I took a long walk out of town and treated myself to a large cup of coffee at Costa while thinking these up. I was the only person drinking coffee, but that might have been because it was three in the afternoon on a Sunday and it was hot enough to hard boil an egg by holding it up to the sun. Regardless, the cup saved the day, and I managed to develop ten whole story hooks. Why stories? Because I’m definitely not going to spend all my time on business (I’m thinking maybe once a week?), and I’ve always fancied writing. I’m not very good at it, but this whole project kind of helps with that! Without further ado..
- Pianist born with twelve fingers cuts off two to make a point. I envisaged this as a ‘rise and fall’ story of someone with a mutation whom is always causing his actual ability to be second-guessed. In the end, he would cut off his extra fingers and.. Well, who knows. Maybe he’d still be awesome! Or maybe he’d be bloody awful. Either way, instant depth!
- [Redacted for highly personal reasons]. Brilliant, Matt. Can’t share that on a family blog. Okay, this isn’t a family blog, but I’m not going to share this one because it’s horrible and personal and you can’t make me tell you it. Imagine it’s about Edward Snowden or something.
- Girl forgets she saved the world, hilarity when she’s needed once again. I think I stole this from Doctor Who. Yeah, pretty sure this partially happens to one of the characters. I saw this idea being more like an adventure story where the protagonist learns more about her incredible past while feeling increasingly insecure about her current lack of ability. Does she become a world-saving bad-ass once again? Or is she doomed to never live up to her previous life’s legacy?
- Renowned duellists and friends end up on opposite sides of a war. You know, this sounds pretty typical. Duellists also don’t tend to fight like duellists on the actual battlefield, so that whole subtlety thing is lost. Maybe in the end they decide to solve the whole war with a final duel, and they both die to illustrate the futility of war and how it ruins lives, etc, etc.
- Warlock summons younger version of himself by accident, can’t remember being summoned but receives memories on time delay. This is probably when the coffee started to kick in. It’s actually kind of the reverse plot twist of a show whose name I can’t mention now, because it’s the primary plot twist. Anyway, in our reversal.. A warlock does some warlocky stuff, and summons his younger self. If you do that, you should remember being summoned, right? The summoner doesn’t. But instead, he starts to vaguely ‘remember’ things that his younger self does when he’s not around the summoner.. Like one-way telepathy.
- Time traveller attempts to engineer the singularity. The singularity is one of those hot topics that keeps getting hotter whenever AI makes another advance. There’s a popular belief going around right now that the singularity is pretty close! Let’s imagine it’s not so close after all. In fact, it’s so far away that backwards-only time travel gets invented first. Why waste time waiting for the singularity? Just keep carrying technology slightly further backwards in time, pulling the singularity closer and closer forward in human history. Surely there’s no side-effects to that sort of meddling. Can I hear a butterfly?
- Man surrounds himself with people to get himself out of a writing slump a la Proust.. But they’re all boring people. I don’t know if you heard, but Marcel Proust apparently got most of his inspiration for ‘In Search of Lost Time’ from his days wallowing around France’s social scenes, eventually converting all of that snobbery and decadence into a huge novel. It’s not unreasonable to think someone might take away the wrong message from such an experience and start bumming around themselves..
- Woman flees society, lives on isolated moon planet, now has to deal with previously undiscovered natives. ‘Castaway’ with aliens. What? Aren’t I allowed to have pulpy ideas?
- Human error/Mother Nature shuts down the Internet and telecommunications forever. Who will survive, and what will be left of them? There’s a fair bit of literature out there concerning the knock-on effects on nuclear war. One common theme is that communication gets shunted back to the dark ages. I want that, but without the nuclear war. Save my data from that, cloud!
- Intergalactic rest stop comes under threat of closure, employees travel across the galaxy to try and save it. Equal parts Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Clerks and Lord of the Rings. Resteroid 24601 is under threat of closure, and only a rag-tag crew of the night shift manager (night? In space?), his staff, and a very confused singularity-seeking time traveller can save it.
“Matt, you only wrote 9 ideas because you’re holding one back, you selfish git!” Yes, I know. Here’s a bonus: Edward Snowden steals blogger’s secret idea, threatens to tell the world unless blogger breaks into the NSA mainframe. Come on guys, that one was a freebie. You can’t expect them to all be amazing.