Friday, December 10, 2010

Cthulhu Sleeps

Ideas. I have bags of them. Remember in the blog where I said I always fancied myself as an ideas man, but I wouldn't even know how to promote myself as one. "Hi, I have great ideas! Who says so? Well, I do! Okay, I'll try not to let the door smack me on the arse on my way out!" ...

The problem is I rarely do anything with them and even when I do they rarely get past the first draft stage. Take Dead Girls for instance. I was looking at the umpteen different versions, stages and notes I've made on the idea. It's a rounded idea; in fact, its a perfectly formed skeleton. it just has no flesh.

That got me thinking and looking. About a year ago I wrote down a lot of my ideas and saved them in a file, more for posterity than because I believed I would ever do anything with them. You see, over the years, I've had a lot of ideas that appear to have become other people's ideas, either conceptually or almost completely. I even had this bizarre notion that the world was in fact a complete construct of my imagination and everything that happens in it only happens after I've thought about it first. That's the kind of thing a once drug addled mind contemplates. The thing is its happened with comics, with stories in TV shows and even feature films. In reality, it just proves that there's nothing new under the sun and that if you have an idea someone else will also have the same idea.

So, I've got this file with x number of ideas in it and all it is ever going to do is sit there gathering cyber dust; why not reprint the ideas in this blog, so that down the line I can say, "Hey, that was my idea!" or "See, I had that idea first!" or even, "That shit head Michael Bay has stolen my blockbuster idea and turned it into a crap movie!"

The list of ideas that follows consists of things that range from one to several lines - they are embryos and nothing more, but I figured it might be a bit of fun for you to see how my mind occasionally works...

15 ideas

1. “Time Anarchy” – When time travel technology is stolen, a group known as The Tempus Fugitives begin to travel back in time, leaving modern artefacts to disrupt the space time continuum.

2. “Nightcrawlers” – The obelisk in Zaper – a small sleepy Cornish hamlet – is demolished in 1989 to make way for a development, but 20 years later, there is just a reinforced steel fence around the site. The company that owns the site refuses to talk to anyone and Zaper no longer has any inhabitants.

3. “The White Fathers” – two ancient tablets hidden centuries in the past are discovered by a sinister organisation, three children are charged with the task of ensuring the third and all important tablet does not fall into the wrong hands.

4. “Juxtaposition” – Bob is a 40-something jobbing roadie, who just happens to be in the right place at the right time to save the life of a young pop sensation. Bob is happily married with two kids, but the star becomes obsessed with the man who saved her life and decides he deserves better. It's The Fan in reverse!

5. “You are Here” – a family becomes separated by something unexplainable in the middle of a hot, dry, summer day, that never seems to end. They can all see each other but can't communicate and it soon becomes apparent they are all in different realities, each with their own threats and dangers...

6. “Succubus” – a famous writer’s wife dies in tragic circumstances, but within a week of her death, no one but her husband remembers her and then all evidence of her existence begins to vanish.

7. “Conversations with God” – When a lift breaks down for two hours, one of the two occupants of the car claims to be God.

8. “Ghost Writer” – an untalented writer begins to write blockbusters; his secret is he has the ghost of a dead unpublished novelist producing his work for him.

9. “Second Contact” – Aliens have arrived on Earth and are greeted as the first ‘other’ race in the universe, but they were preceded several years earlier by others and the safety of them and Earth is suddenly in jeopardy.

10. “From the Beach” – five people turn up on a deserted beach; where are they from, what do they want? Why is one of them wearing animal skins? Why has another got a futuristic weapon?

11. “Alone” - Michael lives alone in his house with his dogs, he has chickens in the garden and he has no contact with any of his neighbours. Gradually you realise that he has no neighbours; in fact, no one lives on his street, or in his town, his country of his world. He is alone in the world and everyone else is gone.

12. "Cosmopolis" - Set 1 million years in the future where every living being in the universe lives inside a massive Dyson Sphere. The construct is so large it has taken every atom in the entire universe to build it, leaving the rest of the known galaxy a desert. Everyone lives there, except for the Chinese, who ceded from earth in the 51st Century and have been roving the galaxies as a nomadic race ever since.

13. "Spirits in the Material World" - six ghosts who team up to try and solve the mystery of the world.

14. "Dicky" - a drug loving scientist invents a drug that allows people to experience an entire lifetime in an hour. At the same time a scientist develops the discovery of the millennia, when he creates a power source that can freeze time - indefinitely - with just an AA battery. Anything except for human beings can be frozen in time. If a human undergoes this form of 'stasis' he goes mad and dies. However; administer the drug created by the first scientist and put the person in the stasis created by the second and you have a perfect harmony.

15. "Space Grazer" - the story of how two people created a fantastic kids book about an astronaut cow and his fearless farmyard buddies, but then fall out over creative rights to the point where neither wins but they no longer care about that...

There are about another 100 ideas languishing on my PC, some of them aren't even ideas, they're more like a couple of sentences introducing a character or a concept that I wrote so long ago I can no longer remember why. I have small files with names that make no sense; files that haven't even got titles, just the opening line of whatever I've written.

Obviously, the above list doesn't include such things as The Future, which was the first novel I ever finished - it's crap and I was 18 and it never got past a first draft. The same can be said for Gentle By Name, but that has been edited several times and there are versions where I've attempted to take it to that next step. The aforementioned Dead Girls, the several autobiographical and semi-autobiographical bits of bollocks and a 'book' which I started writing in 1996 which, when I stopped working on it, had not even got to the halfway mark and was over 600,000 words!! When you consider that GBN is a finished work in most ways and it weighs in at 85,000 words, you can see why the 'Tome' as it is occasionally referred to is quite amazing. Also, essentially, it hasn't even got a plot; it's about a couple who win an enormous amount of money on the lottery and how it affects them and the people around them. I stopped working on it when the main male character decided to build a golf course...

Stuff like that isn't what I'd regard as inspirational, despite the fact there was that At Home with the Braithwaites program a few years back, which, essentially, is that idea. But, lets face it, most people dream about winning lots of money - so there's nothing there I could say wouldn't have been considered; well apart from the sex on the dining room table scene - which I hasten to add was not wishful thinking as the person the main character has sex with was a right munter...

1 comment:

  1. I love "Time Anarchy" -- very 2000AD -- if only because of the Fugit/Fugitive pun. I also really like "You Are Here", which seems to me to be the kind of thing M Night Shyamalan would do, only good.

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