1/19/2011

My Stupid Idea of the Day

It occurs to me I have lots and lots of ideas for things, not just stories, but most of them really, really stupid. Black-and-white-footage-of-some-bloke-smoking-a-pipe-and-cycling-off-the-end-of-a-pier-on-a-bicycle-equipped-with-hilariously-flapping-wings-stupid. Then I realised I had a blog, where I could post all my stupid ideas if I wanted! Brilliant! Maybe I'll make it a regular feature (or more likely get bored with it and never write another 'stupid idea of the day' post).

My stupid idea of the day ('stupid' because there's probably a plethora of rights-related issues that would make it impossible): can't finish a story? Upload it to a website filled with other, unfinished stories, then browse everyone else's still-borns and see if you can think of a really cool ending for them. The website - let's call it 'finishmystory.com' - would have tiers of membership, including a restricted-access area especially for writers with a proven professional track record of publication. Because even pro writers have lots of stories they never finish, because they can't think of an ending!


Let's say you upload your unfinished story to the site. Somebody trips along, checks out the one-paragraph summary, maybe even recognizes your name, then suddenly sees how to finish the story. It's got them all fired up. So they contact you, you agree to collaborate (if you like their idea), they write the ending, and if the story sells, you split the payment. Simple!

Except, of course, it isn't. The legal ramifications are probably horrifying and complicated. Where I could see it maybe working is in the context of an invitation-only forum you can't join unless you're specifically invited, run by and for pro authors with unfinished short stories languishing on their hard drives.

But, it's an idea, just one in an endless list of stupid ideas I have all the time. And -- hey! There's another really stupid idea! A website where people can post up all the really stupid ideas they've had. We could call it...

7 comments:

Lawrence said...

Apparently Nancy Kress currently has a story in search of an ending (see http://nancykress.blogspot.com/2011/01/passion.html).

gary gibson said...

I read it; it's what got me thinking about all of this in the first place.

Orin Thomas said...

Do we get more stupid ideas of the day? ;-)

neilwilliamson said...

So, sort of like a social networking/online dating site for writers in search of collaboration?

gary gibson said...

Orin: every day is my stupid idea of the day day. It's just that I never thought to share all my stupid ideas before. I figured it's just what the internet needs: more stupid ideas. It's gold-plated win, my friend.

Neil: Yes. We could call it 'datemystory.com'.

RWM said...

Are you aware of Amazon's new scheme to work up scripts from the general public, almost wiki style?
http://studios.amazon.com/

jimsteel said...

Ooh - cyberstalkers! Uh, do you know how many insane people there are out there on the interweb? It would have to be a site with restricted access or you'll get nutters threatening you for stealing their ideas and/or royalties. Hey, there's a story in that if I can come up with an ending.