But I did think it would be fun to keep track of my progress here. I'm mostly posting this for myself, since I'm a process whore and it's kind of easy to lose track of the early work once you get going - I love seeing how ideas grow and evolve, how things change, etc. So feel under no obligation to read, if you're busy or you're not into it. Of course, criticism is always welcomed, constructive or otherwise; I love workshopping, you know.
For shits and giggles, I decided to scan the actual initial brainstorming, because the fact that I work with pen and paper is as important to the process as the words themselves, and just typing them up doesn't really communicate it as well.
I realized that I actually had a hard time reading the scans and it's my own handwriting, so it will probably not be legible to anyone else. Here's a transcription:
(1) Ancient Rome - Republican Times
-Spartacus story told
-civil war bt Caesar and Pompey told
-Pompey ridding Med Sea of pirates? (what is arc of that story? Pompey as antihero, sowing seeds of own eventual destruction - tragic X - who is other side? Caesar?)
-does it have to be big story with known historical personages? minor senator during civil war, divided loyalties (wife sister of one of the boni, but patron in Caesar's camp), torn between fleeing Rome to East or staying
(2) Ancient Rome - rule of Tiberius/Nero/Claudius
-romance between Centurion and Vestal virgin - if during reign of not Nero but Caligula, Centurion could get caught up in assassination intrigue - how would they get caught? - story of escape, bc either they flee or he is executed and she is buried alive - escape could be midpoint or climax, depending on story
(3) Horror story
-set in old abandoned prison - who would be there and why?
-paranormal research team
-stupid teenagers on dare (cliché)
-crew preparing to renovate/tear down
-who is bad guy? don't want to do supernatural thing - more like The Thing
-what keeps them from leaving?
-not really a story here yet; just genre + setting
-already know basic story
-would require a lot of research - would I be ready in two weeks?
(5) Revamp past lives super warrior thing
-cut psychic spy angle - confusing, doesn't make sense
-cut terrorist plot - overdone - would need new threat
-do like "adversaries throughout time" thing - maybe protag not recruited, just ends up running into enemy like she always does, which ends up unlocking her memories?
(6) Speaking of revamping - vampires!
-but actual scary vampires (Lumley-esque)
-vampire hunters seem to be Van Helsing or Buffy - what's a different take?
-an 18th C. villager loses loved one, decides to go after vampire on own = begins only with local folklore, which is woefully inadequate for true nature of vampire - wouldn't want to do actual Dracula thing, but having vamp end up as wealthy baron could be fun - storming the castle - would have to confront turned loved one but as climax, not Lucy first intro to killing vamps - angst! - protag having to do what could not be done earlier - origin story? what makes him/her ruthless hunter, because nothing will ever be worse than having to kill loved one?
Right now I'm really leaning towards number 6 - though I like the idea of some kind of combination of 1 and 2, though that would require a lot more outlining and intensive plotting than I think I can do in a month, if I'm going to draft, as well. This, to me, is a perfect example of what's so great about the writing process. I started off with two ideas I've been vaguely considering for awhile, in that kind of off-hand "write what you know - what do I know a lot about?" way, where I hadn't even begun really thinking about story yet, just milieus and moods. Then 3 didn't go anywhere at all. 4 was an idea I've had for a long time but I've never gotten around to doing all the research it would require. 5 I worked out just because it seemed like I needed another idea or two; it would be a total overhaul of some horrible thing I wrote as an undergrad, and writing it out today made me think that maybe there's nothing salvageable about it. And then it was literally just writing the word "revamp" that made me think of "vampire," and 6, which had not even remotely entered my mind prior to be writing it down, was born. And that's the one that I'm most excited about - I started thinking about plot points on my drive home.