Prepping Your Premise

watch-1267417_1920As 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.

–SueBE

 

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