soc_puppet: Miraculous Ladybug; the design from the Cat Miraculous: A green cat pawprint on a black field (Cat Noir)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
Ha-HAH! With the majority of my brain powers restored and me mostly on the mend from that horrible throat cold thing that's been going around in these parts, I have finally gotten the willpower to finish this: my example of how to take a story idea and turn it into an outline!

It's Miraculous Ladybug, because that's what I'm into at the time of this writing, but I hope it still makes a modicum of sense to folks unfamiliar with the show. I'll probably go back and edit this again with a mind to that later, but for right now I'm pretty much happy that it's done at all. (Also, majority of brain powers restored is not entirety of brain powers restored, and giving my noggin a bit more of a rest while I'm still somewhat on the mend would not be remiss.)

(Yes, I probably should be using a Ladybug icon instead of a Cat Noir icon for this post, since I'm creating something, but I'm still editing that one and I'm finally happy with this one, so this is the one you get.)

1. First, I need an idea.

I've got the fandom (Miraculous Ladybug), and I'm a shipper, so I'm probably going to go with a ship I want to write. I'm shamelessly into the Love Square, so I'm going to start there.

A couple of other tropes I like are identity porn and completely pointless mutual pining (you see why this fandom is a good fit for me). A fun trope to tie in with pointless mutual pining is one where Person A plays matchmaker for Person B.

So the idea is: Love square plus matchmaker shenanigans.

2. Next I need to figure out how and why this is taking place. This means assigning roles to characters, and then motivations.

For this particular outline, I'm going to say that Adrien figures out Ladybug's civilian identity, and because he wants nothing more than for Ladybug to be happy even if it's not with him (and also because he has a bit of a masochistic/martyr streak), he's going to try and set Marinette up with her dream boy. Unfortunately, due to Misunderstandings, Adrien thinks Marinette's dream boy is Luka. Because I am a shameless shipper, Adrien and Marinette will eventually get together at the end, most likely with a side of full identity reveal. I would not say no to a threesome ending, though.

3. Now that I know what I want to happen, and who I want it to happen to/with, I need to figure out how it happens. Time to get the structure nailed down!

I'm going to have Adrien try to set Marinette up with Luka on three occasions. Three is a good number because it establishes a pattern without dragging on too long or anyone getting bored by the scenario (yours truly included). It also allows a variety of "date" activities without me having to strain myself coming up with too many. Two or all three should probably be group activities with Adrien trying to pair Marinette and Luka together, if only so he can keep an eye on them and make sure that his plans are going well.

After the third date, and Ladybug being very distraught over how her actual crush has been treating her, the penny finally drops for Cat Noir and he figures out that Marinette is actually crushing on him and that he has made a royal mess of things and needs to fix them. The fix will involve Adrien/CN confessing to Marinette/LB and asking her out on a proper date himself, with an apology for getting it wrong for so long.

Our outline as of right now follows:

* Adrien figures out who LB is
* Adrien thinks he figures out who her crush is
* Adrien tries to get Marinette and Luka together by setting them up
* Three
* Different
* Times
* All of which ultimately do not end with Marinette and Luka getting together
* Adrien finally figures out he was wrong about who Ladybug's crush is, figures out her actual crush
* Adrien sets Marinette up on a date with her actual crush to resolve everything

4. That outline right there is pretty bare bones; let's flesh it out a bit!

Since I want to maximize identity porn, and haven't figured out yet how I want Adrien to realize Marinette is Ladybug, let's have him do that at the same time as he thinks he's figured out that her crush is on Luka. They'll either both be in costume or out of it, but those are details that can wait until later. If I do things very carefully, Cat Noir can interrogate Ladybug about her crush, and she can answer entirely honestly in ways that could apply to both Luka and Adrien (making me cackle gleefully all the way through).

Adrien's plans for setting Marinette and Luka up start out fairly simple and become increasingly complicated as he becomes more frustrated with the perceived lack of progress between Marinette and Luka. We'll also start more public/social and go more private/intimate, since Increasingly Frustrated Adrien will be trying to be more and more obvious to Marinette that this is a date for her and Luka and she should take advantage of it.

I'm thinking amusement park for the first or second, since it's a good group activity where Adrien can watch the proceedings while also shuffling Marinette and Luka into neat little couple-y things (sitting next to each other on roller coasters, Ferris wheels, maybe even tricking them into a Tunnel-of-Love-type thing, etc).

Other public-ish group-date-thing is still up for debate. If amusement park is first, though, then second should be some sort of double- or triple-date/couples night thing, with Alya and Nino as the other couple (one of?), and Adrien recruiting a friend to help him out as the third(?) couple (Kagami, maybe?), so they all pair off. Nnnnooot sure what to do if amusement park is the second outing.

CN is going to check in with LB on Crush Progress after each "date" in addition to basically shadowing Marinette and Luka while they're out and about, because he is super nosey and wants to make sure that his Lady is going to be happy/treated right by this guy Whoever He Is. LB will start out enthusiastic after the first date, get somewhat less enthusiastic after the second, and be downright confused/despondent after the third. "I thought he was really starting to like me - the way I like him, I mean. But he basically dropped me off at a restaurant and told me to have fun with some other guy? Am I completely off the mark?"

This leads to the penny-drop moment for CN, and he comforts LB that he's sure everything with her crush will clear up soon; LB is cheered, they finish their work or whatever and say their good-byes, and CN gets to re-planning (now that he has correct information).

(Bonus fun moment: Third date was totally date-date material. Like, dinner at a fancy restaurant and stuff date material. Adrien basically drops them off and then bails, and then "conveniently" runs into them as they're leaving the restaurant/going their separate ways. After Marinette walks off, Luka basically looks right at Adrien, all, "You really are just that oblivious, aren't you." Adrien, completely proving his point, only responds, "Huh?")

Wrap-up is Adrien fixing things with Marinette, including a bouquet of flowers (roses? probably) and identity reveal. Whether he sets this up as Adrien with Marinette or as CN with LB is yet to be decided.

5. Phew! That's a lot of details worked out right there. Next up is going to be putting all of it in chronological order, filling in any details I wasn't sure of when fleshing things out, and checking for anything I've forgotten. For example, amusement park is definitely going to be the first "date", while second date is going to be Couples Skating Lessons (re-visit the dude from Frozer, definitely invite Kagami so there's a good, in-text excuse for why Adrien is pairing up with her and Marinette will be pairing up with Luka). Also, Adrien will figure out LB's identity while they're both in costume, since that will give me a framework for CN pestering LB for details about her romantic escapades.

Something I forgot to address up until this point is AKUMAS. Do I want to include any? If I do, they'll be on the dates. I feel like I should go with all three dates rather than just one or two, but I need to consider how that would play out with the narrative and how it would impact the CN-interrogating-LB-about-her-romantic-endeavors scenes. Maybe akumas interrupt the first or first and second dates, but only happen after the third date is over, giving me a good reason for Marinette to split the scene without making Adrien too suspicious yet? If akumas, what will their themes be? Do I need to know for all of them? Hrmmm.

6. With everything basically sorted out, and all in chronological order (pretend I've actually done that instead of just handwaving it here), the outline is effectively complete! It is now time to write that first scene.

And that's a walkthrough of How to Outline as according to the Socchan School of Writing. (I will definitely need to revise my preliminary How to Outline post now.)

Side note/disclaimer: I do not actually plan to write this fic as of this point in time, which is one of the reasons I left Step 5 "incomplete". If this outline has piqued your interest and you might be interested in doing the grunt work of filling in scenes, uh. Maybe? Probably? IDK, if you're cool with the possibility that I may someday come back and write my own version, then go forth with my blessing (and link me when you're done). Edit: EXCEPT [personal profile] alexseanchai, who is not allowed anywhere near this until or unless they get more work done on the Double Trouble 'verse.

Date: 2018-12-24 12:38 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Re icon: pffft

Date: 2018-12-24 01:16 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Re processy stuff: *contemplates*

Re outline: *sits on hands*

Date: 2018-12-24 01:35 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai

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