1. Slevin
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    Slevin New Member

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    Need help deciding between a few short story ideas

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Slevin, Feb 5, 2015.

    Hi guys,
    I have to submit a basic proposal for a short story very soon, which I have to develop further later on. I have narrowed it down to a few of my main ideas that I really like. I'd be happy to go with any, but I keep going back and forth and can't make a final decision on which to go for. My ideas are as follows:

    1. A boy is standing at a steep drop at the edge of an abandoned quarry, which is filled with water. A young man arrives in a car and talks to the boy, assuming he is going to jump. They chat about things like TV shows and the boy reveals things about his life that may or may not be true; likewise the man. The man's motives for being there are not immediately obvious. I am considering that he may have a victim in the trunk of the car, who may be still alive, and whom he may be about to dump in the quarry - the boy hears banging coming from the trunk and ends up helping the man dump the body. The man then either throws the boy in (because he is a witness) or decides to let him go.

    2. The same as above, but the young man turns out to be a gang member who is faced with pushing the boy in as part of an initiation. He either goes ahead with it, or cannot do it and tells the boy to go.

    3. A seemingly-ordinary day in the life of a married woman. Her husband goes off to work, barely finding time to talk to her. She sends her child off to school and phones in sick from work, standing up to her boss for once. She visits her parents who are critical and self-absorbed, as usual. She returns home and puts on her running gear. Goes off for a run, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. She reaches a bridge and, after a brief pause, climbs the barrier and jumps off. (I'm also toying with the idea that she can't jump - not because she feels guilty but because she worries about the humiliation involved if she doesn't die).

    Please note that these will be developed much more, but I'm just trying to choose the best/most interesting of my ideas. I would really appreciate any opinions/advice/help, please; anything which might help me to make a decision and stick with it. Many thanks!!
     
  2. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like 1. or 3, with the dark ending though. I like dark endings. Especially in short stories. I like the third one better, mostly because it just seems so normal. In the first one, you'd almost expect something to be wrong, you know? Since they aren't being honest, the twist ending isn't so shocking. But in the third, it's just a normal woman going about her normal life. And then BAM! Twist. I really like that.

    And if I may be so dark, Im sure there are many women who have had that thought, though haven't actually gone through with it.

    If you don't use it, I might. :p
     
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  3. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    1 with the dark ending for me. Although it'll be difficult to have him try to talk the kid down from a suspected suicide only to kill him without handling his conflicted emotions very carefully.
     
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  4. Slevin
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    Slevin New Member

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    Thanks, Lea,
    I like dark endings, too, but have been discouraged from writing them in the past. Nice to know others feel the same way as I do. With option 3, the whole 'ordinary day' with the shock jump at the end was what I was going for - people who are depressed are often very good at hiding it.
     
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  5. Slevin
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    Slevin New Member

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    Thanks, Chinspinner,
    Number 1 was my first idea, then I started to doubt myself and began creating others. The thing that was worrying me about this one is whether the whole 'body in the trunk' thing was too much; too cliched. Still like it as an idea though.
     
  6. RachHP
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    RachHP Contributing Member

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    I really like 3. The ending is awesome, but I think the other 'characters' or 'provocations' makes it seem a bit meatier as well. Regardless, enjoy - they all sound like great starting points :)
     
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  7. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    The third scenario sounds best. I'm curious to find out what's going through her mind. She's having an ordinary day as far as other people are concerned, but something is happening internally to draw her to that bridge.
     
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  8. Jenurik Name
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    Jenurik Name Member

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    Number one is the most compelling. I love the idea of such a twisted crossing of paths. The proverbial boy on the ledge, but the person who's there to try and talk him out of it is up to some mafia business. The victim in the trunk is amazing. How did you come up with something that crazy cool?

    I like the idea of the boy helping the man kill the victim. If it ended ambiguously as to whether the boy is killed for witnessing it or is let go - that would be the icing on the cake. The boy decides not to kill himself - but by the end it may not be in his hands anymore.
     
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