A Tunnel at the End of the Light : Part 2

Wordcount: 1,029
Summary: In which the Writer, Muse, and wolpertinger start hashing out descriptions and plot points.

The pre-NaNo planning for the 2018 April Camp NaNoWriMo continues!

I’ve got a magical companion animal and the hints of a plot, so it’s time to work out a slightly better idea of where I’m starting from on April 1st. I’m a panster, but I love to worldbuild so I have something solid to work from.

NOTE: This is a MuseFic in which the Writer, the Muse, and her fictives work to create the rough draft of a story (or just worldbuild). There will be spoilers for the story being drafted, which will most likely contain plot holes, retcons, and other inconsistencies.

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Day -10 : A Plotting We Will Go

“Well, it’s definitely a lagomorph, at least,” said the Muse, eyeing the wolpertinger, which settled into a form about the height of a small horse. It was based on a hare, but had hawk wings, tiger fangs, small deer horns, a hint of a lion’s mane, and a fluffy fox tail.

“I believe the argument is that I’m a magically created creature, which explains the odd bits and pieces.” The wolpertinger twiched an ear in a shrug. “I doubt there’s any sort of rational explanation for this.”

“Because it looks cool.” The Writer looked at her doodles and then made a few additional coloring tweaks.

“So what is my actual purpose?” asked the wolpertinger as she fiddled with his makeup. “Am I magic repository or a magic amplifier? Or a mount of some sort?” It looked over its shoulder thoughtfully. “I am large enough.”

“And what is this quest they are going on?” The Muse was trying to focus on the actual plotlines, but the giant monster bunny was a little distracting.

“The main main quest is to battle a giant demon snake that lives in the river, but comes out every five hundred years or so and eats everything before hibernating again.” The Writer waved a hand at a pile of notes to the side of the writing desk. “But that’s not this story, this story is about this fuzzy guy and the parents and their quest to find a magical flower that they can plant along the river to poison the snake during its hibernation so it never wakes up again.”

She turned the wolpertinger bright purple for a moment and then back to tan with black and white points.

“That’s… cheating.” The wolpertinger blinked. “I mean, I understand that the primary solution is to kill the thing while it’s awake, but killing it while it’s asleep… that seems unfair.”

“But effective,” the Muse noted. “Okay, so we’re the backup plan, I’m assuming that means that the primary quest is going to fail?”

“I don’t know yet,” the Writer added stripes and then swapped them out for spots. “It may not matter, I may end the story when their quest ends and not when the main quest ends. If they get the flower then it doesn’t really matter how the other quest turns out.”

The wolpertinger and the Muse shared a look.

“I’m a panster!” objected the Writer.

“So what happened to the sidekick and who are his or her parents?” The Muse tried to get the planning session back on track.

“The sidekick… broke his leg. Yup, that’ll do. No magical healing here, so that will put him out of the running since the flowers are a hike up into a valley in the mountains.” The Writer grabbed a new sheet of paper and started doodling a map. “And I guess they can’t be riding bunnies, otherwise he’d just fly there. Bummer.”

“Then what use am I to the plot?” The wolpertinger finally had enough with the extreme makeovers and took advantage of the distraction to steal the coloring supplies. “Also, can I be a little smaller if I’m not a riding bunny?”

“No, I want to keep in the possibility of you carrying someone in an emergency.” The Writer frowned down at the map. “So we put the valley with the flowers in a very out of the way area. That way no one has ever been there before and the location was revealed through magic or prophecy or something.”

“Still not sure why I’m coming,” said the monster bunny. “As impressive as I look, I’m not sure I’d be that good at fighting with the wings.” He flexed them thoughtfully. “Wings tend to break pretty easily and most of my weaponry is built for close combat.”

“You were made to look awesome, not function effectively,” pointed out the Muse.

“Maybe because you know where the flowers are?” offered the Writer. “The prophecy was given to you and the sidekick. It’s not something you can share with other people, for some reason, so it means you need to lead them there.”

“Okay, and what makes that hard?” asked the Muse.

The Writer blinked.

“It can’t be as easy as ‘follow the magic bunny to the flowers’ or anyone could do it,” the Muse said. “Why does it have to be the sidekick’s parents? And why does it matter that the sidekick can’t come with them?”

“What if we go with the idea that the bunny is a conduit to the magic dimension, sort of like a demon, and only people with bunnies can do anything beyond really tiny magic?” The Writer frowned down at her notes. “But that might mean that they can only share magic with the person they are bonded with, which means it won’t actually be helpful to the parents.”

“If I’m a conduit between magic and the human, won’t that also mean that I need to stay near the human to function properly?” asked the wolpertinger. “If I can be anywhere, then it really defeats the purpose of me doing anything other than hanging out in a well protected stable somewhere.”

“So you have to be near your human for them to be able to use the magic, which is the benefit, but what if being away from the human also causes harm?” the Muse offered. “That would add another dimension to the travel, since the further away they get the worse it will be on the bunny MacGuffin.”

“I’m not a plot device,” gumbled the bunny.

Everything is plot device,” the Writer noted and then made notes. “Okay, so let’s say the bond is blood magic, that means since her parents are blood relations it makes the strain on the link less severe. It requires both of them to be with the bunny, so we can use the separation from them as a plot point if needed too.”

“That sounds like a good starting point,” said the Muse. “Only we need to figure out how magic works and actually cast the sidekick and parents.”

“Technicalities, technicalities,” said the Writer, and got to work…

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Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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