Here is my attempt at the outline.
Inciting Incident: Hilarion discovers medallion This may work if it creates a problem that is clear to him at the time of the discovery.
1) Hilarion decides to seek treasure Which finding the medallion and the ensuing problem that creates tells him he needs to do, I assume?
2) Hilarion leads people through challenges
3) Guillermina wrests control from Hilarion
Resolution: Hilarion defeats Guillermina, reveals "treasure" That looks like the win, but you also need a loss.
My novel is the first in a proposed series, so this Resolution is much more triumph than defeat. If I had to explain how it is also a defeat, it would take more than a few words. It is a triumph in that Hilarion discovers the "treasure" (not a physical treasure at all but a rediscovery of his people's heritage and identity) and leads his people to safety from Cuba to Florida, but it is also a defeat in that he has initiated a much deeper ideological battle for the soul of his people against Guillermina, whose values differ greatly from Hilarion's. Problem with this, Todd, is that you’re stating it in grandiose terms and not in individual terms. A novel is about an individual and a personal problem. Wars and rebellions and all that are simply the setting/backdrop against the individual’s struggle, but it’s the individual that matters. It also doesn’t matter if a novel is part of a series of three or even thirty novels. Each novel needs to stand on its own and follow story convention, and that means the resolution needs to show a character arc and that means there has to be a definite win and a definite loss. On the individual protagonist’s level, not some amorphous “people.”
Moreover, based on concerns expressed by Jenny in my last online course, I am increasingly afraid my novel is too long. If it’s more than say 100,000 words, probably so. So, grudgingly, I am probably going to have to break it in half. In that case, the first book is going to have to emphasize a plot that would have been a subplot had the novel remained the original length. That subplot deals with Hilarion and the Silver Man, a demonic figure seeking revenge on him for betraying the other bandits with whom Hilarion was passing time when the novel began. This does not do violence to the story-worthy problem--the SWP is the M'Brai people's Has to be Hilarion’s SWP, not anyone else’s and certainly not some group’s. need to understand their identity/heritage, and Hilarion's initial problem and inciting incident grow out of his personal moral shortcomings Can’t work. as a microcosm of those of his people. This is all gobbly-gook, I’m afraid, Todd. You’re posing this in terms of groups of people, i.e., “the story-worthy problem is the M”Brai people’s need to understand their identity/heritage,” and that isn’t what a story-worthy problem is all. It belongs to your protagonist not some “people,” and is an individual, psychological problem. Not some grandiose theme of “a people’s heritage” or some similar muckamuck. A novel is about one person with one problem. Doesn’t matter what the backdrop is or if there’s a cast of thousands—it’s about one person and one problem and his/her struggle to resolve a clear problem. Period.
Inciting Incident: Hilarion discovers medallion
1) Silver Man chases Hilarion
2) Hilarion leads people through challenges, fleeing Silver Man
3) Hilarion resolves to face Silver Man
Resolution: Hilarion defeats Silver Man but is deposed, abducted Not sure what this outline is for—your second novel? Also, your resolution represents the surface problem resolution but not the more important one—the story-worthy problem.
I don't want to cut against the grain of the course, but I should point out that I developed my story using the structure described in The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. Basically, the Truby method holds that a story grows out of a single designing principle, and is a series of moral decisions the hero/heroine must navigate in order to reveal and then overcome some fatal weakness and need the character starts out with. It is difficult to restate this in the 3-Act structure. I am happy to expound on this, if anyone wants.