Fishing for Ideas… Catch and Release Style

Camp Nanowrimo is coming up in a couple of weeks, and my goal is 30k off a new Science Fiction project. All fine and well. Except, of course, that I don’t actually have a Science Fiction project, and I don’t have an idea for one.

I don’t have an idea for any other kind of project, either.

So, I spent most of this morning–between mindless day job tasks–toying with an idea that hit me somewhere between thinking about the latest headlines, and thinking about very basic characteristics. Height. Age. Gender.

Or, you know.. genders.

So my hypothetical main character in my hypothetical idea wakes up one morning to discover she has been transformed into… A man. (What?!! At least she didn’t turn into a giant cockroach, or anything.)

And this happens to be par for the course in her (’cause it’s supposed to be science fiction) alien society. It’s not like she wasn’t prepared for it. She’d had “the talk.”

“The talk?” Well, that was a surprise. I don’t write about children. I might be able to scare up a teenager or two, if I looked really hard, but they wouldn’t be main characters. And I don’t really write for children.

And yet, here’s my idea, looking for all the world like a metaphor for puberty.

The idea stuck. I don’t know why. The MC is now a teenage girl who wakes up the day of prom to discover… Well, let’s be honest. I definitely didn’t envision my main character turning into a teenage boy. Where’s the fun in that?

But suffice it to say, she missed the mark worrying about whether her prom dress showed too much cleavage.

The dress–and the cleavage conversation–brought up the idea of parents. Let’s say “parents,” because obviously, they have the same species-specific relationship to gender that my main character does.

Apparently, the parents are immigrants. I don’t know where they came from, and I don’t know where they are, right now–Earth, maybe?–but they know the old ways are best. And prom dresses just don’t have the traditional robes’ gift for covering everything that may or may not need to be covered. No, it doesn’t matter what Jayna Merman is wearing.

And then, there’s the question of that prom date. *groan* Exactly how is he going to take the new and improved main character?

**Looks at what this idea is turning into**

YA? Is it YA? Young adult? It is young adult!

**screams, and throws it back.**


  1. Eva


    Ha! This made me grin and wonder at possibilities. It sounds like it could be both poignant and screamingly funny… If only it rocks your world enough to make you want to write it! 😉

    • Reply

      LOL. There’s a lot of my muse in there, somewhere. It’s got the kind of complicated relationships that I love to write about, and lots of space to play… but I keep catching on the teenager thing. I was never really the boy-crazy, prom-going, YA type, so I don’t think I could write with much authenticity.

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