All posts tagged plot-idea

IWSG – Another Plot Up For Adoption

Published August 2, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

A week or so ago, I came up with something really pertinent I wanted to say this month about writing, possibly something I thought of because of July CampNaNo.  Whatever it was, I forgot it almost immediately, and I never have remembered it.  Soooooo…posting something else instead.

I thought I could share a plot idea — or maybe it’s only a situation — that might make a really nice story in the right hands, but those certainly aren’t my hands.  (It’s not the kind of thing I write.  It’s not even the kind of thing I usually read.)

The way I came up with this idea is as follows:  I work at a museum, and I’ve been cataloging some old documents that have been in the collection for ages, but haven’t been properly scanned and transcribed until now.  Some of the ones I’ve done lately have been letters from 1904 and 1905, from a man attached to the Japanese Pavilion at the St. Louis World’s Fair to the widow of one of the two men to whom the museum is dedicated.  There’s nothing even the slightest bit suggestive about these letters; he’s just being polite and friendly to a woman who was friendly to him, and whose late husband was an author whose works he admires.

But the fact that he wrote to her repeatedly (and that she kept the letters) always sets my writer’s soul twitching.  So the plot I’m releasing to the world is something like this:

An older man from Japan (say late 50s, early 60s, either single or a widower) comes to America for the World’s Fair, where he meets a woman some five to ten years younger than himself, a society widow, and she works in one of the ladies’ committees associated with the fair, so they end up seeing a lot of each other.  Slowly, they fall in love, but there are all sorts of social obstacles from both cultures, so it’s not just about their love, but also about whether or not they can bring themselves to defy the rigorous social conventions among which they were raised.  (St. Louis’s 1904 fair or Chicago’s 1893 fair would both work equally well for this, though I don’t know off-hand if there was any Japanese presence at the Chicago fair.)  Depending on the genre, they might well prefer society to love.


ISWG – A fun idea

Published September 7, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Rather than drone on about my problems the way I usually do, I thought I’d shake things up by providing a…well, I’m not sure I’d call it a “useful service” but I guess I could call it a “possible contribution, maybe.”  In other words, I thought I’d toss out an idea I had that would make for a wonderful book.  One which I’m utterly incapable of writing, personally, but which I’d love to read.

This came up indirectly as I was working on my current piece.  Shortly after I revealed the surprising news(?) that the late 30s rock star in a career downswing loves to play Atari games (it is set in 1984, mind you), I also found myself giving him a passion for Jane Austen novels.  The reasoning made sense, though I’m not positive it lines up perfectly with everything that came before.  (But I like it, so it’s staying anyway.)

Anyway, then I was thinking about ways to keep working with that — rather than simply leaving it as a throw-away aside — and came up with a conversation between him and his boyfriend where they’re discussing how people would have coped with non-standard sexualities back in that time period.  I probably won’t actually write the conversation (it’s just one I thought of while I was trying to get to sleep the other night) because it would turn into a history lecture filled with information that neither of them realistically would know.  (The boyfriend is a reporter, not a historian.  And they’re both bisexual, rather than homosexual, so they would have had less impetus to have studied the history of the sexual persecution gays have faced over the centuries.  Plus most of the scholarship on the subject was written post-1984.)

More importantly, I realized that it would be totally cool to read a book like that.  It seems to be a Jane Austen-style drawing room story, only then we follow one of the handsome (because aren’t they all handsome?) gents home and find that he’s only doing what society tells him he’s supposed to, and that he actually loves another man.

For all I know, there are probably a lot of books like that out there already.  (If there are, I’d love to be pointed towards some good ones!)

But if there aren’t already books like that out there, then there really need to be!

And I can’t possibly write one, because my writing lacks any emotional strength, depth or maturity.  And this kind of book would need all three of those.  Plus a level of research that I don’t have time for at present.

Plot up for adoption

Published June 19, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Okay, that may be a strange way to put it, and maybe “plot” is over-stating what I’ve got here.  But this is something I know I’ll never get around to writing.  So I thought I’d just put it out onto the ‘net in case anyone else wanted to use it.

This is more a kernel of a situation, a set-up, than a true plot, really.

So you know the old folklore motif about the “seventh son of the seventh son” being blessed with x, y or z great power?  (Yes, you can easily guess what movie I was watching when I thought of this.)  So I’m pretty sure that somewhere, in something, I’ve seen the same apply to the “seventh daughter of a seventh daughter.”  (In all honesty, I suspect it was in Discworld.  But I’m not positive about that.)

Anyway!  In a world where both the seventh son of a seventh son and the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter is blessed with power, what happens when the following situation occurs?

A seventh son and a seventh daughter marry.  They have six sons and six daughters, and then their next child is born XXY.  (Though most likely this would not be set in world where chromosomes would be acknowledged and understood, mind you.)  So not quite a boy and not quite a girl…and thus having access to whatever benefits would be gained from both the seventh son of the seventh son and the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter.

Technically, I suppose that’s actually just describing who and what the protagonist is more than the plot or even the set-up, really.

Anyway, as I said, I think this could yield a really interesting character/story, but it’s not something I’d ever get around to writing.  (I’m probably never even going to get around to writing half the things I feel more determined to write as it is!)  But I wanted to give this character/story a chance at life despite my lack of time to write that life, so I thought I’d put this tiny seed out there in case anyone else wanted to nurture it.  (Especially since what I’d have written probably wouldn’t have lived up to the idea’s potential anyhow.  My writing usually does that.)

This set-up could be great for a Young Adult novel with a transgender lead, since the protagonist literally isn’t sure if she’s a boy or if he’s a girl.  I know there’s a need for more diversity in Young Adult novels, so if any aspiring authors looking to write fantasy (?) YA think this sounds promising, please take as much or as little of this set-up as you’d like!  (Not that there’s really much to take, of course.)

(Given how little I’ve provided, I obviously don’t require any credit in return, though I would love to read any stories/novels born out of this tiny seed, so please let me know about it if you write anything!)

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