Abandoned ideas

Everyone’s got those story ideas that just go nowhere. There’s definitely a few concepts I’ve played with that never really came together. What story ideas, or scenes, or whatever, have you had and just can’t get rid of?

For me, there’s a few concepts that I can’t quite make into a story. The first is about an actor at a production company sometime in the future. The company ensures it gets great performances from it’s actors with enforced method acting, through contractual surrender of bodily autonomy. As in, they implant the personality they want. Great performance, actor goes home at the end of the day well paid for their time and unaware of their activities. Of course, in this story one man finds out the company he works for does gay porn, and he’s a much bigger star than he realises.

So that one never really got anywhere, just because I couldn’t really figure out where it would go. Or start, really.

The other probably failed for a similar reason, it was pretty much just the setting, not so much the plot (granted, a lot of my plots are very thinly draped on the smut, but this one needed far more exposition than usual). It was a story in the retrofuturistic year of 1994, as dashing Space Hero, Roger Dhaurd, and his mild-mannered assistant Pert Buttsaplenty attempt to save a space station orbiting Uranus from the menacing alien overlord currently occupying it.

So what have you tried to make a story out of? Do you know why it didn’t go anywhere? Do you want to try it again, but need a fresh perspective on the idea?

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I think the actor idea is very cool and potentially very hot! The “problem” that you have “an image” of what you think of what turns you on, rather than placing it within a narrative arc.

If I took that acting story, I would envision what would ultimately happen: the guy becomes a kind of sex fiend/addict/hustler. To make an impact, the guy has to start out somewhat (but not entirely) the opposite: like most aspiring actors, he’s kind of aggressive in trying to get gigs (acting jobs) but he gets turned down…probably for being a bit of a nerd or a nebbish - someone without character. Most actors pay a lot of attention to their looks, so he’d be youthful looking, clean-shaved, probably wavy light brown hair.

So in one play, he gets the part, and the rehearsals for the character start transforming him to be aggressive in sex. At some point he has to have a crisis where he can’t tell the difference between the acting and real life. He gets so hung up he has to go cruising and using the pick-up lines from the play, and finding it really satisfies him. And then pretty soon his acting character has taken over his real life persona, but even more - so that his continually growing real life persona starts taking over the acting - he winds up adlibbing and making moves on the other actors. Etc. (Would be very cool if it was another straight-to-gay subplot in there, but there are so many of those…)

I’d say my problem is that my “image” is generally not a sexual one, but a “state of being.” I get turned on by a transformation, with the sex being just an appendage, rather than the main thing (which I suppose is what a majority of readers want). I’m working on two stories at the moment…hopefully will finish up soon.

nycboot’s concept feels more dramatically interesting to me, and we’d get to watch as the actor changes over time. I’d almost ask if I could take the idea and run with it, but it’s probably too much like my “Acting Out” story, where an actor seeks help in order to play a gay character more authentically. The problem with TickledPink’s premise seems to me to be that the protagonist is unaware of what he’s doing, so we’d probably get descriptions of him having hot sex, but the character himself isn’t having an emotional or psychological reaction to what’s being done to him. What does he think has been happening when he blacks out that would be worth so much money? I like the funny/dark twist of him discovering that he’s an inadvertent porn star, but if you just end it there, it’s not much more than a vignette. I’d be more inclined to START the story with him getting odd reactions from people who seem to recognize him from somewhere, on top of which he’s been having bouts of amnesia. (Or maybe he’s been going to a shady clinic for treatments for insomnia, but finds himself oddly tired and sexually drained after he wakes up from every session?) The drama comes from his investigation and discovery that he’s actually a porn star and how he grapples with that realization. Is he angry? Does he seek revenge? Or does it turn him on? Does he seek to become more like his onscreen persona? Not necessarily the typical sort of story for this site, but that’s what I’d want to explore as a writer.

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I like that idea, @Cris_Kane I can even seem him wanting to investigate his non-porn life, having sympathy for it, but ultimately finding out that his heart & soul is being a porn star so he tries to erase the existence of his parallel being. Go with it! Maybe both you and @TickledPink can start with the same premise and write different stories. Would be interesting to see how similar and different they are.

Not sure if this was what you were suggesting in your response, but do you mean the twist could be that the guy is really a porn star to begin with and sought treatments that would rid him of that temptation and let him just live as an ordinary guy? So the “normal” strait-laced guy we meet who is trying to figure out why he keeps blacking out is actually the constructed persona…and only when he blacks out does he revert to his real self and fall back into what he felt was self-destructive behavior? That feels like it’s got very interesting potential: in essence, Dr. Jekyll discovering that he was really Mr. Hyde in the first place, and that it’s Hyde who took a potion that turned him into Dr. Jekyll. Seems like someone must have done a story with that premise, but I can’t think of an example offhand.

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Closest approximations I can think of are “Bourne Identity” and “Long Kiss Goodnight”, but I can’t think of a story where the other personality wasn’t a trained assassin.

I’m not sure who @Cris_Kane is responding too, but his latest idea is kind of in a story that I’ve read a few times but can’t recall the name. It’s about an older guy who discovered a mysterious gym facility. To really get the full benefit of the facility, he has to live there. The head of the facility takes a personal interest in him and he has his own sleeping area and does the work outs. But oddly he blanks out at certain times of the day. Meanwhile his body is beginning to look real good. The best part of the story is when the owner says to the guy “Wake up, Vinnie” or something like that. And then the reader realizes that the owner has been implanting an entirely different personality in the guy, so the old personality just disappears. Sadly, the story sorta goes downhill from there, but it’s a nice workup.

I’ve done a search on “Vinnie” and “Vince” and can’t find the story, so my memory of the key phrase is obviously wrong. But it’s something like that.

Now that’s interesting, as those are directions I never would have considered going with. The idea of the Mr Hyde personality being the original and attempting to cover it with a Dr Jekyll is also a quite nifty concept that I’d never really thought of before.

Having no reaction or effect is an area that the original concept falls down on. I have thought about the idea more since posting it, and I did come up with one way for it to work and it does relate to the waking up afterwards style of things. Basically for one of the shoots have his original personality not go to sleep like he should, kicking things off that way.

But yeah, I suspect this idea may be more suited to a more dramatic or serious treatment than I would usually give, which is probably one of the contributing factors as to why I never really got that far with it.

TickledPink, with your permission, I’d like to keep that Jekyll/Hyde idea in my back pocket as something to work on. I don’t want to tread on your original idea, so unless you give me the okay, I’ll avoid the actor/porn angle. (I do like the idea of strangers recognizing him from porn, though, and especially the moment of suddenly recognizing himself in a porn movie.) Maybe I could just have him being a sex addict who wanted to change his ways and took the extreme step of having a new personality installed, but guys from his past keep having unusual reactions when they run into him, leading him to the realization that there are things about his past that he can’t remember.

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Cris_Kane feel free to run with it however you like, sex addict come clean, or unwitting porn star, consider the idea open slather.

As a general thing if I post up an idea or suggestion, it’s pretty much available for anyone to have at it. I look forward to seeing it some day.

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Thanks, TP. By the way, I just woke up with the answer to my initial question about your initial idea, “What does he think has been happening when he blacks out that would be worth so much money?” Obviously if they have the technology to implant a personality that will do whatever they need to make him a compliant porn star, they would also have the technology to implant a fake memory of what he was doing all day. So he goes home at the end of the day remembering that he acted in a soap opera or did Shakespeare or whatever to earn his pay.

Well that would cover it nicely, and with such artistically fulfilling work that pays well it’s no wonder he’d be happy to work there!

My story idea that never went anywhere is a science-fiction story where people on Earth begin exhibiting mental powers, usually in the form of heightened perception, intelligence, persuasiveness, or dominance, but also including things like telepathy, precognition, and other such abilities. I have three chapters of that story in various states (not even sure if I ever wrote any of the third, but I’ve at least got it in my head still). The protagonist has a form of dominance where whatever he says becomes true for the person he’s speaking to, though there are a few drawbacks/limitations to his ability as well. He mostly uses it to get guys, which is what the first two chapters are about. The third chapter, he’s kidnapped by an agency that wants to study him, but he breaks out and in so doing, discovers that there are others like him out there. That’s as far as I’ve imagined/written that one, and I have no idea quite how to get from there to the next bit.

The aforementioned next bit becomes much more science-fictiony and takes place off-world. It’s done from the perspective of someone else with similar abilities to the above protagonist (maybe unrelated, maybe a child of him somehow, or a child of a straight person with comparable abilities). This is moderately typical for sci-fi in that there are many survivors waking up over time, each with their own abilities (though more broad-ranging and survival-oriented than just the mental disciplines from above). It’s not hard for them to figure out that aliens rescued them from WW3 or similar when humanity was unable to save/stop itself. The protagonist is young at first, and we see him growing up and beginning to use his dominance discipline, but he realizes that nobody around him shares this particular skill and believes that he’s a mistake on the part of the aliens. I won’t give away where that’s going, but suffice it to say, it wasn’t a mistake.

In both parts of the story, I don’t really know quite where they’re going other than the broad strokes (even less so for the second one than the first), and I don’t know if I have the skill to write something that focusses as much on the sci-fi as it does on the porn, while keeping it interesting and flowing smoothly.

Oh and to give you an idea of how long this one’s been percolating, my fantasy casting for the first chapter included Justin Bieber and Taylor Lautner. Lautner was on my mind because I’d just seen the last Twilight movie on DVD and Bieber was still 18. :slight_smile: (Yup, just checked and Word says I created Chapter 1 on Oct. 10, 2012.)

After a few drinks, my alleged mind came up with this idea after seeing word “abandoned”. How about a guy decides to “explore” an abandoned asylum (mental hospital) & tries on a straight jacket that is possessed & makes him a retard?


I need some of what you’re drinking!

May I suggest a more elaborate scenario? The guy explores the abandoned asylum (I’m thinking ca. 1900-1930) and in each room he enters, he finds a different tool that was used to maintain the inmate. So he could try on a doctor’s white coat, devices needed to restrain the patients, other stuff, and the straight jacket can be the last one that he can’t escape.

I drink from the Alter of Murdock

Exactly, bordering on a possession theme. Something like a Stephen King flavor.

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Ah! I have one even better. The guy explores the asylum, and first finds equipment that a nurse or lab assistant would use. He puts it on, and he’s made to feel he’s helping an aggressive doctor abuse a patient. Next, he finds a doctor’s white coat. He puts it on and he eventually imagines himself being the aggressive doctor abuser (or wanting to abuse) a patient. He takes it off, explores more. He then finds the straightjacket and puts it on – and the reader finally realizes that the patient the doctor was abusing is the guy with the straightjacket. (Reminds me of the story where the kid does all the computer games in different roles until he’s programmed forever to see it as reality.) Could be very nice!

How about straight jacket locking it self onto him as it slowly drives him crazy? Especially a hidden crotch strap that gets painfully tight on him.