View Full Version : Free range ideas...

Cathy C
07-04-2011, 12:43 AM
This is sort of a weird topic for a thread and I couldn't decide where to put it, so the Mod here (or a supermod) can change it if they like.

I remember reading once a foreword to one of Stephen King's novels where he was responding to the thousands of fans who had asked "Why do you write horror?" He answered: "Because it's how my mind works." He gave a scenario where he, Agatha Christie, Danielle Steele and Louis L'Amour were kidnapped and taken to the middle of nowhere. There was a tree, a pond and a wide open grassy plain. The authors were all told to write a story about the scene. He said that Louis would probably write about a range war over rights to the water in the pond. Dame Christie would write about a drowning in the pond and catching the murderer. Danielle would write about a secret tryst or romantic picnic under the tree. And Stephen . . . well, he would probably write about something ancient and horrible rising up from the depths of the pond that kills the cows, the ranchers, the lovers and the detectives. It's just how his mind works.

Now, all that said, there have been a number of authors who have put ideas and worlds up to the public. Open source worlds for anyone to play in. Something I thought might be fun would be for people here to post up ideas they had that either they don't quite know what to do with, or they don't really want to write. The only rules would be: 1) anyone can play with the world, the genre, characters or the plot; and 2) if a story/book is eventually published using the idea, you give credit to the poster in the acknowledgments.

Anyone want to play? I'll be happy to start with a western comedy I just couldn't pull off:

I had an idea for a story set in Texas with cowboys on a drive. It opens like a normal cattle drive with the protagonist being a new employee of the ranch. But he discovers that they aren't ranching cattle. They're ranching armadillos, and the 'dilboys' drive them toward a neighboring ranch to destroy the crops by digging holes everywhere. Actually, they're only driving them BACK to the other ranch, because the other ranch started it. A few flashes in my head had them "rousing" the herd at daybreak by digging up the armadillos with a shovel and pushing them along the sand with brooms after they roll up in a ball.

Weird. But I couldn't make it work. It could be a very fun story to someone who can pull it off (or heck, maybe it's a horror novel or romance instead... ;) )

07-04-2011, 06:17 AM
Well Cathy, your idea made me break my vow not to post anymore. I definitely see it as a horror novel with the cowboys contracting a virulent strain of leprosy from the armadillos (the bacteria's real-life reservoir host) and body parts falling off everywhere throughout the West. It would be set in the city of Armadillo, Texas. Call it Lonesome Dillo. I can here the theme song now: "Rollin', rollin', rollin' . . . .

07-04-2011, 06:48 AM
I'll give one, if anyone wants something for the younger reader:

A city boy gone to stay with his aunt and uncle for the summer picks up what he thinks is a dud emu egg from their ranch to take home as a souvenir / science project. After following the directions he's found online for how to hatch an egg, it hatches.

He didn't expect it to hatch first of all, as he thought it was a dud, but 2nd, what came out of it wasn't an emu, but an Urvogel, a winged/ feathered dinosaur that's only supposed to exist as a fossil in Europe.

Chaos, mayhem, danger, and perhaps a reality show (just kidding) ensues when he calls the bird-wrangling uncle to help him deal with this creature that's getting way too much attention, including someone from the museum where the egg was stolen, the guy who stole it, and the gov't of the country where the egg was found demanding the return of their "national treasure".