July 5, 2011

IDEAS ON TUESDAY #20: Evil Overlord List – Don’t Laugh TOO Hard…

Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.
F Trope: dark lord
Current Event: While this isn’t exactly a current event, it IS a current list! Read it if you love fantasy because you’ll see everything your favorite Evil Overlord has ever done to cause his, her or its defeat. http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html
I ran into this list something like ten years ago and I read through it at least once a year. I don’t write fantasy often, but still dabble and have a couple of worlds I’d still like to write stories in. Anyone who was reading this blog two years ago might remember my pieces of flash fiction for a concept called THREAT OF MAGIC. In it, I have developed (using the Evil Overlord List!) a reasonable world…
Ah, but this isn’t about ME! It’s about an idea. I can’t even say that I came up with it, either. An author who teaches a writing workshop, Teresa Neilson Hayden has her students use this method for generating stories.
Today, I’ll ask you to try this one – or go to the website above and choose your own: “If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.” (this is #49)
We’ll update this to the 21st Century and have a smart 15-year-old girl who collects small statues skimming through Craigslist looking to add to her collection. The ad asks for a small statue of a man squatting, with arms wrapped around his knees. It also states that this is a fairly common object – but what the buyer is looking for is a heavy, iron version of this; probably rusted about fifteen centimeters tall. The head has a small gold ring set on it and in the ring is a tiny diamond. The buyer claims it was made by their father and the ring is their mother’s engagement ring. The ad offers $5000 for the figure.
The girl looks up from her laptop. The statue sits on her shelf – in fact, it’s the center of her collection. She shakes her head. She starts college next Fall. She could use the cash. After all, it’s only a statue.
She bookmarks the ad and returns to surfing. She eventually ends up on msn.com where there is breaking news of a daring raid on an Egyptian museum by art thieves…
Have fun!

No comments: