In my previous post, I talked about how I started the plotting process for Rise of the Vengeful Dragon. After answering the major questions heading each parts of the story, all that’s left is to assemble the parts, spice them up (my annotations after the assembly are in bold), and I can start writing.
Aerith was five years old when the dragons first fought, which resulted in the death of her family’s dragon, Gisella. Rescued by the baker during the battle, Aerith witnesses the death of her mother by the hands of Daedalus, a powerful baron from another dragon family, who then seek her death and stole the Essence of Gisella so that it might never be revived. Seeing the Essence in Daedalus’s hands, Aerith swore she would one day revive Gisella and avenge her family.
Dragons don’t have much of a role/significance/existence. Need own goals and be a threat.
Ten years on, Aerith, now called Ariadne, is part of a group of survivors called The Resistance, a secret underground civilisation in a world where the balance has long been lost as the dragons continue to fight. During one of the raiding missions, (Castor’s rescue should be before he reaches the castle or before his transfer to the castle, otherwise he’ll be impossible to break out)she is called to by the Essence under a trance, but fails to retrieve it. Her behaviour is noticed by a team member. The mother of the Raider who was not rescued betrays Ariadne to one of Daedalus’s men for her part in the reconnaissance mission, but lets slip about her connection with the Essence. Ariadne is captured and taken to see Daedalus.
Ariadne manages to escape her confines when dragons learned of Ariadne getting hold of the Essence, they attacked the castle indiscriminately to kill her. She steals the Essence back, killing several guards under Gisella’s instructions along the way. Using Daedalus’s daughter as hostage, she escapes. She found an underground tunnel that led back to the dungeons of Frone. The arrival of Daedalus’s men and knowledge about her mother’s death led her to believe Paris had betrayed her, and he confesses to alliances with Daedalus’s family in the past, hence the escape route to the dungeons of Frone. She demands information and he informs her she will find her answers in Wyverin, the City of Dragon Seers. She departs to gain information to revive Gisella. Resident of the Great Mages. How?
The Seers tell her: in order to revive a dragon or keep a dragon in their power, the Draconian family must sacrifice a Draconian firstborn or oldest child. Ariadne finds out the reason for her mother’s death, which was reluctance to kill her own child to sustain Gisella, and realises she has to kill Daedalus’s daughter to bring Gisella back.
Paris confronts her on the day she plans to sacrifice the daughter and reveals true villain: Gisella’s greed for power and reluctance to submit to the humans. Gisella has manipulated Amymone – not the first in the bloodline to be in that position – into blackmailing the other Draconian families, sacrificing their first-born to make her greater in power. The leader supports his claim, knowing Ariadne trusts him, and tells her his own children were blackmailed by Amymone, revealing him to be part of Astraios’s bloodline (his father, the Duke of Frone, is the youngest brother of Daedalus). The requirement for sacrificing firstborn and humans’ innate nature to love limited the power of the dragons
Driven to the brink of madness by Gisella’s increasingly furious demands, the flashbacks of suppressed childhood memories, and the apparent betrayal by the leader she knew well, Ariadne kills the daughter and Gisella is brought back to life.
Ariadne continues to be plagued by the memories as Gisella’s corruption spreads to the other dragons, worsening the chaos. Castor nurses her back to health and helps her come to terms with her mother and Gisella’s actions, as well as her own; he bears her no grudges, as her mother was also driven to the same madness.
The remaining Draconian families band together and persuade the remaining uncorrupted dragons to put Gisella down. Their manpower and the dragons are no match for Gisella’s corruption, which manage to darken even the ‘good’ ones. As the only one empowering Gisella and the trigger for its return, Ariadne realises she has to die in order for it to fall. She makes peace with everyone and appears to commit suicide.
Gisella falls and Astraios kills the other dark dragons. With the last remaining member of its Draconian family gone, she will never be revived. Jason laments the loss of a girl who was corrupted by the very thing she was striving for and blames himself for over-protecting a headstrong girl blinded by vengeance, but is grateful for her selflessness and bravery that saved the world. Gisella’s bloodline was doomed from the beginning; as long as Gisella remained dark and bloodthirsty, the bloodline must be eliminated.
Finds something of Aerith’s. Is she really dead?
So that’s the plotting of RotVD. It’s not perfect — in fact, there are probably more holes in it than I can count, which is why it’s just a first draft. I hope this is helpful and shows you my plotting process. I haven’t used this method again after that. In the next few months I’ll talk about the ways Seeker: Demon Killers and March City: The Land of the Gifted were plotted. But if you were wondering about The Windcaster, there was no method behind the plot. I had vague ideas about where I wanted the story to go, Tia made her own progress to an extent, and the rest were churned out by the combined brain power of my partner and I.
Tell me about your plotting methods below! What works and doesn’t work for you?