Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ashtree plot overview

When I start working on a project I like to write a plot overview of what is going to happen just to get the Idea out of my head. It usally looks something like this
The house on Ashtree Hill
Main Characters
Jace (main character; around high school age)
Marvin (younger brother to Jace; middle school age)
Teysa (around the same age as Jace; cousin)

Plot Summary
Act I
Every summer Jace, his younger brother Marvin, and his cousin Teysa spend their summer vacation at their grandparents house.  One night during the summer Jace stays up late and witnesses something unusual happening at the house across the street.  The next day he convinces Teysa and Marvin to help him investigate.  They find the back door kicked in and decided to play detective.  While searching the house Jace finds a highly anticipated electronic device not due out until Christmas.  Unable to resist temptation, Jace secretly pockets the device.  That night when Jace turns on the device it doesn’t work.  Unsure if the device is broken or his grandparents don’t have the necessary signal, Jace decides to return it the next day forgetting the box it came in.  Early the next morning while trying to put the device back in the neighbor’s house, Jace unexpectedly runs into two men in black suits.   When the men question Jace, he says he found the device in the backyard of the house the day before and gives it to the suited men.  The same time this is happening Jace’s grandma is cleaning his room, sees the device box on the floor and packs it in his suit case for him.  After the men get done scolding Jace for taking things that don’t belong to him they allow him to go back to his grandparents promising not to tell anyone because he returned to stolen property.  With only a few weeks left before school starts, all the kids go home.  While unpacking their suitcases, the box for the device fall onto the floor of the room Jace and his brother Marvin share.  Marvin sees it and enthusiastically asks Jace where it came from. Jace tells his brother how he found the device at the house across the street from their grandparents, about how it didn’t work and about the men in suits who he returned it to.  Jace tells Marvin he regrets not being able to figure out how to make the device work before retuning it.  Marvin asks Jace if he read the instructions pulling the false bottom out of the box revealing the hidden compartment with the instruction manual and plot device.

End Act I

The point of an overview is to have the idea out of your head and on paper. I once had a teacher tell me that an Idea in your head is just a passing thought, but once pen hits paper it stay around forever.

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