Saturday, August 11, 2012

Idea Contest - 10 Page Critique Prize + Shoutout for your Blog

I've been writing this strange book, and I want your help.

It's not my usual thing. But right now I'm resting from my main Steampunk novel, so I'm writing something completely different and strange. It involves or may yet involve some of the following elements.

 Yes. Those are tacos.

Along with writing something that is unlike anything I've ever written before, I am also writing this story completely on the fly, with absolutely no idea where I am going. :) It's fun. A nice break.

It's a brooding, dark, sad kind of story. My main character is a wanderer, a person without a home who is prevented from ever having one. He's searching for something, and when he finds it, his journey can end. Only, he doesn't know what he's looking for.

I need him to make a friend, to take the edge off of his loneliness and to give him something to care about, because right now, he doesn't care about anything. And I NEED him to care about something, because once he cares, I, the horrible author, can cause the thing that he cares about to be taken away.

It makes good fiction, okay? Stop looking at me like that.

What is the most interesting place that you can think of for him to make a friend? Any place in the modern world - just try to be specific. For example, don't say 'Australia.' Say 'A bicycle shop in Sydney run by a one-eared ginger.'


Specificity. That's what'll make this fun.

And... should your idea please me to the point that I decide to use it, you will not only get special kudos from me and a link posted to your blog, but I'll also do a 10-page read-through on a manuscript, set of poems, song lyrics, or whatever. If you don't have a blog and you're not a writer, then I'll name a character after you. A nice character who everyone else will wish was named after them. :)

The stakes are high! Fame and glory await you! Anyone can enter! You've got until Tuesday night, midnight. Oh, and let your friends know. I'd love to see a ton of ideas. 



  1. At one of those Love's Truck Stops where he goes so he can shower. The map with the hearts is right outside the Men's bathroom and he runs into a girl, I hope, staring at the US map with all the little hearts for each gas station.

    1. That WOULD be nice if he met a girl. Hm. I must ponder this.

  2. On an airplane, flying economy rather than first class, from Sydney airport, heading to Mexico (tacos!!!). Alternatively, he could meet this friend in the departure lounge at the Sydney airport, or in the airport in Mexico upon arrival.

    I'm sensing an abduction with this idea...

  3. They could meet on a ferris wheel. Because YOU KNOW, the guy running the ferris wheel shoves them on there together so that they won't waste the space. Ferris Wheels are happy places to meet. Romantic and full of beautiful views.

    I want your character (with great integrity and beautiful skin) to be named after me. For sure! Name her "Dawn".

  4. Scott says: "Home Depot in the Toilet Section, in Alaska" I'm leaning toward the alley beside the donut shop with a paper bag (full of donuts) in his hand. Does it have to be a human friend?

    1. Ooh, good question. No, I don't think it has to be a human friend.

  5. Can I just say to everybody - I'm already patting myself on the back over this? You guys have GREAT ideas.

    1. And I know that I totally just replied to myself... that's kind of weird, now that I think of it.

  6. Oooh, is this the one you started at WIFYR? So exciting! I think he could meet someone at Neushwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. He is standing on the Marienbrucke bridge behind the castle at sunset with a view of the castle and gorgeous valley below. (This is my second favorite place in the world)

  7. OK, after some thought, this was all I could generate.
    I think he meets the person in the bottom of an old dry well. Somehow, the friend fell in there because the well was old and boarded up and hidden, and your dude comes along and helps him/her out. Bam. Friends.

    England would probably be a good setting for this, because I feel like some old house on the heath would have a well, or maybe some castle ruins. And it's probably dark and foggy, which is why Person fell in the first place. I'm done now.

  8. Ooh, I think I've had the pleasure of hearing the first few pages of this! Very exciting! Love this one. I think they should meet in an alleyway in Chinatown in San Francisco. One right next to the place where they make the fortune cookies and they could get a fortune cookie with a very cryptic message.

    And THEN they could get awesome tacos from a taco truck.

  9. He boards a bus from 65th to the main hub, where he'll catch another bus to Cincinnati, in the wee hours with the moon still high. It's one of those pre-days where he's slept too little and is still unable to escape from that dream the alarm woke him from, hours yet to dawn when he plops down in the seat just behind the driver. Not five minutes later, at the very next stop, a pair of blue gloves holding a ragged book boards the train, accompanied by a scruffy felt hat and a pair of trousers with a hole or two in nearly unmentionable places. It's short hat, a short hat that doesn't even look up to pay the bus fare as it mumbles "Mornin' George" in a soft, genderless voice, and it plops right into the wanderer's lap before noticing him. "Oh, sorry!" the book squeaks, and finally drops to reveal a hazel-eyed kid just shy of his first chin-hairs.

    I'm thinking someone he feels responsible for, because that always hurts the worst; someone he thinks should have been able to protect, who idolized him and thought he hung the moon, who counted on him for protection. Kid doesn't even have to die to get taken away--just has to stop believing in him.

    Good luck! ;)