Monday, November 24, 2008

Aardvark 1

I don't intend to post all of these every day, so don't worry. Today's just kind of neat because I didn't know if this would really work out.

My quasi-random number generator (AKA Mr. W shouting out a number) told me to work with item #76 on my 90-item-long list of book ideas. This idea consisted of:
a woman is an unexpected gold medalist at the Olympics and must deal with the changes in her life.
Not exactly specific, is it? No sport information, no details on changes... and I think this might be one of my MORE-detailed entries. Hmm. :)

Anyhoo, I started to play with it. My favourite techniques are a) free-writing (just keep typing and see what falls out), b) making a list of words related to the story, then picking one of those words and building a new list off it, then picking another word... and c) tarot cards. (This one needs some explanation - essentially I think of a question, like "how does she want this to work out?", draw a card, write down what the card looks like, and then figure out what that means for the story.)

This is the first time I've started from an essentially blank slate in coming up with a book topic. Raoul was similar but I had more than the line above. I wasn't at all sure if I'd get anything.

I have 8 single-spaced pages of typed notes, and I have the following description.

Four years ago, Andrea was an unexpected marathon Olympic silver medalist. This year, more mature and better trained, the country expects her to bring home an easy gold. Instead, her failure to listen to herself and her own training needs results in a dreadful performance as she lets nerves and pressure destroy her. Her husband urges her to quit competing and take the cushy broadcasting job she's been offered, but she can't live with how she performed and longs to go back for one more try at Olympic glory. When she eventually decides to do just that, they separate.

Alone, she spends all her time training, supported by the one sponsor who didn't dump her after the games. Watching the winter Olympics, she is touched by the disastrous performance, and terrible handling thereof, of a young female skier, and reaches out to support the girl. The skier becomes the daughter Andrea never had, but Andrea can't keep the girl from self-destructing and eventually killing herself just months before Andrea's Olympics.

Devastated, Andrea again considers quitting but finally accepts that she's a competitor to the core. She runs her marathon, and is in second going into the final lap around the stadium. Her competitor looks back and sees her, and Andrea sees the woman's fear. Andrea doesn't have any fear. She knows what she has to do, and she draws on all the strength she's built bit by bit over the last four years and chases the woman down. The book ends with her just a few steps from the line, knowing it's hers, and hearing the loud whistle of her husband.

Do I love it? I'm not entirely sure. HOWEVER, it's a plot line. I think there are flaws, but this is four hours' worth of work.

More importantly, it's validation for the whole "take a few words and spend a day making a book from it, then make a new book tomorrow" concept.

When Mr. W comes home I'll get him to choose a new random number and start thinking about tomorrow's idea. For now, my brain's tired. :) So I'll ask you (and rest assured, I can handle rejection :) - would you read this book?

4 comments:

Riohnna said...

Well, I am a science fiction/fantasy fan myself. When I lived in America, I read science fiction/fantasy or Wiccan/Pagan books.

Lauria @ Brackenbury Lane said...

It's hard to say if I'd read it or not. It's a little "lifetime movie." Complicated and seemingly impossible coincidences. But when looking at a working outline, it's hard to judge. This is just one day's worth of work. (And damn, what a day! 8 pages worth of notes!!) I'm sure it would be refined as time went on. Reading the line about the whistle was the final crazy thing. Maybe if next to the scoreboard they posted an image of her husband, I could believe that. You see that happen like on TV. "So and so is here today. He's the blahtatita of our VIP. Commentcomment..." But hearing a specific whistle out of SO many in a stadium seems impossible.

Of course books are fiction and we don't WANT reality, now do we? I'm reading Tom Jones now and it's ludicrous. And I can't wait until it gets MORE ludicrous! So I don't know. I'm don't think I have a very good answer!!

But I'm excited to hear about what you're working on, so keep up the posts!

Diana said...

I would totally read it. I'd love to read all of your other stuff too!

Heather Wardell said...

Riohnna, I checked your profile and see you like the Pern series with Anne McCaffrey (spelling? not positive, but you know who I mean!). I read the first few, I should look into her again!

Lauria, I hear you. Especially on the whistle, you're absolutely right. :) I was in a "must figure out an ending for this fool thing" mood and didn't want to stop before I got something to wrap it up. The scoreboard is far more reasonable.

Diana, you may be my new best friend. :) I intend to make "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" (my first novel) available for free download off my site by the end of the year. I'll let everyone know when it happens! :)

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