Anyone up for a fiction idea exchange?
Sometimes I come up with an idea for a story, but it doesn’t quite resonate with me, or doesn’t feel developed enough to work on right away. When this happens, I write the idea down as a possible seed for future stories, because maybe it’ll work for me better when I’m in a different mood, or maybe it will be a subplot for a novel I write in the future.
I was thinking about all the other fiction writers out there who must have the same sort of stash of story ideas, or ‘seeds,’ that I do. A list of story ideas that they may or may not ever use. What if there was a place that we could all share them? This would not only give life to old ideas we may never use, but it would give us a place to go when we just can’t figure out what to write next.
What if someone steals my idea and gets published? you ask. I am not talking about sharing entire plot outlines or first drafts. I am thinking much smaller.
If I tell you about my idea to write a dystopian story about a society where global warming and fuel shortages have gotten so bad that employers are required by law to allow full-time employees to live in offices with their families (which are air conditioned in summer and heated in winter), and then you put that in your story, with an actual plot, you did all the work. I will take a thanks in the acknowledgements if you remember though .
One small idea like this could add to different writer’s stories in such different ways. For one writer it is just background. For another it becomes a major challenge for a character who needs to find a full time job because it’s been a brutal winter and one of their children is near dying from the brutal cold.
So, I propose a fiction writer’s seed swap right here and now. I will share a few idea seeds for fiction stories, and please, anyone who wants to share their unused (or even slightly used) seeds, feel free to do so in the comments below, or blog about them and share a link to your blog below. Share a situational idea (what if…), a setting idea, a magical power, a character. Whatever you want to share (but lets keep it under 200 words per seed please).
Please Note: This blog entry and its comments are a copyright free zone. If you put it out here to share, it must be your own, and it is to be shared free of charge.
Seed 1: What if you were held up at gun point? You gave the man your purse (or wallet), and he ran off. But he was never caught.
What if a month later your home was destroyed in a tornado/hurricane/earthquake/tsunami and you met the man who’d pointed a gun at you, while waiting in line for assistance at a shelter? He is carrying his injured daughter in his arms, and has another child hanging on his coattail. You hear him tell someone else in the line that their mother didn’t make it.
Seed 2: Judy is a self righteous woman on a tour in Egypt. Given free time to wander around the ruins of a temple in a remote location she loses track of time and the tour bus leaves without her. She doesn’t speak Arabic, nor does she understand (or care about) the culture. You might say she is so uneducated about Egyptian culture that it scares her. What should Judy do?