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Author: Subject: Ideas to Spare?
quiche
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[*] posted on 6-23-2009 at 09:07 PM
Ideas to Spare?


I usually have tons of ideas that come randomly, but now since I'm trying to come up with something I get nothing...

So anyone have some ideas for me to borrow?

PLEASE HELP!




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[*] posted on 6-23-2009 at 09:34 PM


I was writing a book about a guy who kills an elderly man in a drunk hit-and-run accident. He tells his mistress that he can't leave his wife because his wife has the car and all the evicence of the crime. The girlfriend thinks about whether she should go out on a limb and secure the evidence.
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[*] posted on 6-23-2009 at 09:48 PM


Well, I'm writing a fantasy story about an immortal being who got buried/sealed for pretty long time (not decided yet) and my FMC is in excavation team for the site he buried. It is comedy about concept of immortality and consciousness; being immortal doesn't mean not need eating. He is buried, and apparently "dead" since kind of in mummy form, but conscious.
I know I don't make sense. This is a random story I'm not developed well enough...




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[*] posted on 6-24-2009 at 11:16 AM


I've got some ideas you can borrow if you like any of them, and I've also got some advice which you are free to ignore if you want.

First the ideas.

There's one idea I got from a Charles Shultz quote: "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." I got an image of the world being destroyed at a particular time so places would disappear one time zone at a time. So the main plot would be trying to figure out why it's happening and how to stop it before time runs out. I could never figure out how to make it work but maybe you can.

I also wanted to do a story centered around the epitaph on Shakespeare's grave which says, "Good Friend, for Jesusí sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here:
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones. "
What happens to the person who disturbs his grave?

I also like fairy tale retellings so my mind is full of more of those than I can ever use. One of them is Sleeping Beauty where life went on without her and when she wakes up she finds out her country has been taken over by the father of the prince who woke her. They're not going to be riding into the sunset, I can tell you that much. Another one was The Little Mermaid where she is a siren. There were a lot of ways I considered going with that. I've also always wanted to do a version of Cinderella where the fairy godmother is evil but it hasn't come together yet.

I also wanted to do something with a character who's had a song stuck in his head for years and then he finds out the song was planted there and the lyrics tie into some sort of problem he faces. As you can see, I never got very far with it.

I think that's enough of that. Now I want to tell you about a method I came up with last week for coming up with ideas. I've been all over the internet and I've seen all kinds of prompts and various kinds of inspiration. So last week I decided to mix a bunch of prompts together. I've tried a bunch of different mixes of pictures and songs and quotes and those "basic plots" I've heard it said that all stories break down into. I looked for ways to try to tie everything together and as I did that a story formed in my mind.

I posted about this in my livejournal and did a much better job explaining there, so if you want to look here's the link: http://adele118.livejournal.com/1774.html There's not much else there right now because I just started it last week for no real reason.

I hope something in here helped.
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[*] posted on 6-24-2009 at 11:30 AM


um...ideas...
well, when i was a kid i wrote this series about these street rats who found out they had magic and were taken away to a different planet to learn how to use it, and turns out the girl street rat was abandoned by her mom b/c her mom got stolen away and her mom is now queen of that planet.
...
*hangs head* it sounds so stupid now. it was really cute!!!




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quiche
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[*] posted on 6-26-2009 at 09:56 PM


Whoa. Great ideas! I was listening to a song when a MAJOR plot bunny hit me smack dab in the face!

It's called "Labels" and it's about a girl who's a writer and trying her best not to be cliche. Each chapter is a "label" (geek, jock, etc.) and teaches her a lesson...I don't know.

What I do know is that it won't be drafted in time for this year's JulNoWriMo...next year's definitely.

Thanks everyone! Cool ideas!




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[*] posted on 6-27-2009 at 01:33 PM


I had two ideas that I can't decide between. The first is set in the early 1800s and involves a girl who has been recently jilted by her fiance. The story revolved around her and her sisters.

The second is about a woman who runs a cafe and each section would be about the different customers/

Now that I've written that out it seems sort of lame...:embarrassed:




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[*] posted on 6-27-2009 at 03:11 PM


My film instructor in college gave us a great assignment once for spawning ideas. We picked a genre out of a hat, then everyone was given a line and and to two "props" they had to include in a story of that genre. It may not meet your needs exactly, but it might help you generate some thoughts.

STEP 1:First, let's randomize a genre for you. Here's a list of literary genres:
Autobiography, Memoir, Spiritual autobiography
Biography
Erotic literature
Fable, Fairy tale, Folklore
Adventure novel
Comic novel
Crime fiction
Detective fiction
Fantasy
Alternate history
Comic fantasy
Contemporary fantasy
Urban fantasy
Fairytale fantasy
Heroic fantasy
High fantasy
Historical fantasy
Celtic fantasy
Steampunk
Medieval fantasy
Prehistoric fantasy
Juvenile fantasy
Romantic fantasy
Science fantasy
Planetary romance
Sword and Planet
Superhero fantasy
Sword and sorcery
Gothic fiction
Historical fiction
Holocaust
Horror
Medical novel
Mystery fiction
Philosophical novel
Political fiction
Romance novel
Historical romance
Saga, Family Saga
Satire
Science fiction
Cyberpunk
Slave narrative
Stream of consciousness
Thriller
Conspiracy fiction
Legal thriller
Psychological thriller
Spy fiction/Political thriller
Medical Thriller
Tragedy
Wuxia (Chinese Martial arts stories)

Copy and paste the list above - feel free to take out genres that hold no interest for you, or add some you think were overlooked. Paste the list in the Random List Generator, found here: http://www.random.org/lists/ - whatever comes out as number 1 on your list is your genre. No switching - use what you get.


STEP 2: Random line to include - it sounds silly, but having a line to work in forces you to conceive a plot where the line would be plausible

Decide if you want your line to be humorous or serious, and then use this tool to generate a line (use the English translation): http://www.smartphrase.com/cgi-bin/randomphrase.cgi


STEP 3: Prop/item/picture to include - Take the middle picture in the second row on Flickr's "Interesting Last 7 Days" (http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/)... whatever is pictured must be included in your story (whether it be the scenery, an item featured, or a person). Hit the "reload" button and also include a second item (middle picture, 2nd row).

-----

It's not what you asked for, but it's a really helpful exercise to jump start some ideas.

Our story for class, for example, was a comedy featuring a deck of cards, handcuffs, and the line "dang, it's hot in here." We ended up with a really fun piece about a boy who handcuffs himself in his apartment after getting a tarot card reading, because he thinks something terrible will happen if he goes outside - the heat makes him skimpy down to his undies, accidentally tossing the handcuff key across the room when he takes off his pants and leaving him in a very compromising situation - I won't keep boring you with details, but trying to come up with a story that featured the line, the handcuffs and the cars prominently led to a really fun short film that practically wrote itself.

[Edited on 6-27-2009 by zigidoll]




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[*] posted on 6-27-2009 at 04:18 PM


Keiko's idea with the time zones reminded me of a fact: It takes 8 minutes for light to travel from the sun to the earth. So, if the sun were destroyed, it would be 8 minutes before we witnessed it. That could probably be incorporated into a science-fiction or fantasy story, perhaps on a planet where it took longer than 8 minutes?

Other prompts? Items of significance; watches, photographs, a monogrammed handkerchief, matchbook holders made in the trenches of WWI.
Scientists believe that mitochondria (in cells) were originally some type of bacteria or other organism that invaded cells and are now in a symbiotic relationship with us. Mitochondria have a separate set of DNA than yours, passed down mother-to-child. I think the fact that we have ancient bacteria in our cells is pretty interesting, and maybe something could be done with the DNA. And speaking of vestigial structures, the ribcage? Legs, for our ancient ancestors. Neat. And I completely went biology nerd just there. Heh heh.
Also, mysterious music box tunes. You can never have enough of those.

Edit: Wrote 8 seconds. Meant 8 minutes. If it was 8 seconds... well, that's a bit close for comfort. ^_^; That's a factor of sixty, right there.

[Edited on 6-28-2009 by Corrupted_Apple]
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[*] posted on 6-28-2009 at 06:03 AM


I have to try that method Zigidoll!



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[*] posted on 6-28-2009 at 05:56 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by glittermusings
I have to try that method Zigidoll!


If you really stick to it and don't let yourself cheat (it's so tempting to go "eww, I don't like that, maybe I'll shuffle the pictures again"), I swear you can come up with the most creative things.

Admittedly, I'm better at it when I talk through options with my writing partner, but still - it forces you to push yourself. It's amazing all the connections the brain can make with a list of unrelated things!

It worked so well for us in school, that we used the method again to come up with a script for our final; both pieces turned out really to be A+ projects.




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[*] posted on 6-30-2009 at 04:34 PM


zigidoll I did that and have an idea now.

Fairytale fantasy (second was comic fantasy so I may combine the two--I think I write decent comedy)

Quote "What would you do if I kissed you right now?" (didn't really like that but the other ones after were cheesy pick up lines and wanted to keep the first anyway)

The photos and their names
"The flower ballerina"
and
"Raindrops and a Ladybug"


And for some odd reason those can fit together.... maybe...

Thanks!
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[*] posted on 6-30-2009 at 07:51 PM


I hope it helps you, Debbi!

(I think I need to find a back-up place to randomize lines... there are several options in there that end up sounding cheesy -- you're right)

Best of luck; those elements sounds really cute for a fairytale fantasy! Now, if only I could sit down and finish my own outline rather than procrastinating, reading this thread...




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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 06:23 PM


easiest thing to do is get away from the blank page. go and read a paper, you could spark an idea there, or go to a museum and see if anything inspires you. no one can give away ideas, it's what you do with the world around you that makes you and your writing unique.

good luck.




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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 09:34 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by trilli
easiest thing to do is get away from the blank page. go and read a paper, you could spark an idea there, or go to a museum and see if anything inspires you. no one can give away ideas, it's what you do with the world around you that makes you and your writing unique.

good luck.


Can I second that? Seriously, here's what's been happening to me every time I go out of the house lately: I see someone, notice something about them, and think, "I wonder how they got like that," or "Wouldn't it be weird if that person...?" It's great, and if you can fit enough of them together you can get a story idea easy. And if you don't know the people, or even if you do, you aren't limited in your imaginings to the real world. You can see someone walking or running through a library and think "What if they were blind and somehow functioned, say, using echolocation like a bat?" (Totally happened to me today. I fails.)
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[*] posted on 7-12-2009 at 09:54 PM


Hey, Keiko? May I please steal your idea of the world coming to an end one time zone at a time? I think I could make it work. Thank you!



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[*] posted on 7-30-2009 at 10:26 AM


@Knowlege_Master

Sorry, I haven't been on here in a while and I just came back and noticed your post. I hope the idea works out better for you than it did for me; I could never make it work. Good luck with it.
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