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Posted on July 2, 2012

Here's how I arrived at the plot for NED FIREBREAK. The first two were written over eight months ago. The final one was written today after I had a major revelation about why the Firebreak family hunts down dragons and rescues damsels. I don't reveal it as its too juicy to share in a plot summary, but it will turn the damsel-in-distress business on its ears and make everyone see dragons in a new light other than a flaming one.

Ned Firebreak
Middle Grade Fantasy

First Stab: The day-to-day thrills of rescuing princesses have become humdrum for our hero-at-large, Ned Firebreak. His life gets twice as complicated when he drops off a pair of his most recent rescues to the Princess Reservation. One is mysteriously tight-lipped, while the other is quite vocal at not taking a back seat. Ned soon uncovers a dark conspiracy to end his tidy services as liberator of imperiled maidens. Will one or both of these new ladies in his life be the death of him and what's going on with his Aunt Nance, the orderly foundation of his daring enterprise? Why is she suddenly acting so erratic and content with veering from the normalcy of her orderly ways? And would the ice queen, Princess Stacia, stop insisting she's his old flame and take a clue that he's not going to warm up to her truly icy disposition?

Second Stab: The dragon-slaying business is drying up around him. Each week, there are fewer and fewer damsels to rescue. Have the dragons at large gotten wise to Ned and entered relocation programs for their ilk? With the dragon population mysteriously shrinking, something arrives to fill the gap. Across the land, monsters are coming out of the woodwork and besieging fair and not-so-fair hamlets. What is a proper dragonslayer to do when his enchanted sword, a weapon that truly only has eyes for dealing death to large fire-breathing reptiles, refuses to help him stake a claim in the booming business of monster-slaying?

When a particularly nasty beast decimates the village of Yorapuut while Ned is front and center and able to not raise his blade in defense, the public turns on the prestigious dragonslayer. They run him out of what's left of their town. After the dragon business disappears, Ned is forced to move in to the Princess Reservation, the only place that still views him positively.

There, he gets caught up in the drama between two of his most recent rescues, a reserved princess and one all too ready to shove her opinion down Ned's throat. Couple that with the obsessive advances of Princess Stacia, an ice princess whose cold heart is smitten by Ned, and Ned finds himself going stir crazy.

Aunt Nance meanwhile, normally the stable methodical one who keeps his business on an even keel, is acting erratic and untidy. What has caused this meticulous workaholic to become so unprofessional?

Ned sets out to seek help from a wizard. One who can help him settle the problem with his single-minded sword and get to the bottom of why his aunt isn't quite herself. Instead of a grand sorcerer with the chops to deliver salvation in all aspects of his life, he is saddled with a pun wizard, the lowest of the low in terms of magical aptitude. Ned and the wizard set out to solve his problems and in the process get behind the reason for the dragon's sudden no show in the realm. What they uncover leads Ned to mustering all his resources to put the beat down to a truly nasty evil.

Narrative perspective will be mostly from Ned's point of view, but chapters will shift the perspective depending on the characters. Ned will get the bulk of the chapters. The humor will be through the dialogue, circumstances and word play. The narrator's role in the humor will be focused on word choice and not cracking jokes in the narrative.
Chapter Titles will be listed as tips. Ex: Chapter 4 Tip: When Run Out of Town Always Insist on Holding Tight to One's Dignity

Ned Firebreak Final Plot Summary:Ned awakens to find he has been out of commission from the dragon slaying business for almost a year. Now with an eye patch courtesy of a run-in with a horde of quill beasts he has no recollection of doing battle with, he finds his memory has holes. He knows he is following in his father's footsteps after he mysteriously disappeared over a year ago on a routine dragon mission, but has no idea where his father is or if he's really dead like the others around him presume.

What's worse, the family business isn't what it used to be. Suddenly, their clients aren't calling and the Princess Reservation is operating in the black. If Ned doesn't turn things around, he'll have to close up shop and give the heave ho to the four princesses still remaining.

When a close magical friend of his Aunt Nance's is brought in under the guise of intending to save the reservation, his pun wizardry causes more harm than good. But it does do one thing right, it somehow unclouds a few of Ned's fuzzy memories, and he soon realizes his family dragon-hunting business is more than what it seems.

He is soon hot on the trail as to what truly happened to his father and in the process uncovers the kingdom-crippling truth of the Firebreak's true arrangement with the dragons.

When he faces off against the biggest of the dragons in the dragon world, Ned must make a heart wrenching decision: reveal his family's secret and save his father or keep the princesses safe and rob his father of any chance of escape.

His decision will make him either the last of the dragonslayers or the first of a breed of something new.

Princess Stacia- Ice Queen obsessed with Ned and he can't remember why
Princess Lil- Fairy princess who is soft spoken but holds in check a berserker side
Princess Tekka-Princess who desires her freedom and wishes for the Reservation to crumble to dust
Princess Kalabeth- Sister to Tekka who dabbles in curse magic, a talent that is opposite her sweet demeanor


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