Plot Number One, 2011 Style

This post officially kicks off my NaNo posting extravaganza!

For all the work I’ve done, I still feel a little behind with my planning.  My idea is as formed as it’ll ever be. 

What is plot 1, you ask? 

It’s about a girl, Poppy, who discovers she’s a mermaid, and it goes terribly wrong.  Originally, I was going to have her die, but now I’m not so sure.  My novel is based on the whole idea that she dies, and I don’t really feel like changing it.  But for now, she dies.   

I had a list of potential creatures, and mermaids were the one group that really jumped out at me.  Plus, I loved the stories!  My favorite one is from One Thousand And One Arabian Nights, where mermaids are anatomically identical to humans, and their children are able to breathe and live underwater.  I found that was the one I could work with the most, and while I don’t have my own mythology for mermaids, and Poppy’s own origin story, I have an idea of what I want to do.

I like the idea of her dad being stationed in the Middle East and meeting her mom.  I have no idea how he’ll end up with her, but he’ll end up with her somehow- her mysteriously showing up at his doorstep seems cliché but I’m working on an inkling.   

As for my own mermaid mythology, mermaids definitely have their own underwater world, with underwater cities all over the world.  I don’t have anything further than that, or how she knows she’s a mermaid.  Or how the child of a human and a mermaid would look.  I mean, what happens when she takes a bath, or otherwise goes into water?  Besides the fact that she’d be a good swimmer- which would be a cliché thing to include- it might be hilarious for her to be afraid of the ocean, and either can’t swim or is really bad at it. 

Actually, that could be a sign that something is wrong with her mermaid side. 

I think for now, her tail could be something that starts to appear when she reaches 16, and only appears when she goes into the ocean, or some other body of water, but not when she’s in a pool or taking a bath. 

One of the big questions is how being a mermaid could kill her.  There are a couple things I settled on.  One- being half-mermaid, she’s really connected to nature.  Pollution is really bad, but for someone so connected to nature, it’s even more toxic, and the more she breathes in polluted air and all that, the more of an effect it has on her.  Being in an underwater city would definitely help her, and while the merfolk in these cities feel some effects, it’s not as bad as it would be if they were living on land like Poppy is.  And with all the processed food, and food recalls, it would not be a good thing for a mermaid.  Two- Something about the human side doesn’t react well with the mermaid side of her, and when combined with pollution and processed foods and everything…it’s disastrous and potentially lethal. 

I did get an interesting idea from Fablehaven that I really want to include.  Oh, and an idea I got from someone in my writer’s group, since they go pretty well together.  First, the Fablehaven inspiration.  There are magical sanctuaries all over the world, where all kinds of magical creatures and being go when their natural environment disappears.  And the idea from my writing group is this: a magical council, who decides on things like a common language for all magical creatures and who can be let in on all the secrets.  I might include some sort of registration system.  I do like someone who knows her- a teacher or neighbor- being on the magical council and suspecting that she’s a mermaid, and keeps asking her questions.  On a related note to how being a mermaid could kill her- if she had known about this magical council, they might have been able to save her.     

Character-wise, I have Poppy and Jordan.  And Poppy’s mom and dad, but I don’t know anything about them yet.  I’ll probably through in a couple friends, a couple neighbors, and maybe a teacher and a few others.  At this point, it’s too late to do complete profiles on everyone, but I only need profiles for her parents, the 2 friends, and the person who suspects she’s a mermaid.  Everyone else, I just need names for. 

Tomorrow’s post will be the novel’s soundtrack plus some other things that I’ll be listening to while I’m writing.

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