kaerfel wrote a post in which she mentioned finding a story-start file with only a single ambiguous sentence in it.
I laughed, for I too have many of those cluttering up my files. I know that when I wrotethese I had a complete story in mind, and the story was so obvious and clear to me that I didn’t bother to write detailed notes for surely I would remember it all when I came back to it the next day. And then, of course, I was distracted by some shiny object or other, and forgot all about it.
Here is a sampling of some of my older files (which I think also reflect how sad some of my early ideas were), starting with my favorite:
Title: White Noise Sentence: Hears the voices of ghosts in farts.
My thoughts now: Huh. I’m pretty sure this one was inspired by the fact that I sometimes feel like I can almost make out voices in the hum and gurgle of the refrigerator. Not saying I actually hear ghosts. I’m not psychic or crazy. It’s just that my appliances talk to me. So far, they haven’t told me to do anything bad. Well, too bad. Anyway, point is, I have no idea what the actual story or characters around this thought were. But the visual of someone leaning down to listen intently to a person’s farts is quite strong. And since this story deals with the flatulence and the dead, my mind also tried to come up with a clever way to use the phrase "Silent but deadly," but I don’t think I want to waste too much brain power on that.
Title: Einstein. Sentence: I was in the process of gathering data on Dr. Myers’ illegal experiments when Mr. Fielding’s article appeared in the National Inquirer.
My thoughts now: Okaaayyyyy. Well, I wonder what the illegal experiments were, and what the article was about. Way to go, Einstein.
Title: Final Thoughts Sentence: The end of my days is now close at hand. Close, that is, as such things are measured for my race, who amongst all races are the longest lived in this world since the Firstborn left us.
My thoughts now: I wish MY final thoughts on what the hell I was thinking here had been more clear.
Title: Tower Sentence: When Joan and David began dating, they had both worked at the Tower less than a month. They both began on the bottom floor, although that doesn’t tell you much.
My thoughts now: No, it doesn’t tell us much at all.
Title: Ancestor Masks Sentence: A knock on my apartment door startled me out of my thoughts.
My thoughts now: No! Keep going! Ignore pesky interrupters! I hate when people interrupt me while I’m writing. Especially when it is people I actually don’t want to offend or hurt with my ignoringness or grumpy go away-ness.
Title: The Smell of Her Skin Sentence: My wife is as beautiful today as the day she died.
My thoughts now: I sure hope the title refers to the pre-death smell. I dated a vampire once who swore she was on pig’s blood, but she kept smelling of alcohol sweat. Worse, she smelled of alcohol sweat processed through a body with undead kidney and sweat glands. That pretty well tipped me offshe was feeding on the odd homeless person from time to time. I was crushed. Literally. By her, when she found out I found out. She jumped on top of me, crushing me, but I managed to get her through the heart with a stake. At least I didn’t have to go through the hassle of dividing up the CD collection after that breakup.
SO — what story starts or ideas have you jotted down that you now look at and go WTH?