A few years ago, Peter J. Wacks, Guy AnthonyDe Marco and I did something at OsFest 5 we haven’t seen before or since by anyone else at a fandom convention. We started what we call the “Plot In An Hour” panel. Each of us has used the technique since, and at a wide variety of conventions. I was privileged enough to do one today at ConnectiCon here in Hartford, Connecticut, and I have to admit, I’m pretty pleased with the results.
First, let me thank what was a truly FANTASTIC participatory audience. They all really got into it, and I hope they all had as much fun as I did. Second, I must say that the results of all these panels over the years turned out well. However, the plot we came up with at ConnectiCon I think sets a new standard for really cool ideas.
As I mentioned in the class, this plot is open for all participants to use if they are interested in writing a story using, regardless of if they want to write flash fiction, a short story, a novelette, a novella, or a complete novel. I am sure as hell writing a story based upon this. I just need to figure out how far I want to go with it.
So, without further ado, here’s what we came up with. It’s weird and cool and all kinds of twisty… at least I think so.
MY TITLE: “The Spirit of Australia” (NOTE: This is the only part I’m reserving for myself)
GENRE: Modern Urban Fantasy
LOCATION: Sidney, Australia
SETTING DETAILS: Australia isn’t what it seems… at least not all the time. The universe is divided into infinite versions of itself, and in all that countless space and time and dimension, Australia is the one thing that moves from one dimension to the next, feeding upon the next populace of humans unfortunate enough to find themselves in it. Travelling transdimensionally, the continent, the most lethal of wildlife, and a small number of humans travel from one dimension to the next. For the people who were there first, they simply become food for the horrific creatures that suddenly appear to hunt them.
The aboriginal Australians, the true natives, have travelled with Australia, having learned to become one with that harsh environment. And they know a secret about the spirit of Australia that nobody else knows.
STORY: When Australia makes the next shift into “our” dimension, most of the populace of Australia is wiped out inn a matter of weeks. In this all, one young man manages to survive assaults of giant spiders, crazed reptiles, and beasts the earth has never seen before when he encounters a huntress of singular prowess.
After seeing him manage to stave off an attack from fearsome creatures, she decides to take him under her wing and teach him to become a true warrior. he increases his skill and awareness of what Australia truly is. Longing for a way to return to the life he had, he suggests to his mentor that they find a way to stop it
In the short story version, she promptly kill him and reveals that she is the Spirit of Australia, and she’s quite happy feeding upon her prey as she and her army of beasts has always done.
For a novel, however, things go a little differently:
Through a combination of luck and skill, he manages to injure her and then escape. With her hunting his every move, he encounters a group of aborigines who begin to show him the truth. He learns more and more about Australia and the monsters that travel with it. In then end, he becomes a fierce warrior and learns that killing her is the only way to return to his Australia.
He hunts her down and they have a fearsome battle. He is finally victorious, and as she dies, a real spirit of Australia passes from her body and takes possession of his, whereby he becomes the Spirit of Australia.
So, for everyone who was in the panel today… READY, SET, GO!!!
Thanks again to everyone who was there! I had a fantastic time, and it’s all because of you.