Thursday, November 11, 2010

Carrots. (Or "Plots, and the funny things they do in November")

I'm writing a humor/parody story. I always knew that things were going to be absurd. I even planned for the appearance of a carrot and wasn't all that surprised when a dare about an insane seer proclaiming my main character the "chosen one" screamed out my name. But THIS?

Let me backtrack. I had found a funny line on the Adoptables forum of the NaNoWriMo website - "Did you really think a carrot could save the day?" I knew I had to fit it into my novel somehow, but I had no idea how. Later, I saw a dare to include an insane seer who proclaims your MC "The chosen one" but is later seen as proclaiming that random objects such as a chicken, a fence post, or a goat was also the chosen one. There were various levels of bonus points, one of which was "cookies if the goat saves the world."

I have taken it one level farther into the insanity.

The seer was introduced in one of the more recently written scenes, where she proclaims my main male character, Benjamin, the chosen one, saying that she's seen it in the glass, and that he must go through "fire and water, stone and air." The entire prophecy sounds a little off-beat, but he believes it. In the next scene, I showed the insane seer proclaiming to a carrot, a goat, and a fence post that they are also the chosen one. My plan was to have these things be completely ridiculous and have someone say to the seer, later, "Did you honestly think that a carrot could save the day?"

But then I broke the scene down into three sub-scenes and began writing.

Sub-scene 1. My character Ferdinand is trying to locate Benjamin, and he visits the produce stand where he encountered the seer while he was buying supplies. While Ferdinand is grilling/bribing the person selling the vegetables to give him information, the insane seer, who frequents the alley nearby, comes up to Ferdinand and tells him that she has seen Benjamin. A few moments later, though, she lapses back into insanity and is vehemently declaring a carrot the savior of the world. She tries to take the carrot, but the vendor says he won't give it to her unless she pays. She accuses him of kidnapping the chosen one and holding him for ransom. To end the madness, Ferdinand pays for the carrot, earning the old woman's unending gratitude. He is now a hero in her eyes, and although he knows she's insane, he's flattered by it.

Sub-scene 2. My character Eleanor is searching for my other main character, Katarina, and she sees the insane seer, who fled the cruel produce man to take the chosen carrot to safer ground. The insane seer declares a nearby fence post the chosen one, and gets so worked up that she almost collapses. Eleanor prevents her from falling. The woman has a moment of sanity and confesses to Eleanor that once she was a great seer but is now losing her wits and going mad.

Sub-scene 3. Katarina shows a rare display of generosity whens she visits a shop selling blankets and socks (the socks are a result of a writing challenge also. Take your character's name, multiply the letters times ten, and then write that many words about their socks. I really should not have clicked on that thread.) owned by a struggling family. She buys some of their more expensive merchandise and pays more than the asking price. As she leaves, she passes the family's small flock of goats and sheep and sees the insane seer proclaiming that a goat is the chosen one.

The ramifications:

The carrot is, in fact, the chosen one - in a very convoluted way. Somehow, the carrot will end up going with the group on their quest and in a battle with the two wizards chasing Benjamin, which will likely form some of the climax, it will get hit with a blast of magic. This will alter it, turning it from an inanimate object into an animate one. It will save the day; it may be able to defeat the other villain, Inner Editor, simply through its sheer absurdity.

The carrot, extremely grateful to Ferdinand, will return home with him in the aftermath of the climax. Ferdinand, a retired author, will be inspired to write about the carrot, and one of the ending scenes will contain him presenting a children's picture book manuscript to Eleanor. The carrot will then, in a way, become HIS muse.

The seer will somehow regain her sanity, because in the scene where she's talking to Eleanor she made me sympathize with her.

When Katarina returns to her home - which just so happens to be the palace - she will tell her parents - who just so happen to by the king and queen - about the woman and her son selling the blankets and socks. They will either be given incredibly amounts of money or a job at the palace.


So are the affects of NaNo on my novel, I suppose.

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