Day 4 of planning the story and I’m not feeling confident about the plot. I sort of have some characters but the main character (or the one that I thought was my main character) doesn’t really have a viable or interesting goal. She wants to find the shark who bit her. To do that, she has to identify the shark. To do that, she has to become a marine biologist who specializes in sharks. She’s done that. She thinks she has identified the shark as a Saber shark, but those are extinct or fables, so she’s still looking. What is she going to do when she actually sees a Saber shark? Per yesterday, she’s going to think he’s creepy. Is that going to fulfill some core need for her? Just seeing the shark? Or does she have to get over her fear of swimming with the sharks to get her life back? What in her life has been taken from her? She didn’t lose a limb (although I guess she could), she just has a scar on her leg and she doesn’t surf anymore. She can’t be afraid of swimming in the ocean because she’d never have gotten her scuba certification if she did. (I guess that’s an assumption that all marine biologists who research sharks are scuba certified. Maybe they just sit on the boat and have others collect their samples. Maybe they spend most of the time in the lab dissecting things.) Her internal goal is to get over her fear of sharks, so she’s okay swimming in the ocean as long as there are no sharks around. (I bet there’s some stat about how many sharks one sees when one is diving.) So to get back to her external goal: she wants to find the Saber shark just because. I don’t think “just because” is going to drive her through the story.
Obviously, she finds the Saber shark, and he takes her down to his underwater city and she adopts his goal, which is to keep his people secret from the world.
Maybe this story should be told from the shark’s point of view. He has a firmer external goal. He must keep his secret. Which he fails at because he tells the girl. hmmm.
What about the others?
Captain Mike and Professor/Doctor Katz – two antagonistic forces – want fame and fortune. Captain Mike wants anything that will bring him money. Dr. Katz wants Summer’s research, because he’s lazy and is hiding that fact that he’s skimming money from the institution. Dr. Katz acts as a mentor to Summer who turns into a bad guy.
Chaz the assistant is a sidekick and wants what Summer wants to a point. He wants to get his ph.d. and study sharks on his own.
The first mate is some sort of foil for the shark? Not sure what his role is.
Six characters – 3 researchers, 3 boat people.
A shape-shifting shark must risk his secret identity in order to …? Retrieve some sacred artifact that Captain Mike picked up at a Saber shark shrine? This sacred artifact allows the sharks to enter and exit their hidden city?
I know there’s a place or places in the ocean where sharks of all kinds gather. The great shark convergence if you will. This place is the Saber shark god’s shrine. It’s part of a sunken city (cities). Some might call it Atlantis (why not?). Captain Mike found it and during a dive, picked up a piece of the shrine that now makes it not work. The sharks who don’t change shape are now attacking people in greater numbers – trying to communicate that they want their MacGuffin back. Shark man can get it back. Shark man must get it back, because with this item, the humans can discover his people/world.