Here is the first-draft outline of a story I’d like to write about Jack, a young man whose magic ability mostly manifests in his ability to travel long distances.
Jack is a freelance courier and through a case of mistaken identity ends up being chased by two groups who want a magical object a prospective client wanted him to carry. The only problem is that he didn’t take the job. Now, to survive, he’ll have to outrun the bad guys, outwit the good guys and find the object before anyone else can get their hands on it. That’s the easy part. What the hell is he supposed to do if he gets his hands on it?
Working title: The Walker
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Tense/POV: Present Tense, First Person
Setting: Modern world, various settings, mostly urban.
Inciting Incident: A small man comes to the door asking Jack to courier a package to his brother in Wales. He turns the man down, who offers him money to think about it and then leaves, promising to call back again.
Internal Initial Conflict (call to action): Jack wants to be out of the line of fire and back to a life of being paid little attention. He can’t have this because the small man was seen leaving his apartment and the guys watching assume he’s taken the job.
External Initial Conflict (call to action): Jack wants to survive.
Woven-in Backstory, Vital Information: Jack works as a freelance courier for the supernatural world. Awhile back, he rescued a Kitsune (fox spirit) from a trap, who decided she owed him her loyalty after that and would help him to achieve his potential, whether he likes it or not.
Internal Conflict (obstacles): Jack grew up in a rough neighborhood. One where escape and escaping notice from the predators in the waters was the surest means of survival. Escaping the bullies at school was how he discovered his powers in the first place.
External Conflict (obstacles): He can’t give the package to the guys who want it, because he didn’t take it. They won’t accept his assertion that he doesn’t have it.
Internal Higher Conflict (obstacles heighten): Threats go from verbal to property damage with threats of bodily harm if he doesn’t get it for them. He can’t turn back because if he does, they’ve threatened his life and the life of Kitsune.
External Higher Conflict (obstacles heighten): An enemy of the mooks who are after him want him to deliver the package to him instead. Unfortunately, the small man is nowhere to be found.
Internal Highest Conflict (obstacles intensify): The small man is found dead and the object is said to be somewhere only Jack can find it.
External Highest Conflict (obstacles intensify): While backtracking to find the obstacle, Jack is abducted, hooded and tied up by the villains. When the hood is revealed, he sees that Kitsune has followed and is in the shadows. An attempt to free him fails, leading to her capture.
Internal Point of No Return (stakes): He realizes that they will never be safe, so long as the groups think that he is in possession of the MacGuffin and that he’s really the only one who can save her.
External Point of No Return (stakes): The fact that they know where he lives and will come for him if he runs.
Darkest Hour: The idea of being broken, alone and unable to escape. Being trapped in the earth.
Turning Point: Buried alive, he knows that he has to find a way to get out. A way to get Kitsune freed with him, before they run out of air. Picturing the location with no visual or tactile aid. Finding an out. Realizing that the small man was a liar and the answer was right at home.
Internal Climax: They can travel by visualizing where they want to go, rather than by seeing it, or having an object linked to the place. How to reach into the inbetween with less energy than before. His fear of confrontation.
∧∨ (preferably simultaneous) ∧∨
External Climax: By pointing the gun at his own head and opening a portal at the last minute so the bullet hits the antagonist instead.
Resolution (external): It shows his willingness to fight back in a corner and leaves the antagonizing group leaderless? They are in disarray and start turning on each other.
Character Growth (internal): Now, no longer afraid of confrontation, he leaves with a new-found sense of purpose and some guilt about ending the confrontation with violence.