Here’s one option for the story setup for Mech Runners. When it’s time to write, we’ll create a number of sketches and select the one with the most zing.
Lily is the muscle of an illegal arms-running crew, operating the weapons, including the mech suits they steal. When the crew steals a set of suits from the government of the Cobar system and sells them to a barbaric warlord exploiting the resources on a hostile planet, she figures she’ll earn enough to move her mother and father out of their wretched home and get her brother a new leg. But when she sees the warlord butchering settlers and taking their children as slaves, she can’t turn her back and walk away. Will Lily be able to take out the warlord and free the settlers when her team is against her, the warlord has a superior force and security, and the team’s crime bosses have told them this is their last chance to pay up?
Other events I didn’t mention:
- Action stories start in action. That’s another one of those “what’s cool” things. So why not have the opening scene be of them stealing the mech suits? It shows who they are and what they do and lets us get to know the characters.
- Someone down on the surface, a two-faced settler, rats them out at some critical juncture to the warlord.
- The crime bosses show up and our little team has to convince them it’s all in their interest.
- One of the team members gets taken hostage
And so it goes. I hope you have a great time with this.
Hey, what about the government they stole them from? Do they come after them too? Or maybe they put a hunter onto their trail. Humm. A twist to explore. And maybe jettison later. We’ll see.
You have one goal this week: sketch your plot.
Discovery Questions & Activities
Question 1: What are the events of my plot? (10 hrs)
- Read Lesson 7: Develop your ideas – plot and complete each step there (you might find this very productive to do with your buddy).
- When you finish, create a brief bullet-point sketch that summarizes what you developed; limit it to 2 pages.
- Summarize in a paragraph or two what happens in the first three events.
- Post (1) your bullet-point summary, (2) the paragraphs about the first three events, and (3) one insight you picked up about sketching a plot.
Question 2 (optional): What works in story setups? (1 hr)
- Read the story setups of the other students posted for last week and let them know which of their options you like best.
- Look at the some of the ideas that you didn’t like as much, and see what they were missing? Was it a clear gnarly obstacle? Significant stakes? What was it?
- Send me an email with your answers.