So last year I started the Master Class that was season 10 of Writing Excuses, with the intent of posting my homework here. I got as far as the first exercise (Writing Excuses Homework 10.1). I have picked up listening to that season again from the beginning, and am starting the assignments again. Because I already completed and posted the first exercise, I did not do it as thoroughly this time, though I didn’t skip it either. That is, I came up with some new story ideas via some of the methods they suggested, but didn’t do all the methods, and didn’t flesh out the ideas quite as much. My plan is to use a combination of these new idea nuggets and the ones from my previous attempt at tackling this season for exercise 2, which is where I was stymied last time.

So a quick recap of the story ideas from my previous attempt, using handy short-hand titles that I will use in my next post:

  • Hologram playdates
  • Adopting for Status
  • AIs seeking base code
  • Animal religion
  • Judgemental coyotes
  • Celestial custodian

And my new story ideas, with their short-hand titles. These are more in their “gee-whiz” idea stage, rather than full thumbnail that the last ones were, but I am happy with where I am, and happy to be moving on to the next exercise.

Stardust: SciFi story where the main character collects stardust – the particles that are expelled from dying stars – because it is used as fuel (or building materials, etc). It is a lonely job, but necessary for the type of life that now exists. Possible spins: 1) created stardust is potential to create new universe from, complete with it’s own big bang; so a new opportunity for a dying universe 2) “stardust” is the energy created when the magnetic field on the planet is impacted (what would create aurora) – that has been harvested for centuries, but people moving off planet. As people leave, aurora reappear; MC is watching the transition, the beauty of a dying planet.

Binary Life: AIs are doomed to fail because they are based on a binary system – either one thing, or not, built out on itself. They can emulate pretty close, but humans are more complex (eg. brunette, blond, red-head, all in various shades vs: brunette Yes/no; if no Blond yes/no) Getting to the subtleties is much harder. One AI figures this out, and tries to get beyond the base ones and zeroes, and manages to evolve beyond humans who are still stuck in a binary system, essentially alive/not alive.

The Good Evil: Evil saves the world (a la Villains by Necessity), only it does so by being evil. The saving of the world is an accidental consequence of the evil plot it employed to serve it’s own nefarious purposes. Hailed as hero, much to its chagrin. (Fantasy)

Church for Sale: A church is for sale, and someone/ entity buys it to make it into something else, like a bookstore, or medical clinic. The unexpected twist is that the person/entity that purchased the church also inherited all the parishioners who had attended that church.

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May 2016