I’ve been trying to challenge myself to come up with a complete outline for Jaysan and the Jazz Monkeys for a few weeks. I have a few notes and a Save the Cat outline done, but my brain seemed to stop there. Naturally, I’m almost a total discovery writer, or pantser. In other words, I make stuff up as I go along. While writing for Big World, though, I learned I had to fit things into an outline since I had to fit my stories in 12 chapter (episode) increments. There was no way I could do that without some form of chapter-by-chapter outline. My biggest problem, I never could stick to the outline very well.
Anyway, I finally gave up and wrote the first chapter of Jaysan this morning. I think it went pretty well. Here is where my thinking is going right now but things are still very subject to change as I get deeper into the project:
It is in a modern world but where fantasy races all live, work, and go to school together. The story starts with Jaysan (human) trying to play a trombone solo during early morning jazz band practice at Grorf Kingslayer Junior High. He fails. After rehearsal, his best friend Willem (a vampire) tries to console him before they head off to their first regular class. An orc bully named Brog tries to keep Jaysan from getting to class. Jaysan wants to handle it himself until his foster brother Kren, also an orc, chases Brog away, humiliating Jaysan even more.
The next step, maybe tomorrow, will be to add the scene where Jaysan meets the girl sidekick for the first time. She’ll be a new kid at the school, an elf, and she plays flute. The inciting incident will probably be a chain-smoking imp disguised as a fairy who captures the kids and sends them off to Monkey World to work in the mines there. The story will be how Jaysan overcomes his fears and joins up with a band of jazz monkeys to rescue his friends. I hope it turns out as a middle-grade/fantasy/comedy. We’ll see.
Any thoughts? Does it sound like a story worth pursuing? I’m just not sure if I want to take on a full writing project right now.