Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Look At This Stuff, Isn't It Neat?

After careful consideration, I have determined that I will not be rewriting The Midnight Circus for July's Camp NaNo, or possibly ever. The general consensus on that was "write an entirely different story." So I will. I'm not going to waste my time trying to fix a story that no one would ever want to read. So now I have to figure out what to write in its place.

I have a partial story about a guy who can see the future that I could finish. I could try to rewrite any number of my old novels. There's one currently on draft three that I could try to figure out.

On my quest through all my story ideas today, I came upon my list of McGuffins. A McGuffin is a thing, that you probably want. Maybe it’s a thing that does something. That's real clear, right? It's the One Ring. It’s Dorothy's ruby slippers. It's the Holy Grail, and that suitcase from Pulp Fiction. It's either the cause of, or the solution to, all your problems. Maybe both.

Anyway, I have some great McGuffins on the list I have assembled from the NaNo forums. I'd like to share some with you. Maybe one of them will play a vital role in my next story.

  • A desk that seems to swallow anything (or anyone) who spends too much time around it.
  • A map that shows the location of something that you want the least.
  • A tiny, metal puzzle box that is impossible to solve.
  • A large, old book that doesn't open, and occasionally drips salt water from between its pages.
  • A weather vane in the shape of a rooster that comes to life on the 14th of every month.
  • A broken music box, which plays distorted and ethereal notes to a nursery rhyme tune.

Can you imagine a story around one of these things? Or a story involving all of them? Maybe it's time for me to write a delightfully weird fantasy/supernatural type story. Maybe that's what I should do for July.

What do you think? Any of my McGuffins stand out to you? Or might you suggest some of your own? Let's get collaborative in here.

I think we might be on the right track with this. These particular items and their odd style evoke a feeling I'm not sure I can explain. It's like… sliding sideways into a sunny room. It’s summer, twenty years ago, maybe. There's no way in hell anyone's going to understand that. I've got a good feeling about it, is what I'm trying to say.

So please, comment and tell me what you think. I don’t care if it's on here, or on Facebook. I'd just really like to hear your thoughts. All of you.

See you Friday.

1 comment:

  1. Those are all great "McGuffin's" Where ever that came from and can all be made your you have covered 2/3 of stories every written in one way or another. Not that I am partcial to stories about chickens or roosters. OK maybe I am but I have not heard that one and I would think that story might be a challenge to make super interesting if you can write that story you can write anything good luck not that you need it.