Interesting Ideas My Brain Had Recently

My mind has been spinning webs of ideas for fiction. I want to lay out eight of these ideas in writing so that I can start clarifying my thoughts around them.


First

I like the framing that I did with my science fiction short story "The City of Peace." I opened and closed it like a father telling his son a bedtime story. The story was kept in the family, it was about the child's grandfather. Also, only a small piece of a larger story was told, so it naturally lends itself to being serial. This has had me thinking, I could write each chapter as a short story with the same frame of being a bedtime story and grow that into a novel. If I could write a story that children would like, then it would be a story that could be read as a bedtime story. One chapter could be intended to be read each night. String together a series of 28 or 30 short stories in this fashion and you could have one of the greatest bedtime stories of all time. It is an idea that my mind keeps going back to, which is a good indication of my interesting and fascination with the concept.

Here is the link to the story in its original post.
http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/08/the-xprize-writing-contest-part-5-of-5.html

Second

I find it interesting how history becomes legend and then myth. That transformation amazes me. I want to be a part of founding a legend or creating a myth. And, I think I can do it. My short horror story "The Baptism of Hanniba'al" was my exploration in that direction, as well as my first foray into horror, and it went pretty well. Hannibal is a figure that it seems is being lost. Not many people know of him, and he hasn't really turned into legend either. He is just kind of disappearing. There will always be scholarly work on him, but I'm talking more about the general public's view. Hercules may have been partially based on a real person at one time, but now he has fully transformed into myth. Jesse James was a real person, but he is becoming a legend as we speak. Some figures are lost in that process though, they just stay a part of history until they are mostly forgotten. They are perfect for the transmutation process from historical figure to artistic myth. A novel can be formed around a single character for this purpose, or there could be a series of myths generated in a collection. Another interesting idea is to juxtapose truth and fantasy, it might make for an interesting history book, but it might also just be confusing. Include a chapter that details the real history of the situation, and then a fictional chapter, repeat. I'm still milling these ideas over.

Here is the link to the original post for "The Baptism of Hanniba'al."
http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/11/write-michigan-short-story-contest-part_30.html

Third

When I wrote the Hanniba'al story I was debating between that subject or writing about Mithra. Mithra is an old Roman god that we know very little about, but we do have carvings and statues that tell the stories and myths of Mithra. They are just lacking the words. Someone should write an epic poem about these deeds. I'm not sure if I can or if I want to do that, but I think it would be amazing.

Here is where I mention a little about the subject of Mithra.
http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/11/write-michigan-short-story-contest-part.html

Fourth

I think an interesting play could occur with two people having a discussion, and that's the whole thing. Obviously you would want it to be an intense discussion, but there are many of those. There could also be morals to the story, essentially. There could be a whole series of these plays of a discussion.

Here is where I talked a little more about the idea in a past post.
http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2017/08/generating-ideas-for-writing-play-in.html

Fifth

I need to work on my rewriting skills. I basically haven't done that at all. My two short stories will be good practice. Let's assume that the only way I'm going to break into being published by a major publisher is to win a major writing contest or develop a huge following on one of the free writing platforms online. There are other ways, there are many paths, but let's just assume. Both of those are somewhat unlikely, although possible. Let's just assume none of those work out, that means I'm going to be self publishing. Some major writers prefer that anyway. I think it may be useful for me to allow myself the option of publishing revisions fairly often to reduce my resistance to publishing something that isn't perfect. It's just an idea I've been playing with. Either way, I have to work on rewriting.

Sixth

I think that Goldilocks and Humpty Dumpty are both solid stories with solid lessons to be learned, and they can be structural formats. Let's say there is a guy that is lonely and therefore wants a relationship. He goes in way too hot and is way too intense and disasters of various forms naturally ensue. Then, because of that, he backs off way too much and that doesn't work either. Then, after both of those phases he finds just the right balance (balance is my mother's favorite advice), a good relationship, and they live happily ever after. That is a solid story, thanks Goldilocks. Or, how about there is a guy with a great career. But, then something goes seriously awry and his entire life falls apart. We follow him trying to put his life back together again. He may succeed, but maybe all the king's horses and all the king's men can't put his life back together again. That is a pretty classic storyline, thanks Humpty Dumpty.

Seventh

I enjoyed the Choose Your Own Adventure stories when I was in Elementary School. A couple of years ago I was in Las Vegas and had my fortune read on Fremont Street. I think those two things could be combined. What about a framed story that leads into a second person story, maybe even a prophecy so that it can be told in the future tense. A story mostly told in second person future, that is so unusual and so interesting. I could also use an unusual name for the protagonist similar to how Neil Gaiman uses Nobody in "The Graveyard Book", or in "The Adventures of Anybody" by Richard Bandler.

Eighth

I like how Rick Riordan in the Percy Jackson books and George Martin in the A Song of Ice and Fire books use a single and varying character viewpoint according to chapter. Martin Turner talks about colliding narratives in "The One Basic Plot." And, I had a discussion with my Uncle John sometime ago about alternating two character viewpoints according to chapter. I think it would be very interesting if the two didn't interact until the end of the book. Basically, you are telling two stories, each with its own protagonist. But, in the end, they collide. If they are both the protagonist you are rooting for both of them. There is so much conflict for the reader that it just might be an amazing experience. Perhaps they could even be somewhat similar so that the reader has a hard time identifying with one and not identifying with the other. It's an idea that excites me.



Ideas and opportunities are always flowing in abundance. There are so many it is often hard to choose. Luckily I have the rest of my life to write, so I might be able to fit all of these ideas in there. We shall see. Either way, it's an interesting adventure. You are welcome to take a look at what I write next at JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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