I’d like to try an experiment…

…and I need your help. I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to get back into writing more short stories as practice for eventually getting around to writing something approximating a novel—I even started a category on the blog to hold my attempts at fiction—but so far I’ve been hard pressed to come up with story ideas to write about. So here’s what I’d like you guys to do as a bit of fun: Challenge me with a story idea.

Pick a situation, topic, concept, scene, or what have you that you think might make for an interesting short story and either leave it in the comments or email it to me and I’ll try to write a short story about it. Maybe it’ll be a couple of pages or maybe it’ll be a couple of sentences. Either way it’ll help me to flex my creative muscles and give us some content for a poorly under-used category here on SEB. What do you think? Sound like fun?

19 thoughts on “I’d like to try an experiment…

  1. Blog author faces dilemma from commentor who shows intent of committing a serious violent crime (such as a shooting spree.)  Commentor seems mentally ill but technically competent enough to hide his location. Try to intervene?  Trust that commentor is blowing smoke and possibly live with consequences?  Commentor is awfully convincing…

  2. You might consider a daily visit to oneword.  For the investment of a minute or two, you get to exercise your writing muscles.

    Or, alternately …

    An old man is sitting in the park, grumpily watching a bunch of little kids screaming and yelling and making a nuisance of themselves.  A cat comes wandering up.  He glowers down at the cat. 

    The cat smiles back.

  3. Young woman promises ‘forever’ to her young man, without realizing exactly what ‘forever’ entails, and the resulting fallout.

    Possibly with demons in.

  4. I would like to help really I would but I can’t get my kinky dreams out of my head. Terrible thing to be horney but too damn sick to do anything about it. As soon as I think of something you will be the first to know.

  5. Hmmm. Already some intriguing possibilities.

    Thanks for the pointer to One Word, Dave. That’s certainly an interesting experiment though I’m not sure 60 seconds is enough time for me to consider the word, let alone write something about it. I’m slowing down as I get older, ya know. grin

    Shelli, I’m not opposed to dealing with kinky dream topics, but I’m not sure what I come up with would be a kinky dream itself. grin

  6. A man born on a far off island without a penis.  A “doctor” gets the brillant idea of making him one out of bamboo.  Woman scienctist comes to island in search of enlightment.

    What? It could happen.

  7. A terrified young boy is beaten and then abandoned by his father after a drug induced rage.  The boy grows up fatherless but extremely self determined to be nothing like his dad.  After achieving much business success in his early 40’s the man’s marriage and business begin to fail and he turns to drugs and alcohol.  He becomes very passionate about finding his father and determines through a PI that he lives in LA.  The man abandons his wife and new born son to search for his father in LA and while where drives around in a drunken stupor and kills a homeless man.  While sobering up in jail he finds out the homeless man was his father.

  8. A person reading an RSS feed for a weblog about technology and atheism finds that the JavaScript that the author used to embed his email address doesn’t work in his newsreader, and so the person comments on the author’s site to let him know smile

  9. A person reading an atheist free-speech weblog discovers the log contains subliminal messages which attempt mind control on the reader, converting them to right-wing bible thumpers to help re-elect a president.  Attempting to go public he is pursued by “black heli-coptors” and the “agency”

  10. Les,
    You already have the makings for a good story.  An Ex coming out of prison, a wife who cares enough to fashion your eyebrows (my brother’s divorce was final the end of June), a mother who knows how to use a wood pulverizer AND is willing to socialize with the grandaughter.  You could just print out the last few months of writings and get a page-turner.
    ~~mrsDoF

  11. Spoiled, smirking, illiterate, rich-boy, who’s never worked a day in his life, clings to fathers coattail to become most powerful man on the planet.

    Nah – that could never happen! rolleyes

  12. Been having the same problem myself. However, I just churned out first draft of a 5800 word short that had been kicking around in my head for I don’t know how long and amazingly, it made room for more.  Two days after I finished it, I got two ideas for new short stories, and a day later, I got a third.

    Once the juices started flowing, I found ideas popping up everywhere.  Good luck, and I hope you keep at it.  You obviously can find the time to write, considering the volumes here.

  13. Okay, okay picture this:

    Three dogs are sitting on a dock overlooking a small pond in Connecticut. The smallest dog is caked in filth, spotty with severe mange, and has a flatulence problem due to digestive issues. The biggest dog is carries around a lunchbox in its mouth full of spent .38 shells and a bloody shirt from an unsolved homocide involving three local middleschool students and a crippled Korean war vetran. Inside the shirt pocket is an ancient photograph of an internment camp guarded by asian men in what look like military uniforms, the ink on the back has faded to near illegibility but some of the other dingy scraps of paper might hold the clue.

    I really wanted to work in a sentient cheese danish bent on world domination but perhaps that is just too much…

  14. I’m laughing my ass off and there are some fine ideas here, but real life is the most engrossing subject matter.

    Imagine that a gentle but awesome gardener has spent his summer lovingly tending a watermelon patch only to one day notice that the patch has grown through his fence and onto his neighbor’s property. There in his neighbor’s yard sits the largest and most beautiful watermelon he’s ever likely to grow. But the neighbor won’t let him have his watermelon back. “I’ll dance on it before I’ll let you come over here and steal it!” the neighbor shouts. “I’ll take this fine melon to my church picnic because the Lord has seen fit to reward my faith and dedication with the sweet sticky flesh of excessively watery fruit. Now git, melon-boy!”

    What does this expert at love making, this hunky but humble gardener do next? How will he reclaim the pinnacle of his labor without compromising his integrity? How can he abandon his rightful property without seeming weak and spineless? And who is this mysterious Lord that compels the evil neighbor to covet an innocent free-ranging watermelon? In the end it is the watermelon that must decree a victor and a villain and struggle to establish the basic rights and privileges of all fruit everywhere.

    It could sorta’ be like a “Lassie” episode without all that annoying barking and whining and little boys falling down abandoned mine shafts and stuff.

    (captcha word should be “bullshit”)

  15. I really wanted to work in a sentient cheese danish bent on world domination…

    Don’t we pretty much already have one of those in the White House?

    Cool link, Dave.

    Hi, Mrs. DOF!

  16. ***Dave,

    Thanks for the link to the oneword site, now I have something to do before I ingest copious amounts of coffee and go to work every morning.

    Story ideas.

    An evil man is in the Almost Round Office, the highest office in the land. Only the Pretzels know this. They sneak in past his Loyal Guards and the family dog in an attempt to lodge themselves in the evil one’s throat… Damn! Fucking Heimlich Maneuver

    Next, the potato chips must try, and they have read up on what the Jelly Beans once attempted to little fanfare or notice…

    (Yes, I am in a hotel room, in the middle of no where and I am hungry… but the pretzel incident … damn… )

  17. Imagine that a gentle but awesome gardener has spent his summer lovingly tending a watermelon patch only to one day notice that the patch has grown through his fence and onto his neighbor’s property. There in his neighbor’s yard sits the largest and most beautiful watermelon he’s ever likely to grow. But the neighbor won’t let him have his watermelon back. “I’ll dance on it before I’ll let you come over here and steal it!

  18. As a slightly late addition to this topic, I thought I’d mention that I’ve just started an experiment on this very subject over on my blog. What I’ve done is to write the first part of an ongoing story called Lanterns And Shades and then thrown it out to the floor. The intention is to gather comments and criticisms and then keep them in mind as I continue to post chapters of the tale (which is unwritten at the time of posting). I thought it would be interesting for both me and those who read my blog to get involved in a project like this one, so if anybody here wants to check it out and add their two cents worth, I’d really appreciate it. I’m really up for anything on this score, whether it be an indictment of my fiction or your own ideas about the next part of the story.

    Anyway, Les, I thought I’d mention the idea (while thoroughly pimping my own page) because it might be something you’d like to try yourself. Your readership is somewhat larger than mine, and everyone loves a little interactivity on a blog. It could be a lot of fun.

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