So you sign up for Camp NANOWRIMO or the November extreme addition, and you’ve got a title, maybe you added a synopsis, and you have at least one character. What do you do next?
MY next step is to tape my whiteboard paper to the wall and get out my vis-a-vis markers. It’s brainstorming time.
I put on the playlist I’ve dedicated to this project, and I start with my biggest problem. Who’s the bad guy? Literally, my go-to question for brainstorming.
If I don’t know who the villain is then I’m missing at least half, if not more, of the story. I need to know who’s initiating the conflict. Do they have something against my main character, or are they inciting conflict on a more global scale?
*Spoiler* In Hope Chest, the excerpt from Evil Author Day 2017, the villain was always going to be Molly and Ginny Weasley. Ginny Weasley is a greedy little girl who never matured enough to realize that Harry Potter was more than just her Prince Charming. For all that he has a magical lineage unlike any other, Harry was a person with feelings and opinions of his own.
In Hope Chest, the story was focused on a Hermione/Harry romance where the villain needed to be just as personal.
*Spoiler #2* In HeartSick (Alternatively, The Distance Between You & Me), the villain is portrayed by Alexander Pierce and he doesn’t care one wit about Joss Carter personally. What he cares about is the fact that she is ruining his chances of getting away with stealing from the SGC.
The way these two types of villains interact with the story changes who the story progresses and what types of challenges I can put in front of my main character.
Do you have any questions about my brainstorming?