Thursday, April 23, 2015

Three Short Story Ideas

Week 7 of Narrative Writing class, this week, our exercise is to develop three story ideas. These will then be discussed and 'pitched' in class to help everyone decide which one they will work up into 3,000 words. Here was the brief: 

"We'll be discussing essential short fiction components and everyone should bring three ideas to pitch as their short fiction writing ideas. Think of pitch as a sales endeavour and be prepared to sell your ideas. Practice spending a two minutes talking up each of your ideas. We'll discuss their merits together."

Here are my three story ideas: 

Vida Butterface lives alone above Café Fountain, in Sydney’s King’s Cross. She lives alone and suffers from lipodystrophy which means she has a very old face but a young body. Kings Cross is not just her home because it’s where she lives. It’s home because amongst the history and sleazy reputation lies a groundswell of acceptance – from the newly-moneyed in their fancy apartments to the downcast who line up outside the Wayside Chapel for a chance to feel human, if only for a few hours. When Vida joins the Honeybees she realises that competition is a level playing field, where the only thing that matters is what you bring, not the package it comes in.

Death Dog
A dog that can smell death approaching other dogs. Sarah, lonely and naïve, who wanted to feel connected to the community. The creepy old man in the lace-fringed mansion. Jewel-encrusted taxidermied domestic pets. An alluring and unsettling new interior decorating trend shaking the foundations of the sparkling, seaside suburb of Mosman. A community of people who run out of fingers to point when their bubble is burst.

Georgina Saint vs Emily Drake
When she started at the small accounting firm, Drakedorf, Georgina could only see her own reflection. Am I wearing the right clothes? Will they regret hiring her? But as she approached the threshold of the third week in her new job (no-one else had lasted so long, the agency were thrilled) the questions started to change. ‘She’s a monster’ whispered one in the bathroom. ‘How is it with Her Ladyship?’ fished another as they both waited for their print outs. And then there was the computer files – a tome of biblical proportions, where ex-colleague A begat ex-colleague B and together went down in the annals of the firm and became the legends of those who went before – a trail of fingerprints and hand-written notes in the margins of scanned documents. Myths of immediate summarial dismissals. Frogmarched from offices by the khaki-clad sentries. Torturous written warnings. Would Georgina join the league of those who had since departed or would she confront Emily Drake, the boss who imprisoned the good actuaries of Drakedorf? Or should she follow her hunch that modern office politics are simply the playing field for mental imbalance and psychopaths, and not trust her colleagues?

I can't wait to see which story 'sticks'. I think of stories as characters, living organisms capable of independant movement. They buzz and whirr and feed in my mind, but sometimes only have short life spans or they can grow tall and wide and tangled.