A Novel Idea II

My brother thought I should do a split-time type thing, like maybe part of it be 40s with bits of the mystery and then part of it be nowadays with some kids from America unraveling the mystery…just another idea.

Or I could do something totally different and try my hand at — what else? — a children’s story, for which I have no ideas whatsoever as to plot, but which would be really fun to write.

Seriously, I need help!

~c. a.

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6 thoughts on “A Novel Idea II

  1. *settles down to offer stunning advice*…or not. We’ll see what I can do.

    First of all, I think you really should stick to the 40’s England idea–if you know enough about the subject to make it realistic. I didn’t get the impression that many–if any–people will be doing historical fiction, and I think it would be a fantastic/cool/fun change of pace.

    With that said…I think if you do a mystery, it will end up more like a 12-18 year-old audience age range. If you do more of just a story, the audience range might end up being everyone, or maybe 16 and up. I’m not saying either of those things is good or bad. It’s just an observation that came to my mind. I don’t know if that influences your decision at all.

    I think a historical mystery/romance could be cool, though it has been done many times before. Maybe you could do something “different” like–um, a schoolteacher spends her summer volunteering at a hospital for wounded soldiers and then one of the inmates enlists her to help smuggle some papers to London. Then you could have adventure and then a character change as she becomes more selfless…I don’t know…just brainstorming…

    Well, there was something else I was going to say too, but now I can’t remember it. I’ll post more when I have more ideas.

  2. Aha…I remembered what I was going to say.

    You could also take like a fairy tale or a Bible story or a myth or a fable or something, and adapt it to the 40’s time period and English setting.

    For example (not that this fits your story, but just an example), you could take the story of David and Goliath and be like…there’s a young, inexperienced soldier in WWII who trusts God to help him defeat a huge enemy. You see what I mean?

    That way, you could pick an outside story that fits your theme, then mess with adapting it for a new setting. I mean, the story would be pretty much unrecognizable by the end, but it would provide a foundation/framework.

    Just an idea. You can totally ignore it if you want =).

    • Both great ideas. I guess I’m just having trouble figuring out specifics. As in, either the “adventure” sounds cheesy or the mystery would take too long or it’s been done waaaay too many times already. Ok, this is an idea that I just came up with this afternoon (aided by my wonderful brother and sparked by a friend’s magazine thingy), but I don’t know if Ms. Gaines would let me do a sequel…a sequel to the Princess Bride, following the adventures of Inigo and Fezzik…Inigo becomes the Dread Pirate Roberts and on one of his voyages he finds the original Dread Pirate Roberts who turns out to be his father who isn’t really dead…and the Six-Fingered Man turns out to be just some innocent dude…crazy idea, but it just might work. Honestly, what do you think? Should I stick with 40’s and try to come up with a semi-original idea or should I go crazy funny and build off of someone else’s foundation?

      Thanks so much for your help!!!!!

  3. Did you know that there is actually a Princess Bride book and then an unfinished sequel where Fezzik dies in the first chapter trying to save Westley and Buttercup’s kidnapped infant son? Just a bit of trivia you made me think of lol…

    Sorry, but I think I liked your initial idea better. I’m not a big fan of “fan fiction” stories taking off on other stories. It seems unoriginal…but that’s just me. If you decide to do it, I’m sure it will be great.

    I think that all you have to do to make a 40’s story original is to (and this is going to sound rediculous) make it original. You can make anything original by how you approach it. Maybe try a gently-paced, humorous story (think Winnie-the-Pooh) where there is no mystery or they think there is a mystery but it turns out not to be. Humor is not often applied to this era. Or it could be more of a “life story” type of thing…like the book “Christy”, where stuff just happens to this person over the course of a year or so. Or add a dash of fantasy, like–well, there’s this movie called “A Matter of Life and Death” where there is a WWII pilot who is about to crash and die. But the angel from heaven who is supposed to pick him up misses him in the English fog. So he doesn’t die, but goes on obliviously, falling in love, etc. But the powers-that-be in heaven are trying to fix their mistake and have him die like he was supposed to. So then he ends up having this whole trial in heaven about whether or not he should die. It’s very unique and funny, while in the WWII era.

    So it is possible. I don’t think you have to limit yourself to “The Mystery of the Missing Maps” or “Jane’s Spy Adventure” or something unoriginal like that.

    And if you’re really stuck, you could always throw in a gimmick. Like–every chapter is about a different character,and the mystery is how they all connect. Or, you know, everyone gets stuck on a ship or in a house (like Agatha Christie-type stuff). Or the first half of the story turns out to be all a dream and the second half is where the real story happens. Or the main character is blind. It sounds lame, but adding a gimmick can add new interest to a tired storyline.

    Does any of that help?

    • It does help…I know the Princess Bride idea was a little dorky, but I was desperate. =) I knew there was a book which I’m hoping to read soon, but I didn’t know there was already a sequel. I agree, it’s cheesy for anyone other than the original author to write a sequel, but as I said…I was looking for something, anything.

      I think I’m going to go with a 40’s story centered on a family in the country. Main character is a 20-ish-year-old girl whose fiance has joined up…her mom’s a widow…her younger brother may or may not be called up…a couple of younger siblings just to add a dash of fun and quirk…I’m thinking a homey sort of feel overall, so no major adventure or action. The “problem” will be the girl’s learning to trust God in all circumstances and also learning to let her “baby” brother grow up and be the man of the house. The fiance will not play a huge role in the story but just be a backdrop, adding to the whole faith in God thing. I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but it is starting to take shape in my brain which means — progress!

      Thank you so, so much for your help…your input helped clear away some of my mental clutter. Let me know what you think of the gameplan.

      • I helped clear away mental clutter? wow…I usually have the opposite effect lol. I’m glad I can help, though I’m not sure I’m that much of an authority on anything.

        I think your idea sounds great. I’ll look forward to seeing it come together. If you haven’t, you should watch the old movie “Mrs. Miniver”. It won some Oscars in the 1940’s, I believe. It sounds a lot like your story–an English family basically “hanging out” during WWII and having to deal with things. It’s quite good and might give you some ideas of how to have some interesting things happen without all that much happening, if you see what I mean.

        I’ve read the “Princess Bride” book a couple of times. I have to warn you–the first time I read it I didn’t like it because it was so fundamentally different from the movie. The second time, I was able to appreciate it as a good book in and of itself, and so then I really liked it. Just expect the unexpected if you plan to read it…

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