Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Story Idea: 'Threads'

I have so many story ideas bursting through my head right now, I'm going to make a point of sharing them all with you!

*Gasp* I hear some of you writers say! 'Michael, don't you know that people *STEAL* ideas over the Internet?'

Yes, I do. In fact, there are elements of my first novel, 'Theater Boy' in the plot of 'The Matrix.' Now I'm not accusing the writer of The Matrix of stealing my material, but I have to say that I didn't even see The Matrix, which came out in 1999, until 2001, and I was dumbstruck. How could another writer steal my ideas?

For the record, I posted snippets of 'Theater Boy' online in 1997. It IS possible that the ideas were stolen, but since the whole story wasn't stolen, I really can't complain. But on the other hand I can't really use those ideas any more because I'd be accused of copying The Matrix.

But my point is,  writers not only steal all the time, but they also come up with similar ideas all the time. My imagination was sparked by 'Star Trek,' and other science fictions shows and novels. But they can't copyright the idea of space travel, or time travel. They might get you if you use the word 'Tricorder' in your writing (unless you write for Star Trek), but other than that, taking a little something from someone else's idea and coming up with something new, is nothing new.

So with that in mind, comes the idea behind 'Threads.' Threads could be a movie, or it could be a TV show. I'm not sure and that's one reason why I'm posting. I'd like your ideas on where to take it. Now there has been some prior influence from other shows that made this come to mind. "Early Edition' comes to mind. This is not, however, the plot to 'Early Edition.'

Meet Oliver Hardy Henry. His mother had a wicked sense of humor. But he has a sense of the future. Whenever he meets someone, he gets a vision of the next ten days in their life. When he gets these vision, he can literally ask himself, 'What if I do this?' and the vision will change accordingly.

Now when Oliver was young, he used to try to help his friends all the time. He'd tell them if they were going to flunk a test, get dumped by a girl, dump a girl, miss the winning basket in the state championship, etc. His friends didn't believe him at first, then got pissed off at him when he was right.

Soon he had no friends, but he did get married.

Now his marriage is on the rocks, and no matter how hard he tries to imagine it working out, he can't see it happening. So he does nothing for his relationship.

He does have a relationship with his children, one of whom is starting show signs that she has the 'gift'. He really has to talk to her, to make sure she doesn't make the same mistakes he did. Like telling bosses what was going to happen, and getting fired. Like playing the lottery, winning, then having the IRS come down on him, like playing the stock market big, and not paying attention to the ten days between his vision and the reality.

So he has learned. As we start the pilot, he's talking to a psychiatrist, explaining all this to him. Explaining that the only way he can live a normal life is to do nothing at all with his gift, or just use it in small doses, like the stock exchange. He sees a stock broker every morning on the subway, and looks at his paper to see where the stocks are headed in ten days. He replays the last 9 days in his head and figures out where to put a small amount of money so he can help pay the bills.

Oliver can't see his own future, only how he affects others. The psychiatrist asks him to tell his future, but Oliver see him dying from a heart attack. He asks himself what if he tells the guy, and he sees the doctor dying on an operating table. He asks the doc: 'You got insurance?' The doc says yes. 'You'll be fine.'

So this is how Oliver leads his life, seeing other people's future lives, but not his own. Until he accidentally bumps into a woman running down the street, and sees her being hit by a car - in less than a minute. He chases after her, leaps in front of her to save her, and only then realizes that he has put his own life in jeopardy by saving her, because she is part of a crime syndicate.

How will Oliver get out of this mess? Why don't you tell me? Okay, he survives, and at the end he lets himself win just enough money to open a detective business. For whatever reason, the secretary he hires is immune to his visions, he can't see her future, and the person who does all the footwork in the business is on the incompetent side.

Can he save his marriage, his daughter, his business and everything else from what will happen in the next ten days?

I'm not opposed to working with someone on this. So if you have Hollywood connections and would like to work with me on this, let's get together.