Choose your own adventure

I have been discovering that story ideas are funny things for writers. On the one hand, they are often guarded with a zealotry that reveals how much the author is worried about losing their ideas to another writer. On the other hand, writers have an inherent need to tell a story, even before it is fully formed, thus revealing their ideas.

I’m not one that is worried about losing my ideas. Ideas, as far as I’m concerned, are cheap—it’s the execution that matters. It’s the execution that differentiates Harry Potter from The Dresden Files.

I’ve got two ideas tumbling around in my head right now, and a third that I’ve already started on. The first is tentatively called Weave:

Doug Taz Taggart believes he can see the future. Not in an eyes-rolled-back crystal ball and tea leaves kind of way—something much simpler. Taz can look at you and know exactly what you’re going to do next, and after that, and a year from now. It plays out like a DVD on fast-forward in his head. It’s not a big deal, and he thinks anyone could do it if they wanted. He can’t get stock prices or bet on sports, so it’s not all that useful.

Until Taz is almost run over while crossing the street. One glance at the driver, and Taz can see all of the misery and suffering the man will cause. Taz needs to do something about it—the man can’t be allowed to just go on setting off all these events. He’s got to find him and fix it.

But Taz is starting to see the darker side of more people. How many people can he fix? How far does he have to go to make it all right?

I think that one could be interesting, because it could go so many ways. Can Taz actually see the future, or is he just nuts? If he starts off doing little things that help people, where’s the line?

The second idea is a little closer to home, and is called Off Exhibit. Thanks to being married to a zookeeper, I now spend an inordinate amount of time in zoos, and hanging around zoofolk. I think I could do a crime/mystery thriller based around a zoo, probably aimed at teen/college readers. I’ve got a basic outline of the plot, but I’m not going to post a teaser until I have enough worked out to ensure that I’m not giving too much away too soon.

The third is called Time Enough and is a Sci-Fi tragedy firmly aimed at the Young Adult market. I’ve written the first chapter, and have a solid outline. It’s about two sisters, the younger of which notices that her older sister has started to come home with bruises, sprains, and finally a broken arm. When she confronts her sister, she finds out that most of the damage is self-inflicted. The older sister has been trying to recreate a weird time-stopping experience she’d had a few weeks ago, but could only make it work when she was in danger of hurting herself. It goes downhill from there, as the older sister becomes obsessed with figuring it out, ignoring the price she is paying for it.

So there you go. That’s what’s bouncing around in my head these days.

By Rick Osborne

I am a web geek who has been doing this sort of thing entirely too long. I rant, I muse, I whine. That is, I am not at all atypical for my breed.