Category Archives: Day 19 ‘S’

Day 19 Nanowrimo  ‘S’ Narrative slaying choices

Day 19 *Narrative Slaying Choices



Finding a subject for today’s post was literally easy.
Just Googling: Googling the letter ‘s’ term in writing a novel

I found Scribendi : A Glossary of Fiction Writing Terms


Satire: I love this definition; “…criticize people’s stupidity or vices,..”
Setting: “place, time and condition “….a story takes place.
Simile: comparing one thing with a different thing using,’like or as’
Subject: “what the story is about”
Subplot: minor plot in a story flowing alongside the main plot
Symbol: “something that stands for something else”
Synecdoche: a word or phrase refers to a whole. Example: ‘sails’ referring to a whole ship, ‘hired hands’ referring to workers.
Syntax: Words put together to form dialogue, phrases, clauses

Those are great words starting with ‘S’ but not the one I decided to use for this example. Slayer. I read this term in ‘Story Structure Architect’  Writer’s Digest Books (2005)

This is where this word, ‘Slayer’ started along a slippery slope of selections. Even an anti-hero will choose to kill or not.

In this book, the use of ‘Slayer’ is used as a situation.

1. Slaying a family member for the greater good. (Justifiable homicide?)

2. Then there is the Slayer who is ‘not known’ to the protagonist, (kidnapper, serial killer)

3. Or the one that is known. (Maybe a Stalker, a neighbor, or the magic creature living in your garage)

4. Then there is the Slayer who challenges a situation. (I know this one. Here you stand up for what you believe in and get fired. )

All four of these are situations; situations used with a choice to kill, metaphoric or literally. Subplots or main plots.With  situations that needs to be overcome with Chutzpah (audacity; nerve.)

An example of this type is in the story ‘The Transporter’ where the main character goes against what he was hired to do. He decides to not follow the ‘rules or laws that harm’ this is where the protagonist’s beliefs come into play, what he or she thought was right, no longer works for the protagonist.

Think of it in terms where you got this great job and loved following the rules. Then one day you saw that your company’s beliefs, and yours, had parted company. You can’t take it anymore, and told them so. You saw something happen that could potentially hurt others and you were done with it. This would be challenging the status quo. Slaying the dragon that is your boss or co-workers, then showing the backlash of that decision.

Slayer and recognized victim: the Slayer knows the victim and believes in his core with what has to be done. Could be a little off…did I say little! The Slayer needs to have his own internal dialogue that will convince himself to do the deed.

Think of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ she has her reason for killing, vampires, demons, and any supernatural evil being and as the reader we except this Slaying, we even agree.

Slayer and unrecognized victim: a person the Slayer is hired to kill then he decides not to. Example of the victims; kidnapped a hired killer, a person who gets in-between, accidentally and now is dragged along to save their life.

These are choices that the protagonist makes that move the story forward. They are made with using life or death situation.

I thought this could also be described as the choice that changes the character for better or for worse. Their inner conflicts and dilemmas and how your protagonist chooses, but with a little more close up detail on the need and want. Where we give our protagonist a reason to take a stand. Back him or her into a corner where they have to choose. Make that hard choice to show their hearts or let the voices in their heads take over.

Once they decide they become the Slayers of their demons then the story unfolds.
Their choices can be used as a subplot as in ‘Sophie’s Choice’ Slaying of a loved one.

I bet if you tried you can see this narrative choice running through your favorite stories. Some as main storylines other as subplots.

I recommend ‘ Story Structure Architect’   The author-Victoria Lynn Schmidt- places the Slayer situation with an example of Beginning -Middle and End.