The Last of the Ideas List (Part 3 of 3)

And finally, the last of the much too long ideas list (I haven't even mentioned the Tumblr draft section).

  1. unbaptised children who died out of wedlock turned into owly marsh-spirits
  2. X in the style of...
  3. Still on Patrol
  4. Editors are author's bartenders
  5. Super/meta-human schooling
  6. Humans as the galaxy terraformers
  7. "I’m just imagining this knight changing and looking at a pair of breasts like “…Those are new.” "
  8. Abbess Superior of the Authorial Confessional
  9. YA: vet tech for mage/wizards' familiars (dragons, etc.)
  10. Alternate English written as the pronunciation guide to words
  11. Vampires driven off by the Mourner's Kaddish
  12. Rats as psychopomp conductors of human souls to the afterlife
  13. Eclipse Phase Insurance fraud (It's the octopus's fault, okay?)
  14. Motto: Truth, Compassion, and Attention to Detail

The first one came from someone on Tumblr talking about either Swedish or Dutch folklore. When I initially read the post, it sparked an interesting scene in my mind. But I've lost it by now and it's not being recreated by rereading the notes now. I'd either have to read up on Swedish and/or Dutch folklore, which wouldn't be a bad thing. But I've got a long list of ideas I'm still excited to write about. So this one is coming off the list.

#2, X in the Style of ..., came from reading part of the Communist Manifesto in the style of Beowulf and thinking that would be a good exercise, to rewrite something famous in the style of something else from a different time period. This isn't high on the priority list, but I'll get to it eventually. Probably a flash fiction or short story length. 

#3 was, yet again, inspired by a Tumblr post. This one was about submarines: 

There is a tradition in the US Navy that no submarine is ever lost. Those that go to sea and do not return after considered to be "still on patrol."

— pipistrelle

There's definitely something ominous about that—there implication that, one day, they will RETURN from patrol.

— tharook

Space context asap

— bastlynn

There's a few places I can go with this — one, where are the subs, what are they doing? Two, what happens if they weren't wherever they've gone? Three, how have they changed since being gone? And Four, what happens if/when they come back? The idea needs more development though before I figure out which way I want to explore on this and get a guess on length.  

'Editors as author's bartenders' came from doing editing work on Red Markets combining with a scene from The Ship Who Searched (many years ago) where the bartender was also a licensed psychologist. 'Abbess Superior of the Authorial Confessional' came from talking about that editing work with a bunch of friends in a very long running group chat. Either work in my head as the setting of a short story and the vague suggestions of an outline of a plot. 

#5, super/meta-human schooling, is what happens when a bunch of geeks who are fans of a podcast that featured a campaign based on parodying the No Child Left Behind act start talking about a member's new comic book project set in a super-human high school. You end up talking about the ethics of busing non-metahumans into metahuman schools, the meta-teacher to non-meta ratio, after school mentoring programs, and the economics of the private schools snapping up the metahuman teachers on the market. This group is awesome. We frequently sidetrack ourselves into brainstorming gaming scenarios and other writing projects. I'm pretty sure there's enough her (from the teacher's perspectives) for a novella, probably a novel. I'll probably start by exploring the concept through some short stories though. For now, to the length uncertain list. 

#6, Humans as the galaxy terraformers, came from one of the 'humans are the weirdos' threads on Tumblr with the posit that humans evolved on, by galaxy standards, a death planet. And consequently get the 'terrible' planets to colonize and become the galaxy terraformers. Or front line terraforming species. I mentally took that and made the species the galaxy conservationists too. I'm thinking short story on this one. Eventually.

#7 is a quote from the Drunk & Ugly folks. I think. I should have taken notes. Whoops. 

#9 also came from the podcast fans group chat, from one of the members, who is also a writer, talking about their day job as a vet tech and how they wanted to write a story with all the snooty dog owners the encounter as the wizard and mages bringing in their familiars. I thought that sounded like an awesome story seed and shamelessly added it to my ideas list as well. Even if we start at the same core idea, we'll end up in very different places. I have to develop this character and their world more, even just inside my own head, beforeni'll have a feel for how long their story will be. 

#10. Does anyone else take a look at the pronunciation guide for words in dictionaries? One, I should learn to read those things, given how horribly I mangle pronunciation on occasion. Two, I want to rewrite a poem or something else shortish in pronunciation guide English, just to see what it would look like. Leave the grammar, sentence structure, and meaning, just do a straight up one-for-one substitution and see what comes out.

#11, vampires driven off by the Mourner's Kaddish, once again came from Tumblr, which I am beginning to maintain is the world's largest brainstorming and short writing session. Which I love about it. Seriously, read that post and tell me you don't want more in that universe.

The next one I'm going to delete. There's nothing wrong with 'rats as the psychopomp for human souls,' is just not enough for me to build a setting or story around. I'm sure it would be for others, it's just not working for me now. 

#13. Look the octopus started it, okay? In this case, that's actually true: I got the idea for writing a short mystery set in the Eclipse Phase universe based on what constitutes insurance fraud while writing the story off the writing prompt: "In my defense, the octopus started it." I mean, in a universe that canonically has sentient octopi and insurance in case of death, how could I not? 

The final and most recent idea came from a friend's assertion that if Clark Kent worked in a library, Superman's motto would be: Truth, Compassion, and Attention to Detail. As a cataloguing librarian, yes. So very much yes. So now I want to write a superhero (not Superman) who actually uses that motto.


And that's it for the current non-picture ideas list. Both written words and art pieces can work for me, although music and other sounds don't. Let me know in the comments how y'all keep track of your ideas and potential stories. I love swapping tools and tricks that work for other folks.