by Kate Paulk
Tomorrow at oh-good-is-that-the-time am, I’ll be headed out for the North American Discworld Convention in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m not looking forward to the flights (Oh, TSA, how do I loathe thee. Let me count the ways….), but the con should be a blast. I’m pure fangirl for this one, and looking forward to it.
So, there’s a bit of an interruption to the Writer’s Toolbox, probably this week and next week (so I can do a con report), then I’ll be back to the last few posts in the series. I”ll have to collate the whole series into a single post on my web site, since a lot of people have said they find it useful.
I’ll be checking in when/where I can, but replies could be a bit delayed.
So… a mini-contest, with a free eARC of ConVent (to be released later this year) to the winner … Entries are open until midnight US Eastern Time (based on the time stamp on the comment).
Here are the rules: write the start of a story (short story or novel, doesn’t matter), using at least three of these points –
- Advice for the Evil Overlord:
- I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way — even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless — my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.
- Advice for the Hero:
- If I find myself born or drafted into a universe wherein the laws of nature do not obey consistent principles, I will depart for an alternate universe created by a more reasonable author.
- Advice for the Bad Auxiliary Character (Evil Henchman):
- If the seemingly helpless person you have just cornered is confident and unafraid despite being outnumbered and surrounded, you have encountered a Hero in disguise. Run while you still can.
- Advice for the Good Auxiliary Character (Innocent Bystander):
- Evil Overlords’ friendly overtures are never sincere. If he is suddenly friendly to you, answer him courteously, then skip town at the first opportunity. If he has always been friendly to you, answer him courteously and feign utter uselessness in his designs.
- Further Evil (Advice for the Evil Empress):
- If I am unfortunate enough to have a Beautiful but Innocent Daughter, as opposed to a Beautiful but Wicked Daughter, I will unconditionally love and nurture her, and be as supportive as possible of any budding romantic relationship with potential young Heroes. This will a) delay Heroic action while I study his strengths and weaknesses, b) cause emotional conflicts within the Hero that will encourage fatal hesitations or mistakes, c) provide another chance for my daughter to see things my way before I’m forced to eliminate her.
Murphy’s Laws of Combat:
- Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep.
- The more stupid the leader is, the more important the missions he’s ordered to carry out.
- The enemy diversion you’re ignoring is the main attack.
(from Theresa Nielsen Hayden’s Random Plot Generator)
Whatever you write must be interesting, it must be the start of a story, and it must be coherent. If you manage all of this and use all the points in the list, you get a hefty bonus. No more than 1000 words, preferably between 500 and 1000 words.
Write away, and good luck!