Jim Neely

Do or do not. There is no try.

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8

Oakshroom Chronicles: The Road Home

Lesson 1 Extra Credit:

In order to prepare my mind to create the idea for my project I will make a list of my interests (past or present). This will allow me to base my project on something I already enjoy, am knowledgable about, and interested in. So in no order at all . . . 

ANIMALS

Insects

Mythological Creatures

Drawing

Painting

Design

Magic

Knights

Castles

King Arthur 

Star Wars

Star Trek

Harry Potter

The Princess Bride

Buffy (don't judge me)

Chronicles of Narnia

The Dark Crystal

Batman

Trees 

Mushrooms

Ireland

Medieval Times 

England

Runes

Lord of the Rings

The Hobbit

Spirited Away 

My Neighbor Totoro

Porko Rosso 

Ponyo

The Golden Compass

The Neverending Story

Self Improvement 

Learning

Dune

Blade Runner

Pokemon

What could my character's tagline be?

The quiet one

What Describes their role in life when the story begins?

Foster daughter, student, sidekick, caretaker

What badge or stigma do they carry?

Unique markings, weak, halfbreed, outsider, poisonous, gentle, brave

What event or complication in their life could make reader sympathize with them?

Fostered to and ally of a different race she is treated as a burden and an outcast by her foster family.

After years of work and longing for home she receives word that her family's castle was overrun by an invading force. She is then cast out by her foster house. (Foster parents are grieved because they lost their own child when her family's castle was overrun.)

What desirable skills + admirable qualities could they possess?

Desirable Skills: (innate skills) Communicates with plants and animals, skilled at raising plants, healing, plant control magic, wall crawling, singing. (skills learned(ing) as a page) combat skills (lance/tilting, sword and shield, etc), riding, hawking, survival skills, strategy, and dance.

Admirable Qualities: empathic, intelligent, kind, creative, curious, clever

What is their social standing?

Upperclass Noble, foster daughter, Outsider

What does the people they choose as their friends say about their values?

low self-esteem/confidence, strange, reliable, honest, hardworking, shy, timid, skilled, intelligent, nurturing, creative, resourceful, diligent, independent, compassionate, trustworthy, thoughtful

Make a list of your character’s basic traits, like, dislikes, + then ask the single question: “why”:

Basic Traits: low self-esteem/confidence, reliable, honest, hardworking, shy, timid, skilled, intelligent, nurturing, creative, resourceful, diligent, independent, compassionate, trustworthy, thoughtful

Likes: Being alone, the color turquoise, plants, her pet, studying, reading, gardening, exploring, singing, drawing, astronomy

Dislikes: Injustice, the creatures that kill her family, her foster family and their house, hand to hand combat, cruelty, ignorance, prejudice, laziness

Extra Credit: think about what contrasting obstacle your character can face:

Self-doubt, loneliness, bullies, dangerous environment, predators

Project: Step 1

Name and associated myths:

J - REED:

MIDAS: King of Phrygia; cursed with donkey ears

THEMES: Voicing opinions, opposing power, hidden deformity, secret keeping, trust, unintentional betrayal

SUMMARY: At a musical match, King Midas disagreed with the river-god Tmolus’ choice for the winner.

Tmolus then cursed Midas with a pair of donkey ears for speaking out against him. Midas hid his new ears under a hat and the only other who know of them was his barber - who Midas threatened with death if he ever told anyone.

But the barber couldn’t keep it to himself. He dug a hole in a riverbank and whispered: “king Midas has donkey ears!” He covered the hole and left. However a reed sprouted from the soil and whispered Midas’ secret to the world.

I - COBRA:

ATHENE: Virgin goddess of wisdom, crafts and war

THEMES: Choosing self over love, rejecting advances, motherhood, adoption, fearing differences, rising to power, adoration

SUMMARY: Said to have a heart unfazed by love and the desire to marry, Athene rejected romance. One day when Hephaestus (god of fire and metalwork) made a pass at her and Athene turned him away, a baby was born from the earth.

Athene took the child as her own, naming him Erichthonius. She sealed the baby in a chest and sent him off to life with Agraulos, Pandrosos and Herse. When they looked inside the chest, they saw Erichthonius as half-serpent, and fell to their deaths.

Erichthonius eventually became King of Athens and started the worship of Athene


M - OWL:

ASCALAPHUS - Gardener of the orchards of Hades, turned: screech-owl

THEMES: Obsessive love, kidnapping, fighting for family, retribution, omens

SUMMARY: Ascalaphus told the gods that Persephone (who had been abducted by Hades in the name of love) had eaten a pomegranate while in the Underworld. This violated her release from Hades and forced her into becoming the Queen of Tartarus.

Ascalaphus was buried beneath a rock as punishment for tattle-telling by Persephone’s mother, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest.

Following his rescue by Hercules, Persephone turned Ascalaphus into a screech-owl. He became an “evil omen” and the bird of Hades.

Ideas section

 

Ideas:

MAIN CHARACTER:

  • Mushroom/tree creature > Dee > 11 years old > female > daughter of one of the five noble houses > quiet > kind > intelligent > wants to reunite with her family

OTHER CHARACTER/CREATURES:

  • Five noble ruling houses (I’m sorry, I haven’t named these races yet so the rest of this is going to read really, eh, badly)
    • Mushroom/ tree
    • badger/fox
    • owl/snake
    • rock/bear
    • otter/salamander
  • Invading force
    • Lizard/wasps

FANTASY LAND/WORLD:

  • A fantasy forest inhabited by magical creatures (think Brian Froud) with a medieval level of technology, hierarchy and customs (think Game of Thrones)
  • The story takes place in a vast magical forest
  • Some of the magic is innate to a species (like a snakes venom), and some is learned (like algebra).

CONTRASTING OBSTACLE:

  • Lizard/wasps invade the forest and lay waste to mushroom/tree stronghold.
    • A message of the destruction of the mushroom/tree royal family is sent to the otter/salamander king. The message also tells the otter/salamander king’s daughter, who was being fostered there in Dee’s place, was also killed.
    • In their grief for their daughter the otter/salamander king casts Dee out of his realm.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN:

  • Lost in the forest Dee is discovered by a badger/fox druid and convinced to return home to search for survivors, and must travel the dangerous forest paths to return to her kingdom.

WHAT INTERESTS AND INTRIGUES ME THAT I COULD ADD TO MY MYTHS:

  • The world of The Dark Crystal
  • Medieval British Isles and culture
  • Self improvement/ overcoming self
  • Magic
  • Art

Project: Step 2

Story Map

Dee is a 11 year old Oakshroom girl from Fangthron Forest (a vast magical forest ruled by five noble houses) who is faced with exile from her foster home, and  a journey through dangerous territory to a home controlled by enemy forces.


Along side Thruk, a friendly Glyphbear, Dee has to navigate the dangers of Fangthorn Forest, which is filled with enemy soldiers, misleading sprites, and dangerous inhabitants to ultimately reach her home and rally the survivors of her destroyed kingdom.

Character Profile and Obsession Building

WHAT COULD MY CHARACTER’S TAGLINE BE?

Tagline: “The quiet one”

WHAT DESCRIBES THEIR ROLE IN LIFE WHEN THE STORY BEGINS?

Dee is the only daughter of the noble house of Oakshroom. She is being fostered and trained as a page at the castle of house Kilcrakin. As a member of a different race and house she is treated as an outsider at the castle, and considered weak and strange by her colleagues.

WHAT BADGE OR STIGMA DO THEY CARRY?

Dee carries the stigma of being an outsider as well as a strange and dangerous due to her innate magical abilities and quiet nature.

WHAT EVENT OR COMPLICATION IN THEIR LIFE COULD MAKE READERS SYMPATHIZE WITH THEM?

She is treated with neglect by her elders and bullied by the other pages. Shortly after the story begins she loses her father and finds out that her house has fallen into enemy hands.

WHAT DESIRABLE SKILLS AND ADMIRABLE QUALITIES COULD THEY POSSES?

Desirable Skills: (innate skills) Communicates with plants and animals, skilled at raising plants, healing, plant control magic, wall crawling, singing. (skills learned(ing) as a page) combat skills (lance/tilting, sword and shield, etc), riding, hawking, survival skills, strategy, and dance.

Admirable Qualities: empathic, intelligent, kind, creative, curious, clever

WHAT IS THEIR SOCIAL STANDING? WHAT DOES THE PEOPLE THEY CHOOSE AS THEIR FRIENDS SAY ABOUT THEM?

Social standing: Upperclass noble, foster daughter, outsider.

When the story begins, all of Dee’s friends are either books, plants or animals. This tells you that she does not feel comfortable, and does not to other the sentient beings around her.

LIST THEIR BASIC TRAITS, LIKES, AND DISLIKES:

Basic Traits: low self-esteem/confidence, reliable, honest, hardworking, shy, timid, skilled, intelligent, nurturing, creative, resourceful, diligent, independent, compassionate, trustworthy, thoughtful

Likes: Being alone, the color turquoise, plants, her pet, studying, reading, gardening, exploring, singing, drawing, astronomy

Dislikes: Injustice, the creatures that kill her family, her foster family and their house, hand to hand combat, cruelty, ignorance, prejudice, laziness

WHY DO THEY LIKE THAT? WHY DO THEY ACT THAT WAY?

low self-esteem/confidence, shy, timid: Since her first day of her training at house Kilcrakin she has been abused and mistreated. Gentle by nature, this has caused her to retreat into herself and cut herself off from the sentient world. She has developed a low self-esteem from the constant reassurance from the other pages that she is in fact worthless.

reliable, honest, hardworking, skilled, intelligent, nurturing, creative, resourceful, diligent, independent, compassionate, trustworthy, thoughtful: Despite this abuse, having been raised by her parents for the first seven years of her life, Dee was deeply instilled with the characteristics and values of house Oakshroom.

WHAT DRIVES YOUR CHARACTER?

A need to love and be loved by a family.

WHAT DO THEY DESIRE THAT SPEAKS TO A CORE NEED?

They desires to return home and search for anyone from her family that may have survived the attack on her house. She wants to be with people who love and accept her.

HOW CAN THEIR DRIVE OR DESIRE BE AT STAKE?

Her desire is at stake in two ways, first her home is miles away and on the other side of extremely dangerous territory. Second, the fate of her family and what she will find when she does return home is uncertain at best.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOUR CHARACTER THAT GETS IN THEIR WAY OF GETTING WHAT THEY DESIRE?

Countless dangerous and misdirection await her on the journey home, but her most formidable obstacle will be the self-doubt she learned at castle Kilcrakin.

Here's a drawing I did of Dee going about her duties in the castle:

Here's my first attempt at the Ottewts (haha let me know if anyone has a better name for the otter-newts):

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