Monday, October 30, 2017

Stories I've Dropped, But That Still Hang Around

In searching for something to blog about, I started pulling out old notebooks and flipping through them. Some of my unfinished stories are quite stupid, some might have potential if reworked. So just for fun, I thought I'd share some of them with you.*

A Sleepily Tilting Nazi

First I have to explain the title. My sisters and I went through a phase years back where we made Mad Libs off of the descriptions of books and movies. In one case, Madeleine L'Engle's A Swiftly Tilting Planet became A Sleepily Tilting Nazi. My middle (non-writer) sister and I started brainstorming what such a story could be about, and then decided to write it. Which fizzled, but I'll see what I can remember from it.

Niels Klein is a German drafted into the Nazi army. He discovers that the man behind WWII is actually a "Tolleroidian" named Victor Grey who used Hitler to start a war as part of his plan to take over earth. But he's also got a serum to control people's minds. Niels figures it out and finds out Grey's weakness only to be trapped in a sleepily tilting state (picture the column holding up Obi-Wan when Dooku has him prisoner in Episode II) for 200 years. 200 years later, earth is war torn and the Mullins children and their grandfather discover that Niels is their only hope for stopping Grey and saving the world. I think at one point, we considered moving it to a fantasy world, but that would require changing the title, and, well, when you're not a good co-writer and your co-writer doesn't write anyway...

The Autobiography of Leah Elisabeth Swann

This is the autobiography of my movie star/missionary to Hollywood character. The writing is terrible and it's easy to tell I know nothing of Hollywood, but it was a fun project. I had a lot more of her life planned out than I actually wrote down, but anyway. It covers her time on set for A Wrinkle in Time (this was before there was a new movie in the works, and is it just me or does Storm Reid look too sweet to be Meg?) and goes through getting the script for a book-accurate version of Johnny Tremain. Incidentally, Johnny Tremain is the movie set upon which she meets her future husband and constant costar, Johnny Milton. Every one of her movies is based on a book I love which either has no movie or has an extremely unsatisfactory one. (Or did at the time. Johnny Milton is in The Giver, the movie of which I actually do like, but again, that was before the movie was made.) 

The Strangest Host

I was watching a lot of The Twilight Zone. 'Nuff said. I only wrote one chapter, and it was because I just had to write something while I was waiting for my mom to read Across the Stars, but I still consider it to contain one of my best/favorite physical descriptions of a character. A girl named Sammie and a boy named Max, both orphans, meet at the town of Scaldstone when they are sent to the school Scaldstone House. They've heard reports of strange goings on at Scaldstone, and indeed, as they try to find their way to the boarding school, they find that the town is empty and every street is exactly alike. They eventually stumble on the school, and there I stopped. It is the same sort of era as The Magician's Nephew and E. Nesbit's books. 


This is one I still really want to write. It's a contemporary about a homeschool family, the Guthridges, who have to have a cousin, Emily, come live with them when her parents die. Emily has been raised very differently from the Guthridges and she isn't a Christian, so she's got a lot of culture shock. However, the story is largely about the oldest girl, Nora, and the way she deals with loving and accepting Emily. I don't feel like I'm ready to do it justice yet, and I'm also not sure how well I can write a story where I can't throw my characters in the dungeon if I feel like it, but it's one I don't want to give up—especially since it's connected to the Watsons of Across the Stars. Jack is one of Nora's best friends, and yes, they're sweet on each other.

Elsie Ferguson Story

No, it doesn't have an official title. This is the story of my big group of people—including Leah and Johnny, the Watsons, the Guthridges, and my beloved Fergusons—having to flee for their lives because the government is after them for being Christians. They're all (or most of them) married adults with children at this point, and they flee in the middle of the night with their kids to hide in the woods. At some point, they do get captured, but somehow they get free and escape to Stappenhance where their stories connect to the Cassie story. If I ever go back to this one, I'm going to have to start over from scratch. The writing is horrendous and I clearly had no idea how to write adults, particularly married ones with young kids. But I may come back to it someday.

Twisted Dreams/Storyless Storyboard Story Tie-In

Yes, another one without an official title. It's backstory for the villain of the Storyless Storyboard Story, though not at all from his perspective. It deals with the time he kidnapped civilians to experiment on them, which is the reason he was exiled from his home. Gretel and her sort-of-friend Jakob are teleported from their home of Hanover in the middle of an attack and taken to a hospital/illegal scientific research facility where they're catalogued for their physical ailments and are to be kept prisoner until they're "cured." This is actually a pretty recent unfinished story. I wrote what I have for personal reasons, and when I no longer needed it for those reasons, I kind of dropped it. However, it is a good tie-in to Twisted Dreams and SSS, so I'd like to rework it someday.

*I'm not going to count the Cassie story, the Espionage sequel, or even the co-write I'm sort of working on because while I'm not actively working on them at the moment, I consider them legitimate works in progress, not dropped stories.

Do any of these stories intrigue you? Any you'd like to see me complete?


  1. Your coauthor needs to work on that one you mentioned in the fine print. Sigh. Maybe in January.

    I don't know why, but I'm getting Hansel and Gretel vibes from your TD/SSS tie-in idea.

    1. Yes, you do. And I need to get beyond those first two paragraphs about Evan. But I'm swamped with other work and more interested in Acktorek at the moment.

      Hmm. Maybe a little. I never thought about throwing a fairy tale into that one. And Gretel and Jakob are most definitely NOT siblings.


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