Since reading Cait’s post about the massing story ideas of hers, I’ve been thinking about those I’ve ‘lost’ over the years. I write a lot, but I think so so much more, but, of course, this means that I can’t include all of them in my repertoire until I’ve edited and/or published what I already have.
Ahemem. *gets out tiny notebook* Let me see…
Sometimes my ideas are deliciously complex.
I’ve wanted to write a romantic thriller with a retrograde amnesiac/stalker romance for a while, or one involving dual identities. Notice the want, rather than the have. It’s something that springs repeatedly into my mind as I walk the half hour across campus to lectures. I jump back and force between which has the amnesia, but Dangerous Games is one blurb I actually wrote down:
After Daniel Saunders loses his position at a prestigious academy, and nearly his entire career, at the hands of his stalker, he can’t afford another stuff up. Caroline Bennet wakes the morning after her Mini ploughs into a truck, amnesiac except for two pieces of knowledge: 1) she’s the girl no one wants, and 2) she’s in love with a mysterious man called Daniel Saunders.
When he escaped from the middle of London to a sleepy Suffolk village, Daniel never planned to meet Caroline again, but when it’s clear that she has no idea how she herself ended up in the village – and this time she’s not lying – Daniel can’t help but be attracted to the mystery.
Using Daniel as her crutch to reality – any excuse to exacerbate the simmering chemistry between them – Caroline hunts the village for clues and someone hunts her. She wasn’t meant to survive the crash, and a killer wants her head on a silver platter before she matches the half-familiar face in her dreams to one of the ‘locals’.
With her façade of poison pen-letters and begging gazes dropped, Daniel finds himself heating up to this side of Caroline. As he tries to help the woman he once ran from, he unveils elements of himself he was all for locking away in London…like the fact he might have had a more close-to-heart reason than his ego for stringing her along.
NA novel, since Caroline is nineteen or twenty. I like that it’s set in Suffolk. I write too much of my fiction in London or Oxford. Besides that, I imagine a Midsomer Murders-esque landscape. I’m not keen on ‘Caroline’, though; I already have a SC in a major trilogy with that name, despite its subconscious popularity with me. I might try a foreign name, like Edyta or Agatha, something to mix her heritage up.
I—I mean, I would, were I actually writing this. As other variations, I once thought of one of those triangles where MC should choose the good guy but she’s obsessed with the guy who doesn’t want her (this is actually a set-back from our evolutionary system) – I want to use the title What Was Never Mine sometime.
Often they reflect life…
I found this blurb in a document cryptically entitled ‘story idea’:
Crushed by her overbearing mother, Gina’s never had a resolute opinion in her life. But she enters uni and – poof! – the world is full of them! Round up and thrown into one corridor with an arrogant Communist (what is Communism anyway?), an encyclopaedic cosplayer, a verbose champion guitarist and a computer scientist whose interests lie more in Gina’s field, Gina has to lift her head up and assert her place in a world unfolded every week.
Even if her place is as an introvert obsessed with genealogy…
As you can tell, it’s NA contemp. I love the premise and the gang (anything to write about modern-day British cosplay!) but I doubt, with the lack of time I have for the stories I’m writing and editing anyway, that I’m ever going to write it [alone. Having started on a writing site, I’m well used to collaborative projects]. Oh, man – I literally just thought of the best name for it: Gina-ology. Now I want to write it! 😦
There’s also YA light sci-fi The Third Way, which came out of the simple ‘what if?’ question What would be the major problems of dating a robot? I actually did a bullet-pointed outline of this. It’s set in the near future, about a nerdy girl who can’t get a boyfriend so she enlists her best friend’s father – mad scientist a la Doc Brown – to lend her one of his robots…
So, the tough, the fun, and the poignant/dramatic/downright bizarre. Now, the others.
Those other times, they are simple, random ideas that I’d read books for:
YA mystery/romance, My Grandparents and Yours came about as speculation over my inability to write series of more than three books. It also plays on an alternate ending to a book I haven’t even yet planned – A London Scoundrel, the ‘end’ of the Alé and Chris mysteries, in the course of which Alé is tempted to cheat on her husband with said eponymous scoundrel whom she sends to jail ten years previously in A Game of Murder (see WIP page), but who escapes and seduces her in, you guessed it, London. It’s also meant to have a mystery to fit the trilogy, but seeing as the ten-years-earlier prequel to A Game isn’t yet finished, I ought to stick to one or another.
Anyway, My Grandparents and Yours plays on the idea (the alternate ending) that Alé and Chris’ second child was fathered by said scoundrel, and, two generations down the line, a teen couple find a box of letters in the attic which reveal that they are actually related. Another cool concept that I’m saddened by shelving, if only for losing that name.
Greatness Thrust. Because YA contemp Shakespeare retelling from Malvolio’s point of view. You can’t have this idea. I wants it muchly. Someday.
Fuel For Empaths. Because YA contemp mystery with that element of magical realism, or as I like to call it: the is-this-magic-or-just-life? factor. To understand what I mean, I advise reading THE SPELLBOOK OF LISTEN TAYLOR by Jaclyn Moriarty. I still wonder about that to this day.
On Very Thin Ice. With my love of ice-skating as well as my love of mysteries, a combination of the two had to hit my neuronal relays at some point! I even penned a character list with all the tropes – teen girl sleuth, policeman dad (yay, parents in YA fiction!), corrupting success, and secret homosexual romances.
I’m not kidding. It has been remarked that Marple is full of lesbians.
And one day I might write a YA fantasy retelling of Ovid’s poem about Phaethon. Yay, A Level Latin literature! (That may sound sarcastic, but I seriously miss reading Ovid. He had that level of facetiousness and retrospective narrative that only historical writers seemed to have.)
Following that parathesised remark, I’d like to experiment with an unreliable or active third-person narrator. For some of this, go to the Dieselpunk Opera and check out songs like ‘Going’ and ‘Finale’, where Lloyd is all but transcendent.
There we go. Whilst I have active WIPs and shelved and forgotten pieces of prose, we writers also have ideas that are cast aside before they’ve even been formulated. I think the major problem with shiny new ideas for prolific and varied-genre writers (of which I am), is that we end up planning them or writing such blurbs for them before we can stop ourselves. And then we either continue or we have to sadly pass over them in, ahem, ‘favour’ for editing or fast writing.
On that note, NaNo is almost over and, unlike I did last year, I promise to give you a proper breakdown. And, having written an entire novel-sized piece (and not finished), I almost ready to officially reveal its name. 😉