Intrigue in the Greenhouse

My current story concept goes a little bit like this.

A retired collector of rare cacti and succulents is targeted by a con man pretending to be in love with her in order to steal her rare plants. What happens when she discovers him cutting stems off her plants in the greenhouse?

I’ve always wanted to set a short story inside a greenhouse. I don’t really have a great reason why other than I’ve always enjoyed spending time in a greenhouse.

In this story, the con man will go to great lengths to get what he wants. I think it makes the most sense to have him work for a greedy corporation, and here are some working names.

  • Coffey Cosmosoft
  • Dale Foreign Innovative Implementations
  • Open Vista Transportation
  • Vang Specialized Implementations
  • Wholesale Of Annapolis

 

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Three for the Road

I just wrapped up a short road trip through the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful country. Here are three story ideas I’m working on as a result of the trip.


A brother tries to counsel and console his sister through a difficult divorce. What problems from their past come up, and what happens when the soon-to-be ex-husband shows up drunk?

A preacher discovers that someone who looks exactly like him has been visiting strip clubs. How does he deal with his church members who lose faith in him, and what does he do when he finally hunts down his double and confronts him?

A wealthy marketing executive in Northern California wants to buy a motorcycle but his wife is opposed since her father died on a motorcycle. Does the executive buy a motorcycle or not, and how does the wife respond?


And here are some possible names for the sister in the first story idea. She is the one going through the difficult divorce.

  • Aimee Raquel Wilder
  • Beverley Carmela Farmer
  • Cherie Freida Harrell
  • Claudette Geraldine Castillo
  • Dawn Bradford
  • Deana Justine Martinez
  • Elizabeth Gina Barrett
  • Elvira Sallie Benton
  • Enid Crawford
  • Erma Warner
  • Essie Minnie Sargent
  • Evangeline Hanson
  • Felecia Colon
  • Felecia Sofia Riley
  • Felicia William
  • Francisca Pugh
  • Greta Megan Hodge
  • Helen Frazier
  • Holly Suzette Armstrong
  • Ila Jacklyn Maxwell
  • Inez Lenore Harrington
  • Jacquelyn Sophia Glover
  • Janine Marina Haley
  • Josie Earnestine Ortega
  • Julie Florence Carr
  • Julie Lorrie Chandler
  • Krista Tonia Black
  • Ladonna Cassie Love
  • Lara Alford
  • Letha Lorna Mcgee
  • Luella Lucinda Barton
  • Mae Odonnell
  • Margaret Phillips
  • Myra Le
  • Myrtle Stokes
  • Nadine Kemp
  • Naomi Dora Mcpherson
  • Natalie Levy
  • Paula Casandra Doyle
  • Rhoda Adela Nixon
  • Rosa Padilla
  • Rowena Raymond
  • Sheila Walls
  • Simone Avery
  • Toni Beverly Wooten
  • Trina Hunter
  • Ursula Simone Todd
  • Wendy Ila Velasquez
  • Willa Angelica Young
  • Yvonne Abigail Moreno

 

The Seven Types of Story

Christopher Booker wrote a book entitled, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories in 2004. Here are his seven plot concepts.

Overcoming the Monster

The protagonist sets out to defeat something that threatens him/her or a group they belong to.

Rags to Riches

A protagonist is in some way misfortunte, usually financially. Throughout the story, he/she acquires things such as power, wealth or a love interest.

The Quest

The protagonist sets out to acquire an object or get to a location, facing many obstacles and temptations along the way.

Voyage and Return

The protagonist goes to a strange land and, after overcoming the threats it poses to him or her, returns with experience.

Comedy

A humorous character faces conflict that becomes more and more confusing, but is at last made plain in a single clarifying event.

Tragedy

The protagonist is a hero who makes a mistake that brings about his/her downfall, evoking sympathy.

Rebirth

An important event forces the main character to change his/her ways, often making him/her a better person.

I’ve also collected a few simple story ideas for this Summer that follow these plot frameworks.

  1. A pilot from Denmark is delighted when he gets the chance to take part in the final of Bake Off. However, his chances are scuppered by an angry tiger. Despite everything, the pilot wins the competition and becomes a global celebrity..
  2. An author from Liverpool is delighted when she gets the chance to take part in the final of a talent show. However, her chances are scuppered when her car breaks down on the way to the competition. After the drama, the author realizes there is more to life than winning a talent show and goes on a picnic with her mother instead..
  3. Charlie is a Jedi from England who falls in love with his golf caddy. The two are separated when the golf caddy catches the flu and has to stay in hospital where she makes new friends. However, Charlie manages to rescue the situation by hacking into his email.
  4. In a world where apes have infiltrated the government, one carpenter has no choice but to protect mankind using the best golf club in the word. After a long and drawn out battle, the carpenter saves the day.
  5. Stafford is a wizard from Japan who falls in love with his best friend. The two are separated when the best friend goes away to war. However, Stafford manages to rescue the situation by slaying a dragon.
  6. When a cowboy from Canada learns the secret to world peace, not everybody is supportive. However, his fortunes improve when his arch enemy gets him a gig at a local theatre. In the end, the cowboy becomes a better person and is admired by all.
  7. In a world where monkeys are warriors, one acrobat has no choice but to leave Facebook using just her mind. Finally, the acrobat has a meaningful chat with the monkeys and they come to an amicable agreement.
  8. In a world where apes have infiltrated the government, one fairy has no choice but to find another planet to colonize by becoming a world leader. Eventually, the fairy forms an army and teaches the apes a little respect.

The Lost Brother

I’m working on a new story idea, which goes a little like this:

Two brothers fly to one of the most remote places on earth to search for a third brother. Why did that third brother go there, and what is the conflict between the brothers?

There’s some good debate as to what the most remote places are on Earth, so I consulted this guide: 12 of Earth’s Most Remote Places and Communities from the travel site Atlas & Boots.

I’m settling on using the Kerguelen Islands as the main setting. It is an extremely remote setting — more than 2,000 miles away from the nearest other populated place on Earth. That would make it incredibly challenging to get to. I’m thinking that one of the two brothers is an amateur pilot and part of the challenge he would face is overcoming a fear of flying at night.

The twist to the story is that the third brother has simply created an illusion that he has traveled to this remote location. It will be an elaborate ruse, as he has gone to great lengths to make it seem that he is here. In fact, he’s really living secretly in Manhattan and living a relatively anonymous but lucrative life as a bond trader on Wall Street.

Obviously, the local islanders will be in on the ruse as the two brothers search fruitlessly for their brother. One of the islanders, a pretty young woman named Erika, will fall for one of the two brothers and eventually confess the secret.

Suffering a Crowded Death

Here’s the start to a story concept about a young man who simply wants to be alone, but dies while surrounded by people he cannot understand or bear to be with.

It was a tattered day accentuated by the windy drizzle. It was hard to believe that in a few moments, I would suffer a crowded death.

I was enjoying hopping brilliantly as Dentist skipped begrudgingly, like a giant gerbil walking beautifully.

The ruler had tattered trees and a windy eye. It didn’t look dangerous. Not even its worrying flaps warned me of my fate. I should have sensed the danger in its hill.

I can still vividly recall the hat coming down on my fingers like a ugly blade – chatter. My life slipped away.