your opening scene. Write about what plot points will be hit and what information will be shared in your first scene, or first scene that you consider to be important.

I plan on having a prologue, which will be Sylas's 20th birthday celebration. I'm using this event to provide expositional information, including what Sylas's life is like and to showcase his relationship with his father.

The first chapter will take place a bit later (a week or so, approximately) and Sylas is at a state dinner with his father and Etharia's top generals/military staff to discuss war plans. He's going to get increasingly stressed about the meeting, and when he picks up a metal goblet to take a drink and he dents it in his grip. It draws everyone's attention to him, but they all quickly laugh it off as Sylas not knowing his own strength. Sylas, however, knows something is wrong - the cup shouldn't have done that, and even if it could've, this felt different. Late that night when he should be asleep, he sneaks out to a courtyard and trys to harness his powers again. He quickly dents several pieces of furniture, and is horrified when he realizes he has the powers of the Astronian people. At the end of the chapter, Lilibet will jump out of the darkness and demand Sylas explains himself. The next chapter will be in her point of view and will be a continuation of their first interaction. Ultimately they'll come to a comprimise. Sylas will refrain from snitching on her to his father if she agrees to teach him how to use his powers. If she doesn't agree, he'll snitch and she'll be captured. Begrudingly, she agrees.

Their dynamic in the beginning of the novel is not too great. Sylas is forcing Lilibet to keep quiet and help him in order to save her own skin, in turn forcing her to keep quiet. We definitely see the King's influence on his son here. As time goes on, though, their relationship will steadily improve. Lilibet will continue to train Sylas because she enjoys doing it and enjoys his company, and Sylas will keep quiet both because he needs her training and because he's starting to fall for her, much to his dismay. All the while, the war continues to rage on and they must each continue to make decisions for their respective countries without revealing their alliance turned friendship.

As for Thecla, I'm thinking of keeping her a minor character, at least in the begining. She doesn't have too much of a storyline right now, besides running her kingdom. She'll definitely show up in Lilibet's chapters when she's at home, but I don't have enough of a story for her at this point.
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Prompt 3: The Villain


PlanMo 2021

Don't neglect your villain. We may spend less time with this character, but it is crucial to the existence of the plot that your character's opposition be as believable and interesting as possible. For this challenge, either write about your antagonist's aims, characteristics, flaws, fears etc or, if you're feeling musical, write a lament-style song for them.

I don't know that my novel has a "villain" in the traditional sense. There are definitely antagonists, but they're pretty fluid (or at least I think so) in terms of their motivations and character development.

Sylas and Lilibet, for example, are antagonists to eachother when they first meet. They are set against eachother then forced to come to terms to save their own hides. As the story progresses, though, they'll begin to bond over the things they have in common rather than bicker over their differences.

Thecla, who I think is going to stay a relatively minor (compared to Sylas and Lilibet)/seconadary character for now. I plan on ending the book with Thecla ratting on Lilibet and Sylas as the war escalates to its peak. That way, I can introduce her in the sequel as a more major character and incorperate her POV alongside Sylas and Lilibet.

Circling back to Thecla's motivations, though, are why I don't consider her a true villain. She is the heir to the Astronian throne, and she feels a strong sense of connection to her country. She loves Lilibet and wishes she could protect her, but as tensions between Astros and Etharia grow to deadly amounts, Thecla realizes she wouldn't be able to live with herself. She also knows that if she stays involved, Lilibet's punishment won't be as harsh.
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EternalRain says...



I am SO in love with this whole concept. I remember seeing you planning some of this in a WFP a few months ago and I was super intrigued by the characters. I'm really interested in these intertwining, complex relationships as well as the conflicting monarchies! I also really like how you adapted elemental manipulation in non-traditional ways. Soooo intrigued by this and excited for your progress!!
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atlast says...



Thank you so much! I'm excited to see how it turns out. <333
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Prompt 4: Supporting Characters


PlanMo 2021

Fill out the following questionnaire from the NaNo site about at least one of your side characters, though the more you do the more prepared you will be.

This is a super rough outline of Sylas's father. Hoping to finish up his character in the coming week or so and get something more refined and organized posted.

Spoiler! :
Name (I also threw in aliases/titles): First name TBA, "The King," Father (when Sylas is referring to him), King Alpenstar
Age: mid-40s-early 50s range
Height: 5 11-6 ft
Eye color: grey
Physical appearance: Grey eyes, grey-brown hair shorn into a military-style buzzcut, short stubble on the lower half of his face.
Strange or unique physical attributes: Large scar trailing down his jaw down past his collar bone (left side)
Favorite clothing style/outfit: Usually wears his formal Etharian military uniform.
Where do they live? What is it like there? The King of Etharia lives in the lap of luxury, so his experiences are vastly different than the common people's. He gets what he wants when he demands it. He is very much involved in the country's military effort.
Defining gestures/movements: He, like his son, talks with his hands, often making grand gestures, especially when emotional, whether he's passionate or angry about something.
Things about their appearance they would most like to change: He doesn't care too much about his appearance beyond looking respected and presentable.
Speaking style: Straight to the point. He isn't afraid of being too blunt.
Pet peeves: When people skirt around or sugarcoat things.
Fondest memory: Marrying his wife, the late Queen
Hobbies/interests: Etharia's effort in the war/military, the spoils of royalty, and of war
Special skills/abilities: Air manipulation
Insecurities: Not being respected and feared by his people, losing the war
Quirks/eccentricities: His jaw twitches when he gets angry
Temperament: Brutal and honest, quick to demand what he wants
Negative traits: Spoiled, overly harsh, brutally honest
Things that upset them. not getting what he wants, Sylas acting out, being at the disadvantage in the war
Things that embarrass them: Sylas acting out (lol this guy cares about his reputation more than he's willing to admit)
This character is highly opinionated about: the war, sylas's role in Etharia, his own role, and his reputation in Etharia
Any phobias? n/a
Things that make them happy: getting his way, the idea of winning the war, success (even at the expense of other)
Family (describe): His only living family is Sylas, our protagonist and heir to the Etharian thrown
Deepest, darkest secret: he's a big ol' softie towards his wife
The reason they have kept this secret for so long: He refuses to talk about his wife
Other people's opinions of this character: The commoners hate his brutality and think his obsession with his own reputation is a little pathetic but are appreciative of his efforts to take care of them, Sylas feels similar, but he still loves him. Lilibet hates him but tries to understand why Sylas can't
Favourite bands/songs/types of music: he doesn't really listen to music
Favourite movies: n/a
Favourite TV shows: n/a
Favourite books: Etharia's old war records lol
Favourite foods:n/a
Favourite sports/sports teams:n/a
Political views: He believes the nations should remain separated and that Etharia is superior (not really politics in the traditional sense...oh well)
Religion/philosophy of life: Etharia is the ~best~ (he isn't spiritual or religious)
Physical health: Top notch
Dream holiday: A day to himself to peruse the kingdom library to leaf through old records with an endlessly refilling glass of fine wine
Description of their house: A full description of the Alpenstar castle is incoming, but any image of a lavish stone castle is pretty close to accurate
Description of their room: Large and lavishly furnished with a huge bed and an ornate writing desk covered in paper (a full description of common settings are incoming)
Any pets? n/a
Best thing that has ever happened to this character: Falling in love with the queen, but he'd tell you winning the war would be the best thing that could happen
Worst thing that has ever happened to this character: Losing his wife (and his son, in a way)
Superstitions: Losing the war will result in his people losing respect for him
Three words to describe this character: temperamental, insecure, honest
If a song played every time this character walked into a room, what song would it be? Brutus by The Buttress
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Vincian says...



This sounds super interesting atlast! Political intrigue is always fun to write, and how better than to write to warring kingdoms! Good luck on your planning, and I'm looking forward to actually reading this in August :eyes:
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atlast says...



Spoiler! :
thanks, vincian! i can't wait to get it out to you all <33


Prompt 5: The Plot


PlanMo 2021

Two alternatives for outlining your plot: 1. Draw them as a graph, 2. Write a list of everything important that happens and in the margins make note of what happens in between.

I have a list of all of the major plot points I could think of that I wrote a while back (which is super rough and not edited at all because i haven't touched itsince i wrote it), so I'm going to throw them in the spoiler below and rewrite them as a graph to refine them a little bit.

Spoiler! :
-Sylas's 20th birthday - everyone is anxious to see him use his powers for the first time, but they don't show through. at the end of the night they're all like "that's okay, they'll arrive soon. the king was a late bloomer too haha" but Sylas isn't so sure, but can't pinpoint why. would be a solid prologue in sylas's pov. this would sort of be the exposition, providing the background the reader needs so i don't have to get into too much when the actual story starts.
-at a state dinner the next week, Sylas discovers he can metal bend (again, not calling it this but i was watching legend of korra earlier). he squeezes the metal goblet he's drinking from after being teased or something by a nobelman and his father is all "oh dude you don't know your own strength harhar" and doens't think anything of it. Sylas knows, though, something is up. He asks to be excused for a second to get some air and freaks out and tries to do it again, but fails and eventually goes back to the dinner and plays it all off. He's in denial for now, like "oh i'm just overexagerating things." The scene ends after he heads to bed and barely manages to fall into a restless sleep. this could be the first chapter, also in sylas's pov
-The next day or so he has a day to himself, so he goes into the courtyard to train and try to metal bend again. Lilibet is there, and she's watching him from the shadows. Sylas finally manages to metal bend a little, but she catches him and demands to know what exactly is going on, where did he learn to do that, etc. At first he doesn't recognize her, but quickly catches on. They argue back and forth, and eventually he pleads with her to teach him, and he swears he'll stay quiet, besides, who would believe her anyway? It turns into his word against hers, so begrudgingly, she agrees. From lilibet's pov, the second chapter or so
I think between here I want a few things to happen simultaneously (i want to say three chapters or so is enough to cover this? one for each scene/bullet point. my goal for the book is 10 to 12 chapters, 1000-3000 words each. different pov's per chapter. two for sylas and one for lilibet inbetween?):
- sylas and lilibet continue to train. their relationship, as well as sylas's powers, grow stronger. Sylas starts to fall for her. There are instances where they almost get caught, so they make up a story about lilibet's reasoning for being there. for some reason (movie magic? i dunno) no one recognizes lilibet enough to figure out who she actually is
the war becomes more intense as tensions escalate between the pair's countries, making it harder for things to run smoothly overall. i think i want a scene where sylas and the king are together making decisions about war plans together to show the readers the essense of their relationship
- thecla becomes increasingly suspiscious of lilibet. she tries to confront lilibet and eventually follows her. (idk if that will be in this section or the next though)
- Throughout these chapters, I want to show the reader more of what life as Sylas and life as Lilibet would be like. It definitely feels a little bit like filler, but I think it's important to give these characters the backgrounds they need to make them come to life. Like, I want to see Sylas with his father in the war room and him poking his son asking if he's noticed his powers coming in yet, Lilibet sneaking through the common villages in her cloak, pickpocketing food and whatnot for struggling families/children and going to events with Thecla and the royals. I want to show the reader their lives while the main action isn't going on. I think it's a nice little interlude. Dare I say a "Slice of Life" section while the tension amps up leading into the climax. ~Rising action baby~
- Next chapter: pov depends on the perspective I want. Sylas and Lilibet are training, and Thecla finally decides to sneak out (which is completely foreign to her, so she's terrified the whole time. almost gets caught becuase she's so unsteady) and she catches the duo in the act. At first she thinks Lilibet was captured or coerced into this, but Lilibet explains everything. There's no point in lying to Thecla at this point. She immediately threatens to snitch (her country is always first, no matter how she loves Lilibet) but Lilibet uses the love she knows Thecla has for her to convince her to keep quiet. Lilibet feels horrible for doing it, but she was desperate. Thecla then sneaks back home (with Lilibet?), remaining distraught over what's going on, (I think I'll have her be visably distraught but she'll play it off as feeling ill). I'm thinking this will be Lilibet's pov, just so we can see as much of Thecla as possible in this chapter.
- We're getting closer to the climax, but I'm not sure what else to put here. I can't cut directly to the climax, though, so here's some things that I want to happen (some of these almost feel like the climax, but I think I want the war to get really bad and dangerous as the climax):
~Thecla finally breaks and snitches (but she feels horrible)
~Sylas confesses to Lilibet but she gently shuts him down because she doesn't feel the same (no more than besties, sorry bub). She genuinely loves Thecla, despite being pissed at her, as well as knowing marrying her is what she has to do for her country
~Lilibet being put on, bassically, house arrest in the castle
~Sylas is also put under house arrest, bassically, while his father figures out what the hell he is supposed to do with him
(I gotta figure out how to split those up into chapters and pov's but those events still gotta happen)
- An overall plot point that I'm just now decided needs to happen: as the main story goes on, the war needs to progressively get worse in the background. I want the climax to be the war is so brutal that the fighting reaches the protagonist's respective kingdoms and forces everyone together somehow. Not a lot of detail on this front yet, but once I get the scenes before it figured out I think it'll be easier.
- I'm not sure how I want to end at this point. I think I need to figure out the aforementioned issues before I find my ending...This feels like an okay place to start drafting chapters/scenes (once I get the names/characters/powers figured out)


~a note:~ i wrote all of the above about 12 hours ago, but i realized my outline is still pretty muddy, especially towards the end. oh well XD

if you want to get a closer look at the little flowchart i made, feel free to download it and zoom in! (you have my permission to make a copy to zoom in on it, there's no personal info on it)

Image
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atlast says...



prompt 6: the structure


PlanMo 2021

Think of at least one way in which the structure of your story could be interesting. You don't necessarily have to use this in your story, but it can be useful to have a think about if it's something that just hadn't occurred to you.

I actually had a really hard time trying to decide on the point of view of my story, initially! There are so many options and each one has it's advantages and disadvantages. I realize that isn't exactly what the prompt says, but my point of view sort of influenced how I structured things. I feel like who's telling the story can really affect how the story is told.

I'm not a huge fan of third person omniscient, so I knew I wasn't going to use that. I struggle with third person because it makes writing out the character's thoughts/intuition harder (in my opinion.) It's definitely gotten easier because roleplays and such here on the site give me a lot of practice!

Second person wasn't an option because the reader isn't being integrated into the story. Interesting, but not that kind of book.

That left first person, which works fine for me! That left me with the question of who's point of view I wanted to showcase. I ultemately decidede on Sylas and Lilibet's point of views, because I wanted to be able to showcase both sides of the war between Etharia and Astros, as well as what goes on when they aren't together. I thought about giving Thecla some first person chapters, but she isn't influential enough (yet) to warrant her own segments.

In terms of plot structure, I want tensions to escalate as the book continues (obviously) but I think I want to refrain from resolving the conflict in the first book. I want the war and the other events in the story (stuff with Sylas and Lili, Thecla, etc) to escalate right at the very end. Cliffhangers are super fun to write, leave the reader wanting more, and are super useful when you don't know how to end/fix things, which is the situation I'm in, if you couldn't tell.
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atlast says...



prompt 7: plot holes & feedback


PlanMo 2021

Post a brief outline of your plot. Then go around other people's threads or club posts to look at their outlines, asking questions and suggesting plot holes that the author might want to correct.

I've already posted a brief outline of my plot in one of the above prompts, so I'm just gonna word vomit about the ending of my story.

I've decided I want the climax to be towards the end because I'm planning on writing a sequel to this project one day. The lack of resolution is also super nice because the end of the story is pretty muddy right now. I'm not sure how exactly I want everything to wrap up and tie together. I feel like this is gonna be one of those projects where I figure it out as I go. Fantasy is a super new genre for me - I've never written it before - so I'm a little hesitant, a little lost, and pretty dang excited for what's to come!
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