As I work on my NaNoWriMo prewriting tasks, I find myself doing a bit of this and a bit of that on my book. No, I’m not writing. I’m figuring things out. One of the things that I need to figure out is my premise. Not sure what a premise is? The concept is the most basic take on the story. My concept is a girl waits for her brother to come home from the war. A premise begins to fill in the details. You can read up on that in an excellent post by K.M. Weiland on the difference between a premise and a concept.
Any-who, for my premise, I need to know the following:
Protagonist: 12 year-old Clem
Situation: Clem is working hard, running errands and acting as a local messenger.
Objective: She needs to maintain things, specifically her older brother’s a-tee (think speeder) until he comes home from the war.
Opponent: Evil step-father (ESF). Yes, this could be cliché but he has a compelling back story.
Disaster: ESF tries to take the a-tee to sell it. He’s convinced the brother is not coming home. Maybe dead.
Conflict: She has to find a way to keep him from selling it and hold on.
Let’s see how all of this folds together into a premise: Clem is running errands and messages to earn the money she needs to maintain her brother’s a-tee. She’s the youngest pilot in the area but she takes care of the vehicle, determined to have it looking good-as-new when her brother comes home from the war. Then her step-father tries to sell it without saying anything to her. He’s convinced her brother isn’t coming home but Clem doesn’t believe him. She’s determined that if she keeps the a-tee safe, her brother will come home.
Premise? Check. I’m going to be working on setting and material culture but I also have to . . . hesitant pause . . . make an outline.