Thursday, May 31, 2007

Plots Available To A Good Home

As I've mentioned before, the novel I'm working furiously to finish right now isn't my first attempt. Or even my second.

Now, not all of those would-be novels are consigned to either my junk-heap or content to rest in the ghost of my dead hard drive (RIP 2000-2004). Two of these incomplete would-be tomes are waiting their turns, or waiting for me to complete some intense research. A third might see the light of day as a screenplay (which given its history is fitting.)

Flashback to the summer of '98. While I was probably one of the few people in my graduating high school class to not have Comedy Central, and therefore, miss out on South Park's debut, I had found myself absorbed in a show called Buffy The Vampire Slayer (not from the beginning, but close). Faced with my first summer in years where I didn't have a summer reading list packed mostly to the gills with stuffy old books I had no interest reading, I figured "what the hell, I'll write a Buffy script and see if they run it." Obviously I had no idea how TV writing, or professional creative writing worked, but hey, wikipedia wasn't around, and people didn't even really use Google. My hook was that it was going to be a special "Spring Break" episode of Buffy, where they go down to Florida, or somewhere near a large body of water, and they encounter some Lovecraftian cultists bent on raising one of the Old Ones, and of course, Buffy and the Scoobies would thwart this nefarious plot. Then, a bit later (ah the days of dial-up, pre 56K Internet) I found on the semi-official site, The Bronze, that they did not accept outside script submissions. Not being a big fanfiction person (what's the point if you don't actually see it?) I decided to expand and adapt it to more normal teenagers. And then late in my first semester at UGA, I joined a band, and the story was forgotten.

With ScriptFrenzy (a similar, but not as strenuous, contest to National Novel Writing Month--a 20,000 script in the month of June) starting soon, I'm thinking about going back to it.

Some of the others...not so much. So here's two plots of abandoned novels I have no major use for, but you might:

1. Working title(s): Full Circle, Just a Bunch Of Stuff That Happened. A genetically modified government super-solider escapes, turns evil (don't they always?) and takes over the mafia, with the eventual goal of world domination. But the original thrust of the novel was going to be on how this mafia-CIA/FBI/etc. conflict messes with the sort-of-but-I-didn't-pull-it-off-54,000-words-in-related lives of over a dozen characters. I was trying for the bastard offspring of Stephen King's The Stand, and Altman's Short Cuts more or less, and it was my first attempt at a novel. So I can't say I lacked novelistic ambitions...

2. No working title: A postmodern collegiate bildungsroman. Over educated, smartass son of an Amherst prof is a freshman at UGA. His "failsafe" prom date shows up on the bus his first week of class...only she's had major plastic surgery and is now both smart and, to our narrator, groin-grabbingly hot. The movie script he wrote as a joke for his dad has been picked up in Hollywood and now he's rich. His agent though, is an embodiment of the Native American Trickster god, Coyote. And it was supposed to be a variation on the genie story where he gets everything he thinks he wants, but also somehow trapped inside a script he wrote...and I couldn't figure a way to reconcile the two threads the protagonist was shallow and greedy enough that one person that read an early draft of chapter one compared him to the reprehensible narrator of Martin Amis's Money...and I didn't want to write 300 pages in that voice. But maybe you do...or can think of a better comeuppance for him.

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