Novel Ideas That Didn’t Make The Cut

inspiration novel ideas story ideasI DISCOVERED AN old word document on my computer yesterday, tucked away in a folder pulled from my last laptop.

Dated 2010, I was brainstorming concepts which could be fleshed out to make a novel. My first novel – Pathfinders – was half complete at this point, but I had one eye on a follow up, though not necessarily in the same sci-fi/thriller genre.

Unsurprisingly, most of these ideas are fairly weak but I thought it would be fun to share them to see what others thought!

  1. Lazarus raised from the dead by Jesus – what the scripture didn’t reveal was that Jesus’ touch gave Lazarus eternal life, and he’s had to endure thousands of years on earth and lived through countless battles, deaths, miseries, triumphs and witnessed revolutions in foreign lands. At least that’s what a prison convict would have us believe where we start the narrative. A young college journalist writing a local piece on prison inmates stumbles upon ‘Lazarus’ and his colourful history. Is he mad or sane? Can he really be trusted?
  2. Self-Help motivational speaker (Satan) travels the country collecting souls of his converts. They commit to his Supreme Success Seminars (SSS-666?) and sign over their life by signing the contract. Passes through a hick town and encounters an old school sheriff – takes no shit and doesn’t buy into the fad.
  3. Recently deceased widow reads her email one night and feels nostalgic about her lover who was killed by a drunk driver. Viewing old messages from her inbox she reads an email dated from four years earlier from her husband. Deciding to respond and put down everything she felt about him and how much she misses him, she hits send. She receives an email response two weeks later.
  4. A Goonies type children horror story centring on a small village, with eccentric cast. Involves group of close friends who camp in the storyteller’s garden – at night with their parents in bed and the rest of the village seemingly asleep, they roam around the village, scaring each other senseless but then witness the local hermit being bundled into the back of a car by a local priest. The hermit is never seen from again, but the boys are determined to piece together the puzzle and their midnight reconnaissance’s uncover a disturbing plot.
  5. A teenagers experience with a ouija board temporarily opens a portal which reveal three truths. The first that her mother would die suddenly. The second that a terrorist attack would reduce her city centre to ruins, and the third, that the President of the U.S.A is going to die. #1 was the wake up call, #2 she couldn’t prevent in time, #3…how does she, a 15 year old girl get the President’s attention?
  6. God puts out an advert on every TV channel, news station, print, magazine. An announcement will take place on 25th September. With billions tuning in, he announces from the Heavens that there is no more space left in heaven, with purgatory overflowing into hell already. To even the numbers, he can only take on 10 more people from each country to make it democratic. This story charts the journey of those 10 and what it takes to survive when all hell literally breaks loose.
  7. Modern day take on Jack (Jake) and the Beanstalk. In a sleepy village the main character and cast are in the pub skulling pints. Jake decides it’s time to hit the hard stuff and orders a round of shots. The pub owner polishes off a special home brew with ingredients pulled from the four corners of the world. The group knock back all nine shots except Jake. He decides he’s having none of that and pours it into a nearby pot plant. Over the coming weeks, the plant grows wildly, so much so that it begins to dwarf the size of the house. Pissed one night, Jake decides to climb it and discovers a world above the clouds.

One of the above ideas did actually sprout legs in 2015 and I spent three months creating the first draft.

At the risk of sounding like Rolf Harris, can you guess what it is?

– Further Reading – The Danger of Losing Novel Threads, The Perfect Storm (finding novel ideas)

pathfinders chapter 1

Image attribution Offline Marketing Techniques that Actually Get the Job Done via photopin (license)

8 thoughts on “Novel Ideas That Didn’t Make The Cut

  • I was about to use some amateur psychoanalysis and say that given number one was first, it was probably that one you had started…but then I read the comments above and was scuppered. I quite like most of these to be honest…it is fun to throw ideas around eh?

    The less you compare yourself to Rolf Harris the better…I hope you heard the news in distant Colombia about Rolf…a very sad day for anyone who grew up with him on the TV.

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    • Haha! Yes. Rolferoo. Didn’t see that coming. Ronnie Corbett left us today too. Childhood memories being shed for one reason or another. Kids of today won’t know what they’re missing. Look at David Bowie and his legacy and compare it to any one popular now. Frightening what passes as music. Rant over!

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      • Amen to all of that, Mr Reid.

        I am not sure if it is just because you grow up with things that they are part of your fabric and what you enjoy…but it is fair to say that comedy and music and so many other things are just not what they used to be.

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  • Raising Lazarus is a great idea. You probably know that there is sometimes a minor debate in theological circles as to whether or not Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead permanently, or if Lazarus merely lived out the rest of his normal lifespan and died again (to await the final resurrection along with everyone else).

    The implications of a 2,000 year old Jewish man born in ancient Judea living in the modern world until the return of the Christ who gave him this life are astounding. It would be interesting to see how he would take his ancient Jewish praxis forward in time, particularly after the destruction of the Temple during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE. In the years and decades afterward, he would have taken his cue from the other exiled Jews, but in the centuries to follow, what would he have done? Would he have adapted to the evolving practices of Rabbinic Judaism or maintained the more ancient praxis?

    And what would all that look like in the 21st century? I have an interest in looking at the Bible, both testaments (though I don’t mentally organize the Bible that way) from an ancient and modern Jewish point of view, so if I had written the story, I would have set aside the Christian traditions regarding how I imagined Lazarus (Eliezer was his name in Hebrew).

    I actually like writing Biblically based fiction, though I haven’t done so in many months. I just “transplanted” one of my “Biblical” stories, literally adding another chapter to the Book of Jonah to my fiction writing blog (spam alert).

    I can’t find your book “Raising Lazarus” via a Google search. Is it not yet published?

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    • Not published until the end of the year James. I’ve written the first draft. I like to let a few months pass before going back over and reading – allowing new insights and the juices to blend together, so that I can approach it with fresh eyes for a second time before passing to an editor. You’ve raised a lot of good points that have given me food for thought. Thanks so much

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      • No worries, Aidan. I don’t know if you have a particular religious bent (just because you write about a crime fighting Priest doesn’t necessarily mean you’re Catholic), but I think Christians traditionally think of everyone Jesus encountered, not in terms of ancient Judaism, but modern Christianity.

        My wife is Jewish, so I’ve done a considerable amount of reading and research about the devotion to Yeshua (Jesus’s actual name in Hebrew) by first century Jews such as the apostles including Paul, and until a certain critical period in history, the practice of devotion to Jesus was a completely Jewish practice.

        I could go on and on, but I don’t want to inundate you with my thinking. The thing is, I believe Lazarus would tell a tale of his encounter with Rav Yeshua that most Christians wouldn’t anticipate.

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