Because who doesn't like staring at the ceiling fan?

Tentacles, You Say?

So this actually happened in a conversation yesterday (the piece here listed under “general notes”). After speaking with a few people in last night’s G+ hangout, I decided to plot this thing and see where my imagination took me.

It kidnapped me you guys. My imagination kidnapped me.

So the method I’m trying here is phase writing. Short paragraph describing what happens in a scene, continued on and on until the whole novel is plotted in short hand. When I’m ready to write the draft these small paragraphs will turn into scenes anywhere from 500 words to 5000 words long. It all depends on how much fun I have playing with the characters.

It looks like I might have a lot of fun. Here’s what I have so far. If you guys have any ridiculous suggestions please throw them at me. I’d love to hear your silly ideas for other secondary characters, potential sea battles, random plot points, and general shenanigans.

General Notes:

  • “I should write a story where the protag and antag fall in love and the protag joins the side of evil.”
  • “Hot guy with tentacles (he hides them in a sweatshirt) is part of the evil invading army of sea creatures who are about to re-take the earth for their own. Protag lady could be interested, find out he’s evil, fight him for a while, and then say eff it and they both run away together and the earth gets taken over by sea creatures.”


1) Ellie meets Marius Kraken in the grocery store and sees one of his tentacles. He runs, afraid he’s been discovered. Later in the day Ellie bumps into him on the beach (still wearing his sweatshirt). He tries unsuccessfully to dodge her questions and agrees to a date.

2) Ellie notices strange news reports about sea creatures amassing in crucial water zones around the world. Kraken is distracted on their date, but perks up when Ellie talks about the weird ocean shenanigans. When she tries to walk him home he brushes her off.

3) Ellie takes crap from no one. She finds him again the next day to give him a piece of her mind and sees him murdering an “innocent” bystander. Kraken is forced to trust her and makes a deal for her silence: three more dates and he has to make sure she survives the invasion.

4) Shark attacks, jellyfish stings, and other sea injuries skyrocket in just a few days. Ellie pries Kraken’s plan from him, decides she should probably fight on behalf of humanity, and takes him hostage. Their next date is super awkward.

5) The leader of the squidman army tracks down Kraken and frees him, leaving Ellie with no leverage and no third date. They send an assassin after her and she kills him mostly by accident (she intended to keep him as another hostage).

6) Kraken comes back to keep his end of the deal and warn Ellie of the pending first attack. Ellie uses this information to sabotage their plans, and Kraken has a serious fight with Ellie over it. That stunt set them back several days in their master plan. Ellie tells him about the assassin, which he didn’t send.

7) Ellie and Kraken’s third date is charged with sexual tension. Ellie asks about his tentacles. She’s still interested in him in spite of his plans for world domination… or maybe because of those plans? She goes home very confused.

8) More news reports of whales and giant squids refusing to let large naval vessels leave their harbors (all nations). Injuries, deaths, and marine sabotage now also plague lakes, ponds, and rivers (all nations). Kraken disappears for a few days and Ellie gathers reinforcements.


3 responses

  1. Tensu Sendai, CEO and sole shareholder of Sendai Heavy Industries, is the worlds most famous, and notorious exotic gourmet. Spotting Marius Kraken’s tentacles on secretly obtained security camera footage, he sends his private corporate security team of ex-special forces types to kidnap Kraken in order to discover his secret plans, which he believes are the source of his company’s recent shipping problems, and are seriously impacting profits for this financial quarter.

    More importantly to Tensu, he wants to get his hands on Kraken to hand him over to his personal chef, in order to have the most exotic meal of tako sushi ever! 😀

    Your Kraken “villian” needs a villian of his own to struggle against… it will help with plot development I think. You might also think about having a mysterious, wicked female character who Ellie sees as a competitor for Kraken’s affections. This can turn out to be Kraken’s sister, who encourages Ellies misperception for her own reasons, or she doublecrosses her brother by siding with Sendai or some other character or group, or just kill her off somehow, or whatever. It doesn’t have to be Kraken’s sister: there are lots of things you can do with the mysterious femme fatale character. But again, having another character “close” to your main characters will help you to develop plot, I think, and the more fully you can realize these supporting characters, the more engaging the story will be for the reader. I think. I’m just making all this up on the fly here. 🙂

    If you haven’t read A. Lee Martinez, you really should give him a try, I think you might like him. You might start with “A Nameless Witch”, or “In the Company of Ogres”, although all his books are great fun! 🙂

    July 31, 2012 at 9:36 am

    • The strong female opposition occurred to me later in the outline. I’m thinking it through so she doesn’t come off like a shallow character insert, you know? Haven’t quite figured out her motivations. I think I need to play with the squidman history and culture for a little bit, get some things detailed. Might help me out with all of their motivations (not just Kraken’s).

      I’ve only read one of A. Lee Martinez’s books, but I loved it. Gil’s All Fright Diner 🙂

      July 31, 2012 at 10:10 am

  2. I think it could be a fun story, and it’s a promising idea, I hope you keep working on it!

    I liked Gil’s All Fright Diner, but it’s my least favorite of his books, you might like his others too! 🙂

    July 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm

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