Story Seeds


(Reposting corrected version)

For folks who missed the previous installments of this blog post, I occasionally give away story ideas I will never write. Take whatever you like.

1) A train station built over a cemetery allows ghosts and other living dead to travel far from their usual (limited) haunts.

2) In response to a series of devastatingly powerful storms sent through a mountain pass by an evil wizard lord, a king sends a scout through the pass into enemy territory to find out if an army of pseudo-orcs is massing there, and also to locate the dark lord’s tower so they can stop the storms. But the scout quickly discovers that the storms aren’t supernatural at all, and the pseudo-orcs have been devastated as well. Rather than being relieved by his report, the royals clap him in irons because peace isn’t on their agenda.

3) Two words: “Ghost whale”


5) Vampire dirigibles: Lighter than air creatures who ride the winds and float down to earth to seize Victorian-era humans and drink their blood. As long as they stay ahead of the sunrise, they’re safe. Also, they keep a certain mad scientist and plucky orphaned whiz kid trapped at high altitudes, so he can spend his days fashioning giant brass goggles that let the dirigibles see their prey more easily.

6) A puppet realizes its true nature. It can think, but it can’t act on its own–in fact, its actions have been directing its thoughts. Can it break free and think for itself?

7) You know how lycanthropy spreads via biting? Well what if superpowers–including the urge to dress up in costumes and fight/commit crime–were spread through a punch? A man begins fighting crime in a city, punching the odd petty criminal here and there when he had to, not realizing this turns them into supervillains. The supervillains in turn create more heroes and villains by punching (or blasting) other people. Eventually, powers–and that weird comic-book world view–would spread around the world like a zombie virus.

9 thoughts on “Story Seeds

  1. #1 would make a good contained horror film.

    And I’ve actually been developing something similar to #7:

    After a pharmilitary research facility reverse engineers the DNA for ninjas from a live assassin, they genetically engineer a retrovirus that turns people into contagious ninjas. A mixed martial arts fighter who needs to find his warrior spirt must then battle through an expanding horde of regular people turned ninja in order to find and destroy the prime carrier of the virus: NINJA ZERO.

    Because everything’s better with ninjas.

  2. I like #7, if only because it looks like people will be defined by their enemies; you turn into the opposite orientation of whoever punches you first. Somehow, that feels strangely…poignant.

    And also a bit too much like high school as imagined by the writers of Glee.

  3. Alex Piper

    …I’ve seen stories with vampires /and/ dirigibles, but never any where the vampires /are/ dirigibles. I know you were trying to give away story seeds, but I think you need to write this as a short story in time for Halloween. :P

  4. Alex Piper

    Story seeds are always fun! I have an entire notebook full of them, labeled “Pocket Muse.” The problem, of course, is that story seeds are /easy/, whereas writing something worthwhile off of them is less so. As a result, Pocket Muse is always getting more and more full; the current Pocket Muse is the third by that name.

    If I started writing THIS MOMENT and wrote every waking moment until I died, I’d never get through every idea in my Pocket Muse collections. Even just the ‘First Line Fodder’ collection, of interesting opening lines that I’ve come up with, would take years to get through. (“By now, everyone should just accept that dragons and public transit don’t mix.”)

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