Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Five-Idea Fire Sale

There comes a time, my friends, when we have to acknowledge that some hopes and dreams will never be fulfilled. But that doesn’t mean they are forever idle or wasted. In this ecologically aware age, unfulfilled dreams needn’t clutter our desks or fill our bins. Let’s recycle.
By choosing to adopt one of these ideas, you’ll not only be saving the heat, light and fuel needed to generate them for yourself, but you’ll also feel that warm glow of satisfaction, knowing you’ve given a home to a project which is currently feeling lonely, useless and abandoned.
Needless to say, me being me, there are some crackers here. At the end of the post, feel free to attach, via the comments box, any other ideas you’d like to get rid of. Given that the market for creative property has increased rapidly over the last decade or so, think of this page as a kind of nascent e-bay for ideas. Where everything’s free.
Without further ado; the first five items are as follows:
1.  The Million-Pound Kit Kat’ and ‘Second Cheapest on the Menu’.
Two vibrant, tongue-in-cheek additions to the food writing genre, these little beauties come as a pair. Both have but one previous owner. Both are a little scuffed around the edges through over-use. Plenty of life left in them, though. This is how they work. In ‘The Million-Pound Kit Kat’, the writer must undertake a social experiment with commercially produced fast food, and spend a million quid in the process. The protagonist – it could be you! – must buy a Kit Kat from any shop. They must then smuggle the same Kit Kat into a second shop, pretend it was the stock of the shop, and pay for it again. Repeat the process until the Kit Kat has cost a million quid. Write witty, insightful stories about shopping and chocolate whilst describing the process. Then eat the Kit Kat, and reflect on its qualities. Personally, I’ve always imagined the close of the book – the eating of the million quid Kit Kat – to be akin to Molly Bloom’s speech in Ulysses; a rhythmic, sensual stream of consciousness. (‘Hmmm yes.’) In ‘Second Cheapest on the Menu’, the writer must describe a year of eating out during which they are only allowed to order the second cheapest thing on the menu, regardless of what it is. There was a compelling reason for this rationale, but I’ve forgotten it.

2.  The Danny Loss Payday Party Manifesto’, akaSecret Six’.
Sold as seen, a pair of gaming-related blokey twenty-something narratives looking for a good home. In ‘Secret Six’, our protagonist is visited, in a comical vision, by a god of gambling. Think Aladdin’s genie. He gives our hero six numbers and wishes him well. Secret Six throws a Saturday night party in expectation of lottery success. Makes a big speech in the moments leading up to the draw. Burns some bridges, quits his job. The numbers don’t come up. Secret Six spends the rest of the novel trying to work out what the numbers mean. He knows he has the right numbers, but he doesn’t know what game they relate to. Cue comic visits to greyhound races, casinos, etc. A rom-com about faith, love and mindless consumerism. Charming. ‘The Danny Loss Payday Party Manifesto’ is essentially the same, except as a partially completed screenplay. Rather than a visit by a god, the numbers are communicated by a series of strange lights flashing nocturnally in the windows of an abandoned mill. A code-breaking rom-com. There’s a whole genre in that; I’ll throw it in for free.

3.  ‘Delusions of Goodyear’
You wouldn’t believe me if I said I dreamt this story in its entirety but I did, I swear – even the title, which appeared just before I woke up. ‘Delusions of Goodyear’ is a psychological thriller which bravely probes ideas of perception, reality, morality, duality and many other ‘alities’ besides. Sold as a complete and finished idea, with some sketches of how the cover should be and a specially recorded soundtrack composed by a pal who, for the purposes of this post, we shall call Argyle. For full details of the plot – which follows the unlucky experiences of a pair of drug-crazed brothers on a seaside holiday – DM me.

4.  ‘Perry Wacker’s Lost Property’
In 2001, Dutch lorry-driver Perry Wacker was convicted of smuggling immigrants into the UK. This gritty, magic-realist gangster thriller (a whole new genre! I’ll throw it in for free...) re-imagines the grisly events of that year as an alternate history. In ‘Perry Wacker’s Lost Property’, the antagonist’s lorry becomes a magical portal to another world. Bear with me – I need to work on my elevator pitch for this one. So: the special truck folds the fabric of space and time, and inside it, magically, is every piece of lost property in the world. From the sock that falls unnoticed from the toddler’s foot, through a sea of tapes and CDs, to the memory sticks left on park benches by careless civil servants. Perry Wacker must decide what to do. Will he use these items for personal gain – or is this a chance to redeem himself? Edgy, controversial, and pretty crap, this idea is easily the worst of the four. Special discounted price.