Don’t Foget Me!

Don’t Forget Me

What if when you died everybody forgot you? Sure, immediate family, maybe a few friends, will remember you, but what about anybody else? Why do you write? Because you have to, for money, for fun, to show off your literary skills somehow obtained during four years of  college level beer drinking,  to be able to impress girls by saying, “I wrote a book?” How many, whether they admit it or not, write to leave something behind so as not to be forgotten?

What if you were forgotten? What would you do after death to make sure they did remember you. Whether you were watching from Heaven or Hell.

I wonder if the extrovert writer, the one with a family and a zillion friends ( real ones, not the sycophant ones,) writes more for the present rush of accolades, awards and money. I wonder if the lonely introvert writer, holed up in a dark apartment, basement or garret (If there is still such a thing,) whether they admit it or not, might write almost as much to leave something behind to be remembered by than for the money to get a meal or the lights turned back on.

I read a story years ago about a rich guy who was bored with his life, so he had his memory erased and hired men to pursue him. He thought he was on the run from bad guys so he would live his life to the fullest every second. He didn’t want to be forgotten. He wanted a life to remember.

IDEAS

Like the idea of wanting someone to read your blog, what would you do to be remembered by somebody other than those obligated to remember you?  In what category would you (meaning you or your character) want to be remembered: Philanthropy, down and dirty, in the trenches alleviating suffering, writing a classic/award winning book/movie, save the planet from alien invasion/ psychopathic demon invasion, a company with your name on it, wealth accumulation, murder? All possibilities that would get you remembered, whether you took the high road or low. I think the low road may be more memorable. Or at least more fun to read about, no matter what genre. I could be wrong.

No matter how you achieve, or fail to achieve (don’t forget that important option) your legacy, keep in mind Hal Croasmun’s New 10 Commandments of Screenwriting at www.screenwritingu.com/blog . If you’re writing fiction, they apply.

FORGET ME

On the other side of Don’t Forget me, is Please Forget me.  What if you (Well, not you, I hope) or your character wants nothing more than to be forgotten. What if you witness something you shouldn’t and now people want you to forget- permanently. Okay, that’s been done to death, but You probably have a new and compelling take on it.

What if you’re running and you are the bad guy, being pursued by badder guys, or one bad guy. Remember No Country for Old Men? Does that make you a good guy?

What if a family member died and you thought you were responsible, either  by action or inaction, and the only way to deal with it is to run as if you were guilty,  seeing pursuers at every turn, until you meet someone with the insight and compassion to help you find the truth.  Or, you run until madness takes over your soul with unpleasantly fatal consequences for you or others. A psychological horror possibility there.

What if you were running TO something? Maybe your daughter or son is in some grave danger and you have to get there to save them, but your journey takes years? How would that affect you? Make you crazy? Make you hard? Make you do whatever you had to do regardless of the consequences to you or others? Make you forget the person you wanted to save, even as you knew there was someone you needed to get to? At the same time, what would happen to the one you love? Would it be too late? Would they wonder where you were as they suffered? Would they endure their fate only because they knew you were coming? What if they forgot you? How cruel would that be?

J D Salinger died recently. Did he want to be forgotten or remembered? What about the rumored writings in his safe?

Most all story ideas will work for most genres.  Whatever genre you write: Horror, Thriller, SciFi, Literary, make sure to follow Hal’s number one writing commandment – Make sure it’s entertaining. Don’t forget.

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Black or White?

I’ve heard that white letters on a black background gives some readers a headache. So I changed the template. I didn’t like it so I changed it back. If anybody has a headache problem, let me know. I’m flexible.

Speaking of black or white, here’s a story idea for someone with the insight to write it right.

What if a black/white  man, boy/woman, girl was in love with a black  man, boy/woman, girl and  a white  man, boy/woman, girl?  A book/film exploring the prejudices and problems that might bring could be a powerful/hilarious story.

SPEAKING OF LONELY

What if you were the only racist on the planet? If everyone else on the planet had come to their senses and did not care what race  anybody was and you were the only one who hated other people because of  their ethnicity, what would that be like? How would other people treat you? How would you treat them? Would you eventually see the wisdom of the world, or would you embrace your hate because it made you different?  Would you try and recruit others to your bigotry, start an underground KKK revival?

It seems to me there would be  a loneliness component to your life, everyone wants to be a little different, but the only racist on the planet? I might  have to have a little bit of sympathy for you, maybe even admire you for sticking to your beliefs. If you were persuasive enough, maybe I’d join you, help you seek converts, after all, I’d like to be different, too. It’s human nature.  And maybe future history books will cite you as the one person who brought a certain kind of diversity back to the world.  It could happen. Though I hope not.

Black  or White encompasses much more than race– Good or Evil ( no small subject) Day or Night, Right or Wrong, what to wear to a wedding.   But those are subjects for another day.

Don’t forget to check out my e-books at www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidburton

What if there were no What ifs?

“What if,” are the most important words a writer, and a reader,  have.  Without them, all we’d have is true stories. There are plenty of good, even great, true life adventures to write and read about, but how many variations of Uncle Harry’s adventure in  Las Vegas involving that stripper, a limo driver and a marmoset, can we stand? Humans like fiction. They need stories and Uncle Harry or Grandpa or that friend of a friend of your boyfriend just aren’t going cut it for the long haul.  For all those fictional stories you, reader and writer, need imagination.

Without  “What if” what would we do with our imaginations? Would we even have art of any kind? Would we even have a civilization? If some Neanderthal hadn’t thought “What if I can use this log to cross this river?” where would we be? No boats for trading or voyages of discovery, or sailboats to anchor in tropical paradises.  If some other ancient hadn’t said,  “What if  there’s a way to cross this river without using that log, then no bridges with toll booths. Okay, we could do without that one. But you get the idea.  We’d still be sitting on the riverbank wondering how to get at that hot Cro-magnon chick on the other side.

And art. Some cave dweller must have thought “What if I put this colored stuff  on a cave wall, like this!” Painting, music, sculpture,  architecture, theater, movies and of course literature, all have to start with, “What if…?”

So that’s what I hope this blog is about, ideas to help you with your what ifs. And maybe a comment or two about whatever. If anybody is looking in? Which is a perfect, and convenient, segue to —

IDEAS

What if you wrote a blog and nobody read it? How far would you go to get people to read it? How far if you were  a bit eccentric, or a bit mentally unbalanced, or very, very unbalanced. Do I see a serial killer novel there?

Or–What if you wrote a blog and EVERYBODY read it, and followed it? Would you want that sort of power? Could you handle that  power? What would you do with it?

Or–What if you wrote a blog and in 200 or so years after humans had managed to become extinct some aliens landed and the only record of human civilization they found was your blog. What would they think?

Feel free to use these ideas as you see fit. If you make a ton of money from one, don’t forget my finders fee.  I hope to post at least once a week, if not more.  Comments, as well as suitable links, are welcomed.

And if someone wants to expand the What if, imagination, civilization idea, feel free.

Don’t forget to check out www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidburton