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“Blog Faith” and other stories not yet written

February 21, 2009

I commented on another blog (comments seem to have vanished) about some ideas for stories, particularly story titles.  It is interesting because a coworker recently was telling me that he would love to write and he feels he has the mastery of language to do so, but he has no ideas.  Maybe I’m blessed with an overabundance of ideas (not all good, but ideas galore), and I am constantly finding new inspirations.

One place I found ideas calling to me is the WordPress global tags list (http://en.wordpress.com/tags/)  This is an especially interesting place for me since the list is perpetually changing.  If you read through the tags two or three at a time, story title s are hidden there.  The ideas to accompany them must come from the mind (or soul or whatever), but it’s a kick start.

At this moment, these titles appear consecutively on the page, inspiring stories I will summarize in a line or two.  I have no fear of sharing this tactic or even the stories I think up since even if my story was directly stolen from here, my story and your story would be nothing alike.  So feel free, borrow my thoughts.  (How cool would it be to find your story by one of these titles in a mag?  Almost as cool as finding my own.)  I won’t be likely to write the stories to go with these anyway.  This is purely for my own amusement and hopefully yours.

  1. “Mp3 Kids”: There a re a couple ways to tae this one.  How far a stretch is it for a generation of kids to be addicted to Mp3s so much that all information must be transmitted this way?  Almost like uploading directly to their brains.  Or more creatively, women who can’t have children (or empty-nesters or whoever) start downloading children to their portable devices.  They care for them, teach them, discipline them, a lot like a Sims game or something.  The whole obsession could get out of control.  This is actually a lot like my story “Glow Baby” (currently seeking a market).
  2. “Real Estate Animals”: An Animal Farm-like satire where wild animals sue in court for the property rights for their habitat.  They could get insects involved and tie up some major construction project for decades, each species suing in turn.  Then the corporation files to have the cases consolidated and the animals pack the courtroom with their ilk (or elk).  Wacky hijinks ensue (pun intended).
  3. “Fiction Theology”:  Fairy tale characters (or other characters) gather to discuss their positions on God and religion.  The discussion might do well to focus on a hot topic (gay marriage? abortion?).  This could be done cleverly or very poorly.
  4. “Blog Faith”:  Protagonist searches the internet for signs from God, focusing perhaps on specific blog sites.  He/she might find hidden patterns in the postings (similar to the films A Beautiful Mind and The Number 23) and pursues a life change based on them.  Or maybe it’s all based on one post that is completely misinterpreted.  Can you imagine someone mistaking something here as a holy sign?  Let’s hope it isn’t from my Morally Unusual post.
  5. “Random Personal Thoughts”:  A pretty but naive teenage girl starts picking up thoughts from classmates.  She starts with guys: checking her out, thinking…teenage guy thoughts, maybe trying to look up her skirt.  Then she starts receiving them from girls: jealous thoughts, insecure thoughts.  Each thought might get progressively more personal, first amusing her, then scaring her, finally spurring her to action for someone’s benefit.  Basically and early psychic manifestation.  This might be a good one for me to write considering my daily proximity to teenage minds (rather their bodies are proximal…who knows where their minds are?).

I feel like there were more amusing options the first time I tried it.  Of course you could mix and match words from anywhere on the page to develop your own combination, changing nouns to adjectives and such as needed.  This is basically the same as opening a dictionary to two random words or Damon Kight’s connecting index terms on pages of a SF catalogue (the origin of his story “Stranger Station” according to Creating Short Fiction).  The PARSEC Wrighting Contest uses a prompt similar to this, as I suspect do many others.  (I advertise this one because my 2004 entry, “Chasers” was published in their anthology, Triangulation, even though it did not place in the contest.)  Try your own variation and get writing.

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