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choppy
May 28th, 2003, 07:04 PM
So you finally have some time to write. You've got music to write to in the CD player, a laptop that won't crash, and nimble fingers just aching to get to work.

But you need some inspiration - an idea - something - anything!

Why is it that the brain is full of wonderful ideas the night before a mid-term, but it can't even come up with a single sentence that doesn't sound like crap the day after finals?

Welcome to the PRIMER thread!

Here's a spot where we can all put up thoughts and ideas to inspire our fellow authors. It's not so much a place for "complete story ideas" rather, it's a spot where we can direct those little quirky bursts of inspiration to "get the ball rolling."

Is there something you've always wanted to see in speculative fiction?

Is there something you think can't be done?

Challenge us!

Have you been reading about a recent scientific discovery that fascinates you and wonder how it could affect human kind? Tell us about it.

Did you watch a documentary on Vikings and wonder how it was that they could row across an ocean without dying?

(Okay, well, hopefully you get the idea.)

Here's a few thoughts to start the thread off. Look it up from time to time if you get stuck with a writer's 3D parallelogram.


1. Stuck in the middle with you. Have you ever been caught between a rock and a hard place? Write a tale of three characters - two that can't get along and a third that needs both.

2. Unavoidable collision. Start with two completely unrelated scenes - say a murder in a butcher shop, and a brutal exam in quantum physics - how do the two evolve into one coherent story? Concentrate on a unified theme.

3. "Downloaded superpowers? What the heck? In my day we had to get super power the old fashioned way. We had to expose oursleves to potentially lethal doses of gamma radiation!"

4. How would the world change if something you do every day was suddenly made illegal?
4b. How would the world change if something currently illegal was suddenly allowed?

5. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Killing Dragons - or - Rescuing Princesses for Dummies.

6. Backwards. Start with an ending. Write a paragraph at a time working towards the best hook of your life.

7. Rip off a movie. Sure, it's all been done before. Rewrite your favourite movie, but 1) change all the characters, 2) give it a different setting, 3) add in an element of romance, and 4) have the main character make a distinctly different choice.

8. Knocking on doors. What kinds of things does the paperboy see when he goes collecting on his route?

9. As kids we usually get "Disneyfied" versions of Fairy Tales. Choose a story from your childhood and rewrite it without the "Family" rating.

10. Murder your darlings. We all have unfinished stories tucked away on our hard drives (or in our desks) with characters that we once loved, but have since forgotten about. Dig a few of them up and lock them in a room or strand them on an island (or planet). By the end of the story, only one of them lives.

Pollux V
May 29th, 2003, 10:28 AM
Read Leto's death scene in Dune:

Leto stared across the table, wondering why he waited. The tooth would end it all quickly. Still--it had been good, much of his life. He found himself remembering an antenna kite updangling in the shell blue sky of Caladan, and Paul laughing with joy at the sight of it. And he remembered sunrise here on Arrakis--colored strata of the shield wall mellowed by dust haze.

Leto sense memories rolling in his mind--the old toothless mutterings of hags. The room, the table, the Baron, a pair of terrified eyes--blue within blue, the eyes--all compressed around him in runied symmetry.

There was a man with a boot-toe chin, a toy man falling. The toy man had a broken nose slanted to the left: an offbeat metronome caught forever at the start of an upward stroke. Leto heard the crash of crockery--so distant--a roaring in his ears. His mind was a bin without end, catchnig everything. Everything that had ever been: every shout, every whisper, every...silence.

One thought remained to him. Leto saw it in formless light on rays of black: The day the flesh shapes and the flesh the day shapes. The thought struck him with a sense of fullness he knew he could never explain.

Silence.

Wonderful writing, isn't it?

Sammie
May 29th, 2003, 11:08 AM
9. As kids we usually get "Disneyfied" versions of Fairy Tales. Choose a story from your childhood and rewrite it without the "Family" rating. This i've tried - can be great fun, actually.

One idea i played with for a long time was writing a story that encompassed several fairy tales......but i couldn't straighten out the muddle in my own head enough to make it work!

ceros
June 1st, 2003, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by Sammie
This i've tried - can be great fun, actually.

One idea i played with for a long time was writing a story that encompassed several fairy tales......but i couldn't straighten out the muddle in my own head enough to make it work!

It's called Shrek :)

P.S. Fairy Tales were never meant for children's ears. Search the net and read the original Hansel and Grethel (yes, Grethel) ... quite disturbing really ...

DrBloodmoney1
June 14th, 2003, 01:16 PM
An inspirational quotation:

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you 're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what."

from To Kill a Mockingbird.

One of my favorites. A sentiment that I wish more fantasy writers would express through their characters.

I, Brian
June 15th, 2003, 03:46 AM
That reminds me of a John Wayne quote I can only paraphrase here:

"Being brave isn't about not being scared. Being brave is about being scared as hell but continuing anyway."