Want to shock people? Come up with something so benign it hurts, and then add something at the other end of the spectrum.
What if: Instead of getting the Christmas Spirit old Ebenezer decided money was more important? What if he went to little Tim’s funeral and then went to dinner with friends later on? His rich friends.
What if: The cowboys at the Oxbow decided the rancher was a d-bag, hung him, killed his son, and raided his cattle stock.
What if: Blue Duck changed his name and appearance, moved east, and opened a Vaudeville act. But it was only a ruse. He started robbing banks in New York City.
What if: Luke had thought about it for a minute. “My dad is the Dark Overlord. We could run this thing.” Forget Han and Yoda. I’m gonna be the head honcho for a change. Corvette Summer would never have been made, and Mark Hamill would probably have become one of the greatest actors of our time.
Oh, but for a few twists of fate, or plot writing.
Christmas: All about the money, despite Dickens attempts at a higher purpose.
Justice: All about the money, still.
Villains: Never as bad as we make them out to be.
Star Wars: Disney owns it now. Get ready for some theme songs sung by Elton John and Selena Gomez.
I write this because I am working on something. It’s a series. I hit Hugh Howey up and read some of what he had to say. If you haven’t read his blog you are missing out. It is a mix of criticism of the publishing industry, Science Fiction free stuff, and general rambling. One of the pieces of advice he generously throws out is to try new ideas. Turn things around. So I did.
Even the Anti-Christ needs a Momma and Daddy.
Not the Damien anti-christ. The real one. Nobody buys the spawn of Satan and a jackal thing. This one has a real mother and father. They actually care about him. They want him to succeed in life. Go to college, get good grades, a decent internship, foot in the door, and then get married, have kids, go to Disney World. Maybe his dad wants him to play on the first string offense at Auburn (that is where I would send my kid if he were to be the Anti-Christ). His mom just wants him to be safe, and to meet a nice girl who knows how to make a decent casserole. A bucolic scene, if you ask me.
Throw in the backstory. The one where his father was a killing machine in far away lands, and his mom was on the cusp of becoming a prostitute to pay for college. Now that is a story. How did they become the “nuclear family”? It took a lot of work. Part one will be up soon.
On a side note: Mark Hamill didn’t give up on acting, but it seemed to give up on him. My opinion is he should have stuck it out in Sci-Fi movies. He could have ended up somewhere. But that’s what you get for not wanting to get typecast. He did end up doing some Broadway, and then found his niche in voice work for animation. This led him to create/write a comic, The Black Pearl, for Darkhorse. So he is a man of many talents. Dickens on the other hand wrote stuff you had to read in middle school, yawn. McMurtry? He did a lot of stuff, not just Lonesome Dove. Terms of Endearment and its sequel were both his. He also won an award for writing a screenplay (some movie about cowboys and mountain with a broken back). Yeah, that was the guy that wrote about Call and Gus shooting it out with Apache Indians.
Most people have lives like that. They do one thing, and just when you begin to accept it as being “normal”… BAM! David Hasselhof is on the floor wrestling with a cheeseburger in Vegas. That’s you and me.
Here is a research link for the writerly folks: Television Tropes