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Tag: elevator pitch

Plots You Can Have #5, Ambiguous Monsters Edition

[Content Warning: suicide, human sacrifice]

Previous part here: /2012/10/31/for-the-undecided-plots-you-can-have-nanowrimo-edition/

First part here: /2012/08/20/a-few-plots-you-can-have/


The Dalmour Parasite

a parasite that only infects suicidal people and turns them into psychopaths to make their lives better

Neil Ruthsmoke is a man who makes his friends suicidal. He cannot help it; it is not to do with his personality per se, it is just that his particular body odour trips bad wires in people’s brains; he is a freak of nature undiscovered by science. He is also quite depressed on account of this. Story is about how his psychologist both tracks the spread of the parasite and how it starts to take over hir. There is research into Ruthsmoke’s life, and the point where his friends stopped killing themselves and started becoming sociopaths is found. Good scenes might include: when the psychologist puts forth the idea that maybe, possibly, it’s all Ruthsmoke’s fault; when a friend breaks the pattern by topping hirself; when the psychologist realizes ze has probably been infected hirself.

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Plots You Can Have #3 – Futuristic Edition

[Trigger Warning: suicide]

Part 2:

Part 1:

This time we’ve got the following genres: existential romance, vigilante fiction, space anti-opera, paranoir, etc (did you know you can just make up genre names?)



existential romance

Futuristic Megacity. Boy meets girl. Boy splits into million versions of self, only one which dares fall in love with girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Suicide wave strikes city. Media panic. Boy questions own courage. Girl afraid of outside. City crumbles. Boy meets afraid version of himself. Girl confronts re: this; gets wrong version of boy. “You dared go outside.” Girl breaks down. Wrong version of boy convinces girl of double suicide. Right version of boy is too late. Stays there waiting for either of them to wake up again, because boy doesn’t want to Romeo. Fade out.
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Worldbuilding 3: When to Let Go, & New Stuff

Last entry in this series:


If you don’t put your heart into something it can never have the pulse you’ve taken all your life to protect. Similarly, I’ve grown disillusioned with the poisonbeasts and shall instead talk a bit about the deaths of things.

For me, most projects do not simply die, but poison the water and then appear as ghosts in the lucid dreams of my other projects. Which is a fancy way of saying I reuse things, at times, and ideas gnaw on the back of my skull often and hard.

It’s good to let things die, though. I can’t tie that into the other metaphors I’ve used here, so I’ll just say it plainly: deciding that a project is not worth your attention means you’re doing quality control and also that you won’t have to decide that /later/. Saying goodbye at 500 words in is better than 500 pages in, etc.

Letting things die isn’t the same as giving up. Giving up is all defeatlike. Someone once told me, or said in my vicinity, that creativity is the creation of many ideas and then pruning them until you find the ones that are salvageable. In light of that, whenever I let something die I write down another idea, or gravestone the thing into a drabble at the very least. Even if it’s bloody stupid. So, related to that last post about things you can have, here’s a bunch of things I might use, which are of course up for taking (do show me the work when you’re done with it if you pick one of these plots):

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A Few Plots You Can Have

Hi. Here are a few plots with accompanying titles you can have free of charge. Content warning: it is entirely possible these are all stupid, or at least pulp.


Hidden Profile

genre: thriller

Social media and serial killers – what’s FBI to do when their top criminal profiler, Adam Brundsbury, starts murdering people left right and centre, posting about it on microblogs and otherwise being invisible? Douglas Minth, the man who killed Brundsbury’s daughter, takes on the case at a price the bureau might soon regret paying.


The Scenic Route

genre: sci-fi

Aliens land on Earth, there’s a big party about them not killing us, and then both of the alien ambassadors are shot at point blank range. Still, it seems impossible to find out who actually shot them. Individuals stop existing; they all represent things to the aliens now, as the aliens launch an investigation of their own. Read this cultist conspiracy theory-inducing pageturner and feel the need for more, immediately.


If I Woke up on Earth

genre: historical/religious fiction

Two giants, Hilde and Ann, are awoken at each pole, unaware of each other, in the early middle ages. News travel slowly of their arrival but they eventually hear of each other and realize that they need to meet. However, an old prophecy foresees the end of the word if ever the twain shall meet, and there is kind of a plague breaking out in Europe. Tragic and entirely made up, this story takes us to a magical place that is, like most things magical, a bit uncomfortable.


A Mouth with Three Teeth

genre: spy fiction

Title comes from a powerful metaphor employed in the story. Lyndon Hannover is mistaken for a spy in Soviet Russia, but quickly grasps the Moscow Rules. His old life disappears before his eyes and before he knows it, he’s sitting in a radio tower, freezing to death, trying to decipher the codes with the help of a dead man’s diary. Turns out there’s a third player in the cold war …



genre: dark fantasy

An evil religion is channelling what they call the Imagination of the Watchers, and it seems the Watchers have only destruction on their minds. Gasparde and Viola, two senior priests in the nice religion  Skreeism (which deals in age and is the reason people die), are rejuvenated to infiltrate the Wentelwiekans in apprentix roles. However, when one has been old for 200 years, one savours the fruits of youth. Their love affair threatens the mission and they don’t care, even though the Wentelwiekans are getting closer and closer to summoning the Wentelwiek. They see portals created, whence evil comes, but are having problems caring. Et cetera.



genre: new weird

A world-renown mage challenges another world-renown mage on a duel and then realizes she is going to die in this duel, in what magelore calls a flash. She flees but the other mage is relentless: we follow both the magicians in a cat-and-mouse game all over the fossilized world of old earth, as magic is explained in more detail, and hope and time seem to run out.


Patient Zero

genre: zombie fiction

Trenton is turning into a zombie, despite the antiretrovirals he’s taking. His boyfriend leaves him, his family are concerned. Politicians are thinking of gassing him, to set an example. And eventually he just shoots himself to get it over with. He rises with a groan.

Something Goes Wrong in Space (Idea), part I

So, here is a thought-process detailing a space horror movie. Developed by me and Drakekin.

Let’s start at a moment in time defined as T101. There are 200 Ts in the movie, and the movie starts in the middle. It then goes forwards and backwards, with scene 1 being T101-T109, scene 2 being T91-T100.  Etc. I liked it when Ian M. Banks used this narrative technique in Use of Weapons and we shall copy it.

This post is mainly for sci-fi fans. There is lots of assuming that you, the reader, are familiar with hard sci-fi here.

Elevator Pitch

Something goes wrong in space.

The Spaceship Details

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Worldbuilding 0: Intro!

This might be a series, or it might be a one-off, but I put the (Intro) thing in the title because it would be nice if it was a series. I’m going to build a new world! That is definitely the best part of storytelling. First I’m going to do some analysis of two of the worlds I write in though, because I’m like that. The other worlds are either too small to make comments about, or (in the case of the Vailverse) secret!


A lot of the drabbles I write take place in the same universe – henceforth called the drabbleverse –, because it’s fun to have continuity and I wish I was Cordwainer Smith*. There are a few small things that separate this drabbleverse from ours, and they all grew forth pretty organically over the course of the year or so I’ve drabbld intensely.

The first thing of these is fate-days. On a fate-day, everything smells of iron, and you get one chance to change your life. Fate-days are allotted seemingly at random, and one can tell that one is coming up if the rate of coincidences one is encountering. Most people in the world knows this.

The second thing is the Immortal God of Death-Fate, who is channeled through the Machine of Death, which is basically two floating bowling balls with an EKG-line of electricity between them. It speaks directly to our hearts without going through our ears. It’s very cryptic and not very helpful, and follows the rules of other machines of death that exist**.

Another thing is that practically everything has been given agency again. This is not that very present but it is still noticeable in cases such as this one:, or this one: I say ‘again’, because, see, far back in time, through the eyes of humans, everything was given agency – the moon wanted to arc across the sky and the rivers wanted to flow. But with the advent of determinism and stuff agency’s been sort of slowly retracted to something only humans and certain animals have, but even that’s been called into question. Obviously the sun can’t be waiting for  anything.

I like that these things exist in that world.

The Anyworld

The world with the variable, the vessel and the vermin. The variable travels the universe and deletes unwitting or sturnfleen races of  biologically or technically immortal idea machines. It does so in the vessel, also called the Anywhere Machine. Nobody remembers what the vermin is/are/was/were except that it’s bad for everything. The stories written in this universe are all titled “The Anywhere Machine [something something]”. Only story currently live is The Anywhere Machine, Appendix I – Futureful Skyful***, but believe me when I say that this setting is stuffed. And also dark. Many words have to be invented specifically for this world, like sturnfleen, and dymphnatics, and meaninglet.


So, what makes these worlds fun?

Probably contrast. The contrast of those worlds and the one I exist in right now (just passing through). Hopefully they are fun to read because of this – most everything that makes you want to read anything is contrast; any scene, any sentence needs conflict. And contrast is the confliction of metaphysical concepts. Next time I will think up a few details about this new world. I will leave this topic for a little while, though, and think up exciting subtitles for posts that start “Worldbuilding [x]:”.

Below you can find a list of failed ideas for what this world should be about.

  • Instead of babies, humans lay eggs.
  • Extraterrestrials have already invaded and brought us under their yokes: it turns out capitalism comes from space.
  • Genetic memory is totally a thing, and people’s heads are becoming too large with all that information in their skulls.
  • The walls of reality are but eggs and literally world-shattering things are waking up.
  • Monsters.

Actually, that last one is probably on the right track. Next Worldbuilding post will be about monsters.

* Cordwainer Smith has a Wikipedia article you should perhaps read:

** if you haven’t yet read it, read it:


Hunger (Idea)

Everybody loves vampires. But they’re sort of the old thing now. Zombies have and will always be a big thing because zombies keep … uhm, you know where this sentence is going. I could do zombies – intelligently, mind – but I’m already doing that and that project is kinda secret. Superheroes are on the rise. So, no-one will see this one coming. Ghouls.

Wait, no, don’t leave yet, hear me out, okay? The elevator pitch goes like this: Vultures disappear*, corpse-eating ghouls take their place in the ecosystem, let us monitor them really close to prevent panic and actual zombie invasion and stuff.

Okay so it’s still zombies. But it’s … ghouls. You could make an argument for vampires being zombies and no I’m not getting defensive at all. The main difference between my ghouls and the various kinds of zombies is that the ghouls don’t want living humans. Sometimes they attack each other and it’s kind of sad to watch.

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