Sunday, October 7, 2012

26 Story Ideas - Part 2/3

Continuing our series of story ideas for those in a creative drought. This Part 2 of 3, covering 10-18. We’ll close out tomorrow.

10. A nightmarish monster from a forgotten time awakens in the ice beneath a science station in Antarctica. Immediately upon waking it is ravenous, anemic, upon the verge of death - it needs sustenance. If it doesn't consume all of the humans living in the station above, it'll die by dawn. There's no other way, and it can't help but lack empathy for its food when they immediately try to quarantine it. God knows why they want to do that, and it’s certainly too close to death to care.

11. On December 31st, Satan has his annual meeting with God at their favorite diner in New Jersey to discuss the progress report of things one earth. He’s hoping for a raise. What, you didn't know the fallen angel was undercover?

12. Vampire hunters start a covert blood bank, selling blood as a food supply for vampires. Why? Because this is the easiest way to poison the biters to death, lacing random bags of clover with silver dust. But there's a shocking revelation: the biggest investor is himself an ancient vampire, hoping to wipe out the hedonistic current generation.

13. A man escapes his quotidian life by drawing comic strips of a sunnier existence. Rather than having an abusive wife, his cartoon self has a manic pixie girl. Rather than being stuck in a dead-end job in a recession, he's climbing the cartoon corporate ladder. He's always drawn the comic idly, just letting it flow from his unconscious. Only when he pays attention does he notice his comic-self is also anxiety-ridden, and draws his own, still smaller comic to get his mind off of things, a series of comic strips about an incredibly bleak and depressing world that makes him feel better about his own. This horrifies our artist. But he has to choose what to do with his time: navigating his cartoon-self toward self-realization and happiness, or confronting his own reality. Is he even capable of either?

14. Xenophobic Martians desperately try to hide from an earth-sent rover that can only be bringing bad news.

15. A monster hunter willingly dies with issues unresolved to come back as a ghost. In this form, she can help her fellow monster hunters as no tangible person can. But in a few decades, everyone she ever worked with is dead, and the cultures of the world are passing her by. Worse, any resolution that would have put her to rest is now unachievable. The only people she can talk to are other ghosts, who fear or loathe her for her reputation. Her only shot at companionship is finding a newborn ghost who doesn’t know her yet, to befriend for eternity. Yet when she meets a teenaged ghost who’s obsessed with her own death, she has to decide whether or keep the teen as a friend, or to help her rest in peace.

16. A fringe civil rights activist is fading from fame. Once he preached on court steps and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. (not that the Reverend would speak to him that day, for their politics differed too radically). Now two generations of people have taken the fight to heights he never expected, a chaotic inclusiveness that intimidates him, and have made rebellion mainstream. In a last-ditch effort at relevance, he hires someone to stage an attack on him at an upcoming protest. The savaging of an old man standing up for goodness would get him the spotlight again, and allow him to put politics in his terms again.

17. The fluoride in everyone’s water and toothpaste really was a Soviet mind control conspiracy, but the Soviet Union is gone. Control of the project falls into the hands of an eccentric Chechen computer genius, who has the ability to change minds – all of them – in any one way she pleases. The mind control of fluoride will expire on Sunday, though, so she’s only got a week to decide how she wants to change the world.

18. It turns out we weren’t really designing architecture at all – for all human history, buildings have secretly been using us to construct themselves. In this slice of life, we see a gossipy community of suburban row houses rumoring, cheating and spying on each other, their occupants none the wiser.

Jump to the finale post, with Ideas 19-26, by clicking here!


  1. I would love to see many of these ideas in print. Which, if any. could tempt you? And why?

    1. That's a valid question! #10 is one I really wanted want to write, imagining it to run as a novelette, but my novel writing and an upcoming screenwriting gig have chewed up too much time for me to able to budget for it. Even if there weren't such terrible family emergencies right now, I'd imagine the whole month would go to editing existing shorts, and November becomes about editing the more recent novel. Still, that misanthropic alien horror as hero - it does linger.

  2. I had an idea similar to #18 once: dogs got people to invent motor vehicles for two reasons. 1) Wind in the face. 2) It was the canine version of the Internet, cars carrying pee-mail across town or cross-country. With increased Internet usage and oil shortages curtailing vehicle usage, dogs are trying to brainstorm ways to keep their social network going. But just as they need their network the most, it's going away…


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