marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

pieces of the puzzle

Outlining a story is not quite like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, because the pieces can change shape.  But not quite at will.

Reading history has its delightful points, in that I know that certain royal courts had the charming habit of having a prince be attended by women, nursemaids and the like, until he was seven.  At which point, he was transitioned to having only male attendants.  (One man wrote afterwards that the prince whose service he had entered was having trouble sleeping because one maid would read him a bedtime fairy tale; once he realized that and got permission, he got to substitute reading the prince heroic tales -- it was that abrupt.) Which transition would be a good time for the inciting incident, a hunt; the king insists that now that he's seven he needs to go on such hunts.

Then I pondered his servants. One I was thinking that his mother had had a hand in selecting. But, on reflection, his father could have assigned the man; he didn't realize what a problem the servant would be, supporting the prince, until later.

For that matter, I had thought the king had taken the prince on the hunt that kicks things off because of his bad attitude. Mind you, the king will act ludicrously unreasonable toward the prince, later.  But it doesn't have go from the beginning.  Perhaps it even begins because of what happens to the prince on the hunt.  There's a lot of motives a king can have to resent his son.

And this brought up the question of whether and when to kill off the queen.  She's an asset to the prince, and as we all know, giving assets to the main character is unwise.  And if I made her a liability, it would change the plot significantly.  Perhaps I can shuffle her off to one side. . . .

All of which pieces are integral to the plot.
Tags: families: parent/child, motive (source), orchestrating characters, outlining, research, world-building: royalty, world-building: servants

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