The Ice Bowl Outline
I took an extra week to draw up this outline, I was struggling to keep it concise before I began writing. But, I think practice is more important than making these early stories perfect. Going into chapter one I thought I would have a few things to figure out along the way but I had no idea.
The list of chapters and characters is what I had down before I started writing. It took three chapters for me to realize that this story was not going to work within the framework I had created. I wasn't going to rework the outline so I chose to try and keep a log of the changes I was making as I went through the rest. Many of the inclusions were not important for this story but I had to understand it myself in order to make decisions for the story. When I say 'this story was begging to be a novel,' this is what I mean. I knew there would be no time to include the references but if I return to the story I need it to be consistent.
Finally, I wanted to explain one of the methods I used towards the end of the outline (and a method I used extensively for Orangutan Island). This shouldn't be surprising but I find it easier to work through my thoughts by writing them down. Whenever you see a sentence start with 'So...' or 'Okay...' this is basically me having a conversation with myself to work through a problem. I've never seen another Writer suggest doing this but I'm realizing that it is an essential part of my process and I will be doing it more frequently. But, I might look into a way of sorting this better so it's easier for an outside person to understand.
Okay, here's the outline:
Dean Koontz “How to Write a Bestselling Novel~” Endorsed by Jerry B Jenkins:
#1 - Plunge your character into trouble as soon as possible
#2 - Everything your character does to get out of that trouble makes it worse until it becomes the worst trouble you can conjure for your character and…
#3 - The predicament appears hopeless
#4 - Everything your character learns to get out of the terrible trouble he uses to succeed in the end
Give your readers just enough to care about the character then get them into conflict
#5 Satisfying ending - A great example. A guy tells his Dad that he’s returning home on a date and that if the Dad wants him back in his life he should leave the porch light on. If the light is left off he will understand and keep moving. The whole story is the guy explaining to a cab driver all the horrible things he’s done to his family. At the end they pull into view of the childhood home and the porch light is on, along with every other light in the house and extra lamps on extension chords down the front stairs.
Readers remember being educated and entertained but they never forget being emotionally moved.
How long does the story span: A week
Plot (External wants): Sawyer and the city have strong ideas about what the city is and should be. The story is them conflicting and eventually coming to an understanding. Sawyer grew up with a few other orphans in an old library, they chose their own names from cool sounding books and magazines. They chew on lollipops with PED’s in them, take too much though and you die.
Setting/Worldbuilding: What do they eat? Where do they sleep? What jobs are there? What do they do for fun? Do they have TV? Movies? Books? What is their economy like? What are their religions? What are their politics?
Act 1: Welcome to the Icebowl (1000 words)
Intro: QT, on the way to do some flower growing, saves Glib from streetpunks,
Characters: QT, Glib, SBC, Cambridge, Tinfoil
Goal: Fix the City, either with the job token or through force
Conflict: The city has too many problems to be fixed by one person in one night
Outro: QT shows Glib the IceBowl, everyones scrambling away because their young friend died from an overdose.
Act 2: Welcome, Valdoria Lanesto (2000 words)
Intro: Prefight rituals, QT getting psyched in the locker room, Other guys fight, time for QT
Goal: Get job tickets for all of the gang
Conflict: The kid is one more ticket, getting one is difficult, getting 4 is impossible.
Outro: VLane breaks up the fight and confiscates all their drugpops, arresting the dealer.
Act 3: Welcome to Sleetbrick (2000 words)
Intro: The gang waits around the library while cambridge goes out to find drugs.
Characters: ALL except VLane
Goal: Recuperate, get back on track.
Conflict: They are more desperate and farther from their goal.
Outro: Tinfoil and Glib go explore the city together, Cambridge pulls QT aside and tells her that the supplier is VLane. Why? To keep them desperate
Act 4: Welcome to the Beehive (2000 words)
Intro: QT takes down the Drugpopper
Characters: QT, Cambridge, Tinfoil, City
Outro: Cambridge let Glib fight and use drugpops. QT is pissed off about it and Cambridge is confused how it’s different from the hundreds of other kids they watched fight. QT visits glib in the hospital and decides to destroy VLane
Act 5: Welcome, Citizen Q.T. (2000 words)
Intro: QT skips the fights to confront VLane using her job ticket as a guise.
Characters: VLane, QT, City
Conflict: VLane reveals that she supplies the drugs to the populace and confiscates them to create artificial scarcity. “I know what you’re here for. Wait, you don’t even know about land tokens?” QT pockets a strength pop and uses it to stomp a hole into the floor or something and push VLane onto the ice path
Outro: QT pushes VLane along the ice road which goes all the way to the Ice Bowl. She picks up the deed to a farming plot and leaves.
Act 6: Welcome to the Farm (1000 words)
Intro: QT and Cambridge are on the farm reading the news, a young ambitious woman is running for a local government position with promises of fixing what has been going wrong. QT nurses a broken leg.
Characters: QT, Cambridge, VLane, Glib
Outro: QT finishes her coffee and begins to harvest their crop. Miles and miles of flowers
Name: Sleetbrick City
Wants: Change, Fun, Excitement
Needs: Growth, Direction,
Lie they tell themselves: Any change is good
Fears: People will become bored and uninterested in them
Personality: Like a wild animal
Dialogue: Speaks through characters' interpretations of random events.
Empathetic Traits: Personification, Beautiful, Comic Relief,
Name: Q.T. Sawyer (The Chainsaw)
Wants: To save the city / for the city to be rescued
Needs: To save themself. Accept their limitations (for now)
Lie they tell themselves: The city can be saved by one person, they can become that person.
Fears: Failure. It’s too late & they are too slow. Afraid to relinquish control to others
Personality: Resolute. Pensive. Cool. Aloof. Skilled. Bad Memory, Authoritative
Dialogue: “Cambridge remind me…” Uses aliases mostly
Empathetic Traits: Kind, Smart, Skilled, Orphaned, Desires peace and improvement, reluctant hero
Name: Dustin Hoffman (Tinfoil)
Wants: To be the best, the strongest
Needs: Security for him and his family
Lie they tell themselves: He could leave the city while his family or friends stayed.
Fears: Losing his loved ones
Personality: Big, Happy, Optimistic, Defensive, Strong, Irresponsible
Dialogue: Only uses real names
Empathetic Traits: Kind & loving, protective, Happy & optimistic,
Name: Cameron Diaz (Cambridge)
Wants: Status, wealth, power
Needs: A way out/alternate path, security for themself (before they can provide security to others)
Lie they tell themselves: They only care about themself, the only way to guarantee security is through self empowerment
Fears: Authority, Abandonment,
Personality: Serious, Careful, Conservative, Calculating, Great memory, Shady
Dialogue: “Cambridge remind me…August 1st Sawyer.” Calls people by their last names
Empathetic Traits: Abandoned by powerful family, Loyal, Callous but not mean, Brave
Name: Glib (Koala Bear)
Wants: To win a fight, prove their worth, to belong
Needs: Community, to belong, Reassurance.
Lie they tell themselves: They have a gift, they are special and they need to be special to have worth. They are worthless other than their gift
Fears: Abandonment, they aren’t special
Personality: Optimistic, brazen, naive
Dialogue: Asks a lot of questions. Curious, Confident.
Empathetic Traits: Hopeful, Fearless, Optimistic
“I am special! I can go weeks without eating when I need to.” “I know I'm special, there were signs when I was born. Yup, my momma offered me under dozens of bright lights that all blinking ‘Special Offer’ and I was right underneath them, the special offer.
Name: Valdoria Lanesto (VLane)
Wants: To fix the city by any means.
Needs: Peace, Direction, Quiet, To accept their limitations
Lie they tell themselves: Out of sight out of mind. The city can be saved by one person, they are that person.
Fears: The city is beyond saving. Their own citizens (reflections of her failure to improve the city)
Personality: Authoritative, Decisive, Agitated,
Dialogue: Citizen Cameron, Citizen Q.T., Inhabitant Glib, Miscreant Tinfoil, Scum Sawyer,
Empathetic Traits: Wants to help and be the hero, Hopeful, Smart,
Themes: Direction and Intention. Responsibility, Duty. Capacity
Added while writing Ch. 4
Questions for the 2nd round.
-Why do Tin & Glib stay?
-How does Q.T. find out Glib took the pops
-Why does Glib take the Pop?
-What are the relationships with Glib
-Why does Q.T. want a farm so bad
-What’s a better name than Q.T.
Added while writing Ch. 5
Things to Set up in 2nd round:
-QTs Drug use and fighting history
Okay. Q.T. uses Focus, not speed. When she was 13 she took down the strongest fighter to earn her first job ticket. VLane also fought that same guy and defeated him the same way. He was also a speed user but super strong. Q.T. and VLane both know the secret to defeating speed users. VLane is now a permanent focus user due to her position as Drug Kingpin. She also uses speed to fight, making her unstoppable. Q.T. uses the secret to defeating speed users to trick VLane into falling out of the window of her office into the Ice Road and they tear her apart. Focus let’s her find VLanes centre of gravity and at what point she crosses it at. She breaks the window above the Ice Road disguised as a failed attack. She uses a sound queue to dodge right as she crosses and can’t recover.
The city is built on a massive layer of Slate that squeaks. Most people ignore it but Q.T. and VLane realised something, you can feel peoples moves before they move but only if you are using Focus. Visual is the slowest to react to, Auditory is quicker, touch is the quickest (tactile). Speed and Strength are about equal depending on if the user is stronger or faster naturally. Focus is a joke, only airbrains use Focus. Certain people use it to beat Strength users but never versus speed. Everyone thinks Q.T. is a Speed user but secretly she uses FOCUS
Plenty of people have figured out that Focus let’s you target vital spots but only two have ever figured out how to outspeed a speed user without using speed yourself, Q.T. and Valdoria Lanesto.
Climax: Q.T. brings a speed and Focus to the Beehive. She uses the speed to fight the cops and give Cambridge an exit. They don’t take the focus off of her, why? (incompetence? Arrogance? VLane knows it’s inconsequential? VLane wants to ally with her?) VLane offers a farm ticket to Q.T. to start her own satellite operation and expand their reach to the borderlands. Q.T. steals the farm ticket to start her own farm. VLane gets pushed out onto the Ice Road. Q.T. escapes (how?) Q.T. gets away with it (How?) They hear on the news the next day “New police commissioner nominated after Valdoria Lanesto died in a Riot at the Ice Bowl. She killed 25 men before finally being taken down by an up and coming Ramsay(is this a good idea?) Maybe cambridge shows the news to Q.T. and they go no shit, maybe she does stand a chance, then back to the flowers.
Still writing Ch5.
VLane has to reveal to Q.T.
-VLane uses Focus through tubes
-Why she wants Q.T.
-VLane also uses Speed
-VLane is the drug kingpin
-Q.T. uses Focus
-VLane has a farm token
Q.T. Reveals to VLane
-She’s smart, Loyal, resilient, ruthless
-She understands and is a part of the city. She is a true citizen
VLane is the negative reflection of Q.T. The climax needs her to reveal the things that she hates that she believes. It’s pointless, the city is rotten to the core, it’s too far gone, you would need everyone in the city to collaborate which will never happen. You can’t save them all, but you can save yourself.
She sits down at her desk and plops down a glass coin with a clack.
Maybe she was really using a speedpop the whole time and she just gained focus. Her advantage over VLane is that she was forced to live in moderation and VLane lives in excess.
Writing Ch6. I realize that I call objects by a hundred different names. I need a glossary of terms
Brawlers / Skaters / Bowlers /
Media Device / Tablets / Personals
Skates / Road Skates / Ice Skates
Drugpops / Pops / Focus/Strength/Speed
Popper / User / Focuser/Stronger/Speeder
The Gang / The Librarians /
Synthetic Food Cube / Red/Green/Yellow /
Alias / Brawler Name /
On the rewrite now, what things do I need to watch out for?
-Three types of Drugpops and who uses which
-How Focus beats speed
-Job tokens and why they’re so important
-The rules of the Ice Bowl
-The City’s personality
-Scarcity/Economy of Drugs
-Sawyer juggling too many things
-The gang splitting in two
-Cambridge has a green thumb
-The seasonality and Ice everywhere
-Changing the meaning of what the Ice Bowl represents is a good ending. It’s where Sawyer learned to become strong and it represents the heart of the city. It needs to be transformed into something else that represents her new strength that she’s gained from the events of the story. The moral that I want is like that Twitter quote, it’s okay if you only save one person and it’s okay if that one person is yourself. Or maybe if you can’t love yourself then how the damn hell can you love somebody else. Cambridge is the only person Sawyer saves but the ending should show us that she’s learning to help a second person and that is going to have a positive impact on the city. Maybe the person is from the city. Maybe they take the ice bowl and convert it into a coffee roaster. Ice could be used to increase the level of community. Like an Ice Road path that circles between nearby farms and Sawyer is the one to take a bag of coffee to trade with her neighbours. Once you accept your limitations you can begin working on expanding them but not before. I would love if Sawyer could be teaching young girls self defence but how does that work logistically and how can I make it dramatic enough to be an ending? Maybe Glib came from an orphanage in the farm ring and that’s where they set up the Ice Bowl. The city should also be set up so that the streets are similar to the Icy slopes of the Bowl. The world has set seasons and the world leaders found the population to be more docile during winter so there is a sheet of ice on the ground for half the year. Fighting on Ice represents the struggle of ordinary people just trying to survive, Sawyer has found a way to give those people an edge and is sharing it with them. I think that could work. So here’s the ending, Cambridge shows Sawyer the video of Glib getting her skates then goes to tend to the farm. Sawyer goes to the orphanage which is near the farm that they got for defeating VLane. There are a couple of young girls there that Sawyer teaches some moves to and they move into the Ice bowl to practice. The orphanage leader says there will be more to follow. Ending line needs to show that it’s working. One of the girls should repeat a line that Glib says earlier. “Touch me and I’ll turn you into a puddle!”
What does she learn throughout that lets her accomplish her goal?
To accept that her limitations are only harmful if they are ignored. Accepting that she is only capable of so much lets her focus on what’s the most effective.
Try Fail cycles
-Try to save the whole city? “We tried that, we got together the best Brawlers and stormed the Beehive. We almost made it to the lockup but then Valdoria came out and crushed us like bugs. We still looked young so we were able to sneak away. Our old leader wasn’t so lucky, it was his idea.”
-Try to save everyone at the Ice Bowl - Fail, the gang barely makes it out
-Try to save the whole gang - Fail, Cambridge is injured because she went for Glib instead
-Try to save both Tinfoil and Cambridge? - Only save Cambridge, Tinfoil doesn’t want to be saved
-Note: Job tickets are one per Ticket fight and you can only get one for each weight class. Sawyer and Cambridge both won their fight class, now Tinfoil has to or Sawyer has to fight someone 100 pounds heavier.
First two chapters reviewed. Start on Ch.3 on page 6
‘Focus is for cheapos and airbrains?
There’s plenty more where that came from
Just posted. Where the hell did Glib’s knife/sword go?