A Set of Writing Ideas - Part 1

I've written down a few dozen ideas over the last couple of months. Just small notes. I probably don't even remember what some of them mean. Here are the first five.


In China the government decided to build a huge city, a gigantic city. A city for millions of people. But, they built this city without any people being there. That's the kind of thing that happens in a centrally planned (read dictatorship) country. Then, when they opened it up for people to move there almost no one did. Now there's this huge city with not very many people in it. How odd.

Something similar to that happened in Myanmar, once called Burma, although it's odder still. They built this massive city and made it the capital of the country, but they won't allow almost anyone to live there. It's the size of New York City, but only a few thousand people live there. There are huge highways, with no cars driving down them.

What's up with these giant construction projects that appear to make no sense? Some people theorize that they have been used to cover up large military projects. That might be, especially in the case of Myanmar where they won't allow any foreigners into the city. I think either way there are many potential story ideas there.


In the mystical lands of Iceland and Ireland there is still talk of fairies. I would love to go walk around the open country in both places in search of fairies and fairyland. A travel book "In Search of the Fairies of Iceland and Ireland" would be fun to write.


West Michigan and the Netherlands have a lot in common. There are a lot of Dutch in West Michigan. There are Dutch Reformed churches, a large tulip festival, towns called Holland and Zeeland, and a wooden shoe factory. In a tourist site called the Dutch Village there is a small statue that talks about "Pieter and the Dike". It's an old legend about a boy that saves his village from flooding by plugging a leak in the dike with his finger. I think it would be fun to write that story twelve completely different ways, just to play with it.


"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is one of the great books. It's also small, was written in six weeks, and was self-published, which is all rather fascinating. It's a story about transformation. Scrooge is successful, as in he has money and career success, but he's basically a horrible human being. The book does a good job of showing how he came to be that way, how the world hardened him. The transformation he goes through over the Christmas season is a softening of his soul to the trials and travails of others. Making him both a successful and kind person.

What if that was done in reverse? What if we have the kind person who is a loser, in the technical sense. They do not have money, and they don't have a successful career. Maybe the story is instead the story of them realizing that they must harden themselves for the struggle that is called for in the world so that they can succeed. And only through success can they make a real impact. It's an interesting idea to play with.


"There's No Such Thing as a Dragon" by Jack Kent is one of the greatest children's books ever written. "Self-Deception Explained" by Jordan Peterson is one of the greatest psychology papers ever written. They cover the same subject. A million interesting stories can be written around this same theme.

The dragon in the story is a problem, a problem that grows when it's ignored. What if instead of a fairly innocent dragon it was a malevolent dragon? What if it was a corrupt boss? A mean spouse? Bribery in a local government? Oppression of views in a church? These are all the same overarching problem in that to ignore them is to let them grow.

As Jordan Peterson says in the previously mentioned paper:

"This might be regarded as the “whistling in the dark” hypothesis: self-deceivers allow themselves to remain blithely and blissfully unaware in an environment rendered increasingly dangerous by their inaction."

The hero in this case is the person that stands up for confronting the problem. As Jack Kent explains in his book:

"I don't mind dragons THIS size," said Mother.
"Why did it have to grow so BIG?"
"I'm not sure," said Billy, "but I think it just wanted to be noticed."

Finis (that's Latin for conclusion)

I have many more ideas, even better ideas, that I will write about in the near future.


Read more of Jeff's thoughts at: http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/


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