1. hudds11
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    hudds11 New Member

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    New novel ideas?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hudds11, Mar 26, 2012.

    I have a few new ideas for my novel:

    Idea One
    Los Angeles 1952
    Seven bodies are found in an abandoned warehouse with thousands of bullet holes in the walls. Five of the victims have criminal records and gang connections, but two are only teenagers and seem innocent. Two detectives are put in charge of the investigation, and their first port of call is to the parents of the teenage victims. A search of the victims bedrooms reveal backpacks filled with drugs; drug runners. And an investigation into the five other victims reveals one connection - the infamous Los Angeles Crime Family. When a street dealer agrees to turn informant in order to avoid prison, the detectives jump on the oppurtunity, but it isn't long before the family find out about the informant, and after a drive-shooting as the informant is escorted into the police station, in an attempt to silence the key that could open the door door that has never before been unlocked, the detectives are forced to hold the informant in Hill's apartment, but before long, he has been discovered, and it is only a matter of time before he is killed...

    Idea Two
    Belarus 1940
    Two Jewish brothers who have dreams of success are forced to abandon their home and flee into the forest after their village is massacred, including their parents. They start a partisan movement that increases rapidly in numbers, and they attack Nazi convoys and steal food, in an attempt to survive hardhsips such as winter. Relationships rise and fall, and loyalty, friendship and above all, family, will be tested as the two brothers search for the Nazi officers whom they witnessed execute their parents, whom they have vowed they will kill, one way or another...

    Idea Three
    Two Jewish brothers are forced to leave their home in France, to leave their immobile parents, to escape the persecution of the Nazis. They set out cross country towards Switzerland, where they hope they will find safety. Along their journey, they encounter numerous obstacles, including Nazi patrols, roadblocks and vicious wild animals, harsh winters and a constant lack of food. They also make new allies, including a a sympathizer who hides them but pays the price when the Nazi's find out, and a group of loyal French Resistance fighters who are all killed in combat. The journey will test the brothers loyalty to one another, and the final test will come when they are so near to their goal...

    Your views will be much appreciated, and it would be a great help if you could tell me why you prefer one of the ideas.
     
  2. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    They are all fine ideas but you can't sell an idea...how YOU write them is going to be the selling point here.
     
  3. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    Here's my take on your ideas:

    Idea One - Los Angeles 1952

    This sounds like it might make a decent film(-noir) plot, but as a novel? I don't know how many people (mainstream readers) would be interested in a "Los Angeles 1952 Murders" novel. Stories like this have been done before. Maybe realize this one as a screenplay instead, and see if someone wants to film it?

    Idea Two - Belarus

    This has a strong whiff of "Jewish Wishfull-Thinking Revenge Fantasy" about it. Two Jewish brothers starting a partisan movement and taking on super-powerful Nazi officers at that time in history? Doesn't sound very plausible, historically speaking. The chances of them being able to fight heavily armed and trained Nazis aren't exactly good...

    Idea Three - France to Switzerland

    Of your ideas, this one sounds the most promising to me. It will only work, however, if you do a crapload of historical research before you get into the novel. There are many first-hand accounts of Jewish people fleeing various countries in Europe to find shelter elsewhere. You should probably start your research by digging up these accounts
    and reading them cover-to-cover to get a sense of the actual conditions and issues and zeitgeist of the time this takes place in.

    It could work well as a novel narrative. But you'd have to get the historical accuracy right enough for people to believe the story.

    That would involve researching the locations, traveling routes, the nature of Nazi military presence in different places, and other things your novel has to describe. The clothes. The language. The items the brothers carry with them. I hope you know some German, or know somebody German, so the Nazis don't sound like the cardboard cutouts you see in Hollywood films (very often in HWood films, the Nazis are British or American actors pretending to be German, and speaking in terribly false Hollywood-Pseudo-German).

    All this stuff has to come across as authentic as possible for us to believe a story like this, and care about the protagonists.


    I can't help but ask, are you hoping for Hollywood to buy your novel's film rights and make a movie out of them? Because all 3 of your ideas sound more like film-material, than book material, except for the last one maybe. If that is what you are after, writing a screenplay directly might be advisable. Its a lot less work to write a 120 page screenplay than a full blown 300 - 400 page novel.

    Good luck with your work...
     
  4. Berber
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    Berber Active Member

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    I have to say that I strongly disagree.

    Hudds, if you want to write fiction, write fiction. You are tenfold more likely to get it published than you would be to get a screenplay produced, even if you have to go the self publishing route. Beyond that, you've already received the only response that really matters. An idea is simply that. It's what you do with it that matters. All of those could be excellent stories depending on how they are written. But I will provide a few general comments on the ideas presented.

    Idea One: The story seems to revolve around the conflict of keeping an informant alive as opposed to revolving around bringing down the crime family. Which may or may not work in your favor, depending on how it's written.

    Idea Two: Reads very much so like the recently produced movie Defiance. Not that you can't make it unique, but I would advise that you be aware of similarities and work to overcome them.

    Idea Three: Sounds a lot like Idea Two, but with a different setting. Why not combine the two?


    As stated, if you're going to do historical fiction, make sure you take the time to research. That doesn't mean you can take certain liberties when it comes to historical accuracy. But if you do so, you want to make them deliberate and intentional, not a choice of ignorance.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It doesn't matter one whit which idea appeals most to us. Story concepts are worthless except as they inspire the writer to turn it into a completed story. And the quality of that finished story is in the writing, not in the story concept.

    Write whichever one inspires you most. Then go back and write the other two, or whatever other story ideas tickle your muse in the meantime.

    Stories aren't written by committee. Not good ones, anyway.
     
  6. Whirlwind
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    Whirlwind Member

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    As someone once said to me: ideas are easy, execution is hard.

    Everyone has ideas. I have a ton everyday. But an idea is only valuable as a complete story.

    Write the whole story.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can only ditto cog and ww...
     
  8. blyish
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    blyish New Member

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    Have you researched Idea #2? It doesn't sound historically plausible and I think you got some of the details wrong.

    In any case, like others have said, it all depends on how well you write a story. You could have a great idea, but if it doesn't come across in the writing, it doesn't really matter in the end.
     
  9. Skykitty
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    Skykitty New Member

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    I feel any of these ideas could have potential, what really matters is how you take the idea and turn it into good writing.

    I think the first sounds readable, along with the second, many excellent books have been written with plots which would seem implausible when boiled down like this.

    Reading the third suggestion, I would ask is there something very special about these two brothers? They escape the Nazis leaving their immobile parents behind? That would have to be done with great care, or they just seem heartless. The French resistance fighters who are killed in combat and the sympathizer who pays the price for hiding them. Is there a good reason for these characters to be sacrificed for the brothers? I think this could work with a really strong reason why it is important for your main characters to get to their destination. Are they looking for someone? Do they have vital intelligence on something to do with the war? Are they very young?
     
  10. Squeakyfiend
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    Squeakyfiend Member

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    You seem to like them all enough to have an idea of the plot for all three. Maybe you could use all three stories and have some kind of over-arching connection that slowly develops over the course of the book. Could be a cool twist!
     
  11. indiraadams
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    indiraadams Banned

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    I like Idea Three the most, if you're asking what book I would pick up by reading the synopsis.

    However, as many have mentioned before me, it doesn't matter what the plot is, as long as the writing is great. How many crazy ideas were turned into wonderful page-turners? I often wonder, "Who would have thought such a crazy thought could turn out SO GOOD?"
     
  12. Henning
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    Henning Member

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    "Idea Two
    Belarus 1940
    Two Jewish brothers who have dreams of success are forced to abandon their home and flee into the forest after their village is massacred, including their parents. They start a partisan movement that increases rapidly in numbers, and they attack Nazi convoys and steal food, in an attempt to survive hardhsips such as winter. Relationships rise and fall, and loyalty, friendship and above all, family, will be tested as the two brothers search for the Nazi officers whom they witnessed execute their parents, whom they have vowed they will kill, one way or another..."

    Change the date to 1941 and call the two brothers Tuvia and Zus, that's a good enough idea to make a movie out of it! I could see Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber accepting the part too. Seriously though, you're a bit too late on that idea no matter how well you write it...

    The first idea sounds like it could be very interesting but be careful of cliches. I'd read it. And the third one could work if, like Dryriver said, you do a lot of research before writing it. But in the end like others have said it's up to you to decide what you'll use :)
    Just don't waste time writing Defiance.
     
  13. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    These ideas appear generic to me because they only have external conflict. External conflict is great but what really interests me is internal conflict.
     
  14. Defenestration
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    Defenestration New Member

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    Glad somebody else picked up on that. Seriously Idea 2 might as well be the blurb on the back of the Defiance DVD.

    Just remember as well that epic events can't make boring characters interesting but interesting characters can make boring events epic.
     
  15. Broken Essence
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    Broken Essence Member

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    I liked the 2nd idea the most.
     
  16. Henning
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    Henning Member

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    Everyone did, it was a great movie!
     
  17. Seashells
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    Seashells New Member

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    I like the third idea. Good luck.
     

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