The Rule of Twenty

Going swimmingly! The 51 day marathon, that is. I only missed yesterday, but I'll blame the heat/humidity wave, and catch up tonight. I've been putting poor Rose through the ringer emotionally, with death scenes (in anticipation of Tessa's blogfest) and confrontations galore.

Out of the Water and The Face of A Lion are very nearly my twentieth stories, a bit of trivia I mention due to Nathan Bransford's recent reference to the Rule of Twenty referred to on Upstart Crow Literary.

The rule is this: It is only when one reaches the twentieth or so idea that one starts entering the realm of the truly original idea.

The full list looks something like this:

1 aldo - a young boy's adventures, about three "chapters" worth - chapters in quotation marks since the whole thing was written when I was about seven and barely filled a grade school exercise book

2 life in the fridge - literally, this was a conversation piece between the various fruits and vegetables in a fridge

3 the teapot - I won't give away the spoiler; the full story is here.

4 cliffhanger dialogue - a one page conversation between a dying man and his friend

5 lavender - the story of a girl who runs away to the mountains of British Columbia and rescues a bear

6 the orphanage in australia - exactly that; it was meant to be some sort of romance but with a woman rescuing a couple of kids rather than a male-female tale

7 the three convicts - actually, two convicts and a cop, travelling between prisons across an American desert, with one or the other handcuffed together

8 elaine - a whimsical piece based around the titles of the songs on the first album by The Tea Party

9 the man who'd never seen the sun - a philosophical, metaphorical play

10 katherine and what's his name - a story that exists only in plot form. Plot outlines and character sketches appeal to my mania for organization and list making but the one time I tried to bring it into my writing I was stuck with the plot and the sketches and the story still hasn't been written. I've even forgotten the male protagonist's name, but I know he was an architect. The female was Katherine Randall (and this was *before* I read Outlander!) but I don't remember her job. I think it was supposed to be a love triangle story...

11 A Short Album About Love - play based on the Divine Comedy album of the same name

12a and 12b Per and Marie - my first two complete novels, romances based on the duo Roxette...

13 An Arnavutkoy Spring - historical romance set in Istanbul, 1910

14 He Ain't Heavy - short story, featuring Charles and Oliver

15 Don't Stand So Close To Me - biographical screenplay

16 Radio Nowhere - an idea I had for the Scholastic Dear Canada series, set in the 1930s

17 post apocalyptic travel - a vague glimmer of an idea only

18 post apocalyptic drama in dome - a dream, described here

19 the spanish love story - another dream!

20a The Face of A Lion - Austin and Kedi's story!

20b Coliseum - working title for the sequel to Austin's story

21 Out of the Water - Rose's story

Which number are you on?

PS Am I the only one who listens to the opening credits of All Creatures Great and Small and sighs for another era and another land?

Don't forget to enter the contest to win a copy of Joanna Bourne's The Forbidden Rose!


Anne Gallagher said…
What a great post! I think I'm only on 14 or 15 but nothing written down. I have 6 ideas that have writing to go along with them.

And I watch all sorts of BBC TV that transports me to Ireland. I love "Creatures" but they don't show it on my station anymore.
Talli Roland said…
Wow, I've never known about the 20th idea thingy! I have no idea what number I'm on - I shudder to think! :)
Deniz Bevan said…
But that's good isn't it - if you've got more than twenty your ideas must be getting even better :-)
I forgot to add one other short story I have, about a farmhand and a noblewoman and their affair...
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Trisha! I got a lot scribbled when I was young :-)