Thursday, May 27, 2010

Idea Clearinghouse

I'm besieged by ideas.  They come at me from all angles all the time.  It's kind of a blessing and a curse.  I'll be watching TV or driving or taking a shower and BAM! crazy idea comes into my head.

Anyway.  More often than not, I write the idea down somewhere and move along.  I have notes on my computer, little moleskine notebooks everywhere, sticky notes on my desk.  The ideas sometimes mate and produce other ideas.  Sometimes I can't stop thinking about an idea and I try to develop it.  But often times I come up with an idea that I know isn't me.  I love the idea, but I can't imagine I'd ever write it.  I read this article by China Mieville where he talked about coming up with ideas that he knew he wasn't the right person to write them.  And I often feel that way too.

So every once in a while, I'm going to dump some ideas into the public consciousness.  If you want them, they're yours.

1.  Imagine a world where vampires, werewolves, faeries, sirens, banshees, and every other paranormal creature you can think of turns out to be real.  One day they decide to come out of hiding and join society.  They try to get jobs, they try to marry, they try to fit into society, but it doesn't work well.  The government begins tagging them and rounding them up and forcing them to live on "reservations."  The story begins when the monsters kidnap the president's young son and then barricade themselves in their reservation.  Every week that the boy isn't returned, the government kills two of the monsters.  The story tells of the years where the boy grows to manhood in secrecy.  It's a mixture of The Graveyard Book and The Diary of Anne Frank.

2.  It's a proven fact that you can teach a skill to a flatworm, grind it up, and feed it to other flatworms, and they'll inherit that skill.  Imagine if this were true of people.  In this story, it is.  The tale is of two narratives:  one is a prisoner working toward his parole.  The prison system has been overhauled, and all prisoners are now taught valuable skills to survive in the outside world.  They study law and medicine and science and math.  But the dark secret is that sometimes, they disappear.  They too are ground up.  They're used to create pills to teach the very rich the skills that they've learned.  Want to learn French?  There's a pill for that.  The second narrative follows a budding journalist who uncovers this dark secret.  When armed men come after him, he has to find the one person who can expose the whole truth, and save the life of his soon-to-be paroled father.

3.  August J. Ostermyer was a spy during the second World War.  But he's now slowly dying in a nursing home.  His memories are confused because of Alzheimer's and he hasn't got a clue who he really is.  A young volunteer named Joe spends hours listening to the old man's stories, never knowing what to believe.  But there's a connective thread to every story:  a black-haired woman that stole his heart.  But her identity is a mystery.  Using August J. Ostermyer's stories, the troubled Joe goes on an adventure through Europe, following the clues to unravel the 21 lives of August J. Ostermyer and find the woman he loved before the old man dies.

Run free little ideas, and bog down my notebooks no more!

Do you all have any ideas that you think someone else would be better at writing?  Share away!


  1. Oh Geez! Now I have your ideas bogging down in my mind.

    Monsters in jail learning French are ground up to be fed to people in nursing homes as miracle pills for Alzheimer's, and the black haired journalist that Joe travels Europe to find who knows the terrible secret but must run from the government while falling in love with the President's son who stole her heart but plans to kill her soon-to-be paroled father.

  2. I really love the last two.

  3. Michelle: I LOVE your idea. But better they bog someone else rather than me :)

    Ashley: Take them! They're yours :)


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