Tagged: plot bunnies
January 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm #13064
Okay, so I have a lot of crazy, vivid dreams, and sometimes they include some interesting plot ideas that might make a great story if only someone who writes fiction had the dream instead of me.
So I’ve decided to share my crazy dream plot bunnies here with you folks, to see what people make of ’em!
January 29, 2016 at 7:07 pm #13065
I was looking through the eyes of Michael Douglas. The other star was Julia Roberts.
Michael Douglas was this guy who runs an off-the-record whatever-you-need business. Basically gov’t agencies come to him with stuff they can’t have their own officials do for some reason and give him obfuscated money or other resources to pay mercenary agents to get
shit done. So he keeps his own database, offline, of people who will do whatever he needs done.
The movie starts with the action climax of the current case, rescuing someone from some group of bad people, in a political context outside of the US that the US gov’t can’t afford to be seen being involved in. Something like rescuing a royal teenager from a military coup, so that we have the ability to re-install the previous government if the dictator doesn’t work out.
Anyway, Julia Roberts is the lead agent in charge of getting the teenager’s trust so he’ll cooperate with the team’s efforts. There’s whatever exciting chase scenes, and near-misses, but the team of 3-4 off-the-record mercenary agents gets the job done without getting
caught. They report back to Michael Douglas, who pays two of them with money, and one with a small dirty-with-patina figurine made of semi-precious stone, and then takes Julia “back to her car” by way of dinner and his place for a heated argument and sex. She’s gone the
next morning, and he’s smiling knowingly. This, apparently, is typical behavior from her.
Later that day we watch him take a call – I’m looking through his eyes – as he updates his personal database with the info from the case. What each person can do, what they were paid in, what they’re *customarily* paid in. Options include sex, drugs, specialized
artifacts and other collectibles, as well as money.
He marks down when the last point of contact was for each of them, changing the colors of cells that have information he needs to pay attention to as he goes, green for resolved, blue for no-longer-relevant, yellow for important, orange for urgent, red for dire. He puts a note on his calendar to check on Julia in a few weeks. He keeps track of her when she runs off like this, but he knows she’ll be back in about six months, as usual. Her payment listing says “Cash, ;)”. She is not officially paid in sex – he doesn’t line anything
special up for her overtly. But he knows quite well that sex *with him* is part of what keeps her coming back, and he’s happy to oblige, as she’s one of his favorite, most trustworthy agents. She won’t work directly for the government not because she couldn’t pass the security clearance but because she doesn’t trust them. Some loss in her background, unspecified, that she blames the US gov’t for.
Anyway, it’s clear that Julia and Michael have a slap-slap-kiss relationship that they’re not up for admitting goes deeper than that. At least she isn’t. He doesn’t feel a need to push, as long as he knows where she is. Both of them are kind of put off by the sheer
normalcy of their feelings for each other. It’s as if they can’t bear to have faith in anything too normal. Their lives *have* to be bizzare and outre.
As the montage of him taking calls and cases goes by, we see day after day that most of his work is just sitting at the computer, making contact, setting up teams, and tracking everything. He doesn’t get directly involved. And every case he sets up, he checks on Julia’s
profile, even though it’s unrelated. The dates on how long it’s been since he last saw her go from white to yellow to orange to red. Then there’s another date – when he last knew where she was. That’s red too, now, as is her last known location, what she was last working on, and other relevant aspects of her profile.
It’s been too long. She’s gotten into something too deep for her, and gone missing. This isn’t just about avoiding him anymore, this is something else.
So he pulls his own resources together, and hires the agents he trusts the most to do a team thing to track her down and save her from whatever trouble she’s gotten too deeply into.
There were at least three men, and one woman. The woman was funny. She looked like she was in her mid-40s but trying to look 20. She *seemed* like “white trash”, a junkie who was always high and barely knew what was going on around her, but watching her interact with Michael, we see she’s actually brilliant, and affects this appearance to hide. She
IS a drug addict, though. She takes ridiculous doses of meth in order to stay functional, and then dopes up when she needs to sleep to avoid going insane. She’s actually a way-too-brilliant, way-too-ADHD genius who spins out of control if she doesn’t take super high doses of amphetamines to get her brain to narrow her focus. (Yes, drugs don’t actually work quite like that, even Adderol, but it was movie logic).
The guys I barely remember, but one wore a nice suit when we first saw him, and looked too calm, like maybe sociopathic. Another looked like a very “typical” everyman in jeans, a t-shirt, and baseball cap, and the third was rough looking, like he might be an under-the-table professional street/cage fighter or something.
Step one is of course to figure out where she really is, starting from her last known connections. Something about drug cartels, but of course it’s FAR more complicated, and thus my dream hand-waved it.
I’m still being Michael for the last seen I saw. The team was at this sort of wetlands docking area that was a combination of build up piers and bars of land with water between, buildings, boats, etc. There was a whole chase scene, and people in disguise going on.
Michael had JUST gotten a bit of crucial information somehow. The dream had the bad guys using a small magnetic tracking device with a tiny solid-state drive attached (probably that makes no RL sense) as bait for fishing (which makes even less sense). I gather it was part
of a disguise to pass information from one person to another, and Michael went diving for it. Somehow the tracking device would allow him to locate Julia, but he would first have to stop it from being used to track *him*, without breaking the device. The easiest methods
would render the information on the drive useless. I guess they were going to stick it in a little faraday cage or lead box or something until they could get back to his protected-from-networks base. I don’t know.
Anyway, he got out of the water and ran away from the two bad guys with guns in the usual action movie scene that cuts back and forth between our guy running and the bad guys chasing. He ended up hiding behind the rest of the team, who were sitting around apparently
nonchalantly drinking beer and grilling at a nearby picnic spot. The blond woman basically chattered at the bad guys following him until he got away.
Then I woke up.
The one thing that was clear is that one of the agents is actually a bad guy, and we’re to assume it’s the well-dressed sociopath, when it’s actually one of the other guys. Maybe someone I didn’t see yet. Not sure how big the team was.
But we saw other agents during the montage, and at the beginning, and it was probably one of the ones Julia worked with in the beginning.
One FINAL note, I swear: I think the well-dressed-not-actually-evil sociopath guy was played by Ralph Fiennes.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Siol na Tine.
January 29, 2016 at 7:20 pm #13068
I guess these are more like pseudo-stories than plot bunnies in the traditional sense, but the purpose in posting is the same. For various reasons, I don’t do so well at turning these dreams into actual proper stories, so I am offering these plottish dreams to actual writers who may want to re-tell them or otherwise be inspired by them. 🙂
The next one has a vaguely-Victorian dark fantasy setting in that distinctive Tim Burton kind of way. Nicole Kidman is a pretty young wife of an older, handsome, rich widower with children. She isn’t obliged to care for her step-children directly, but she’s supposed to keep the household running smoothly. This primarily involves directing the handful of strange servants. There’s a cook, an upstairs maid, a housekeeper, tutors for the children, and a butler. The servants are most associated with the property itself, rather than the husband – the tutors are possibly hired from outside. There are extensive lands, and the house is dark, sprawling, and vaguely Gothic-Victorian. It clearly has some kind of unspoken spiritual history, but the details are unclear, so we don’t know if it’s just haunted, or if something more significant is going on.
She takes some personal joy from spending time outside in the gardens, which is the only place where it’s every really bright or colorful. She’s growing food and herbs, in addition to the gone-wild flowers and trees that were already there.
It’s unclear if the rich husband bought the house or inherited it, but he apparently didn’t grow up there, as he doesn’t quite fit in, even as well as his children do (being raised there). It doesn’t seem like he would have chosen that servant set of his own accord, were it not obligatory to keep them with the house. Whether out of avoidance, or just because he has to, the husband is frequently away on business trips, and always away on weekdays for work.
Johnny Depp is the butler. He is falling in love with (which is to say, becoming obsessed with) Nicole Kidman. He thinks she’s sweet and innocent, assuming she was a virgin before she married his employer, and convincing himself that she married unwillingly, or may still yet be “Innocent”, given how often her husband is away, and that she has not yet had children. She wears pale colors, if not outright white, every day while everyone else wears charcoal grey and such. She is sweet and charming, and loves to sing.
She’s also probably a witch, but he’s not noticing that – or rather, he notices her talent, but assumes she doesn’t realize what she can do, because her behavior seems to belie her abilities. He is very upset with himself for wanting Kidman, and we, as the audience, know he’s likely to turn on her if he decides she’s actively trying to seduce him, whether she is actually doing so or not. He’s obsessed with chastity and purity in himself, and that kind of puritanical idealist that characterizes a certain kind of religious fanatic. But it’s mostly self-directed, and he obviously wrestles with the dichotomy between being prideful and judging others vs. being responsible for maintaining purity and righteousness for the sake of the innocents of the world.
Kidman has figured out that Depp is interested in her. She finds him intriguing. She doesn’t dislike her husband. He’s a good and generous man. But she’s bored to tears with him constantly away. The other servants tend to avoid her, looking at her with some suspicion, obviously hiding things from her, and otherwise mostly focusing on their work. The children interact with her only rarely, usually mockingly – again, as if they know something she doesn’t. She knows there’s something hidden, something to do with the house, and she can sense some of it, being a witch. But she doesn’t know the depth of it, so she is proceeding with caution. Only Depp is at all kind to her, and he seems perpetually nervous. So naturally she’s drawn to him. She starts seducing him with her singing voice and opportunities to show him skin as if by mistake, hoping he’ll open up to her, and become her lover if only to stave off the terrible boredom.
That evening Kidman knows Depp is spying on her through a tiny hole that lets him observe her in her own bedroom, which has more light than average for inside the house, and white draperies around the windows and four-post bed. She doesn’t indicate that she knows she’s being watched. She’s otherwise alone in her bedroom masturbating for his benefit. He doesn’t know she knows, and feels compelled to masturbate along because it’s just so hot. So it’s a back-and-forth of them tracking each other, getting hotter and hotter because they can hear each other, even though he doesn’t realize that, in his passion, he’s making noises she can hear (it’s not clear how loud he’s actually being vs. if she’s using some clairvoyance/audience).
Interestingly enough, although she’s obviously not *innocent*, her perspective is simply that magick is ok, and so is sex, so she’s clearly not *evil*, but from his puritanical perspective, if he knew what she really was, he’d consider her a sinner. Just not necessarily a sinner worthy of the scope of punishment that is within his power to dispense.
And the impression overall is that he’ll be able to deal better with his own power AND hers if he can just get past the puritanical sex-negative bullshit, give in to love, and have the affair with her. But that still leaves the question of how to handle his brothers and her husband.
One day her tactics work a bit too well, and he is overcome with lust. They are walking together through the house. He is pushing a cart that is a strange cross between a wooden wagon and a bellhop’s cart. She’s making suggestive remarks towards him, which are carefully phrased to leave her innocence up for debate. She impulsively decides to demand that he push her in his cart. He objects for reasons we don’t yet understand. We don’t know if she’s being oblivious of danger or perceptive of secrets when she climbs on to the cart entirely, pulling up her feet, and closing her eyes, indicating that she trusts him to choose their destination appropriately. It’s implied from her tone that she’s hoping he takes her somewhere interesting, preferably where they can be alone undisturbed.
Because she has done this without his prompting, he takes it as a sort of divine cue to kidnap her to a strange, colorful place which rather resembles a very small horse race fair. It certainly is more interesting – and much more colorful. But they’re far from alone. He leaves her to look around while he goes to talk with his brothers, who we learn are called, the Red King, the Black Knight or Knave. Depp is the youngest, called the White Priest. They have special, magickal access to this pocket dimension. He spends the least time there of the three of them, and is apparently known for being soft-hearted. He brings in the fewest people, and those who are there keep hoping he’ll give them a chance to persuade him to help them somehow, but his brothers are very good at preventing that, and tend to belittle him.
We’re in her perspective, while she’s mostly ignoring the horse race betting and the discordant but still largely cheerful music playing across the yard, in favor of investigating a community art show of jewelry. She asks if she can acquire replicas of some of the beautiful pieces (she wants the originals but thinks that’s somehow inappropriate to offer to buy) only to be told, quietly, by Depp who feels guilty, that she doesn’t want anything here because *everything is cursed*. Sure enough, when she tries to use the energy of the necklaces that so attracted her, it backfires. So she tries to cast a blessing, and it backfires. Alarmed, she says she doesn’t like it here, and demands that Depp take her back home, which he does. We realize that they are being chased as they depart. She has to close her eyes again for him to be able to transport them, and while her eyes are closed she receives visions explaining the situation.
We find out over the course of flashbacks that this is a sort of mini-hell where they take and sequester sinners in an environment where everything is cursed. They can continue to enjoy their debauchery without affecting the innocent because they can’t get out – only the three brothers can go in and out at will. Depp brings in the fewest people, but those he does bring tend to be the worst of the lot, second only to his brothers in cruelty. He’s apparently called the “priest” because he believes he’s obliged to protect the innocent from these sinners, and he must be celibate if he is to stay untouchably righteous, unlike his devilish brothers. He fears them, but doesn’t really respect them because he believes they have allowed their power to tempt them into unrighteous behavior, misunderstanding the purpose of their abilities. They seem to think he’s naive, and annoying. The eldest seems like he might be outright evil, if in a Lawful sort of way, but the middle brother, the “Black Knight”, is more of a trickster of ambiguous morality.
By bringing her here against his own moral code, and then taking her out again, Depp has made her the first person other than the three brothers to ever leave the place. That makes her a target for the other two brothers, who need to keep order in their strange little domain, and can’t afford for there to be anyone who got out, much less someone in the outside world who knows their domain exists but isn’t loyal to them in some way. So now we know she’s in very grave, supernatural danger that may be beyond her witchy abilities to counter.
She’s decided to change her tactics relative to seducing Depp, and involves him in a discussion of how the gardens are to be maintained. She’s been watering her tomatoes 3 times a day, and he has been over-watering them 5 times a day. She suggests they both cut back watering them by 2 times a day, and that she meet him at noontime for the mid-day watering so they can have discussions about how the yard is doing. It’s clear she means that they should meet for trysting, but it’s equally clear she hopes he hasn’t caught on just yet, until she can get him away from the house proper.
Later that day, her husband comes home from business and in observing their strange interactions, begins to suspect that she’s having an affair with the Butler (which she isn’t yet, but wants to). He increases the scrutiny of her by the rest of the staff, who know far better than he does why an affair with the Butler might be a very poor choice for everyone. We know he’s an honest guy who would only invoke mundane consequences on her – although we’re not clear whether he would kick her out, divorce her, or murder her in a fit of passion. We do know that he is now in danger of being attacked by the two evil brothers just because he’s in the way, and in danger of being offed by Depp and Kidman if they ever sort themselves out and decide they want his money, her freedom, and the mysterious house for themselves.
Then I woke up.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Siol na Tine.
February 8, 2016 at 5:28 pm #13514
Okay, here’s a My Little Pony dream for you:
Pinkie Pie has been sucked into the Underworld (land of the dead) by the Wicked Villain of the Season (WVS), who declares herself triumphant to the other 5. They spend time alternately mourning and arguing amongst themselves as to whether there was anything they could have done, or anything they still can do to fix it.
Meanwhile, Pinkie Pie, being alive, and a party pony, and full of bloody-minded cheer, shines so brightly she lights her own way through the dark underworld, and attracts the attention of the dead, who she goes about cheering up from their dreary afterlife.
They help her and some take up following her.
I didn’t get the rest, but it seems likely she has the option to bring an army of dead to the surface to defeat the WVS and rescue the rest of her friends…
March 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm #14027
Time-travelling gay musicians! Woo!
Ok, so I dreamt the other night that I was at a concert for a 2-man electronica band that was also a gay couple. I left the concert to take a nap and when I returned, the place had been burned down with some kind of high tech weapon, leaving a portal behind (yeah, I’ve been playing Dragon Age: Inquisition a lot lately).
Going through the portal I found myself hundreds of years in the local future, and alternating between searching for the two men who were the band, and watching them from a third-person omnicient perspective.
The future had a large military operation finally reclaiming the area which had only just finally stopped being too toxic to inhabit. They were exploring to figure out which aliens had done it, or something.
The singer lived through the explosion and time travel, but looked enough like someone else the military unit knew, so they accepted him as just having some memory issues from trauma. The instrumentalist had died, sort of, so he possessed an autistic man they had in their custody, who was low enough functioning that he hadn’t been able to speak coherently before. He still didn’t speak much while possessed, but was suddenly as musically competent as his possessor – and devoted to the singer.
The two of them spent the rest of the dream trying to sort out how to get back to their old lives, while running away from more aliens unveiled by the archeological dig the military unit were dealing with.
It kind of devolved from there, dream-wise, so there’s not much plot to play with. Probably Doctor Who was involved somehow.
April 14, 2016 at 5:37 pm #15120
Lured and trapped in a specially equipped, smaller than standard high-rise elevator. It had bars along one side, horizontal, like you’d use to stablize yourself, but also along near the floor and ceiling for some reason.
Then it just… stopped moving. And I half expected the floor to drop out, but no, we were just stuck for a while. Finally, I thought, “maybe it’s a Room Escape Game, instead of a Horror thing?” (Genre savvy dreaming FTW?). I noticed something hinged in a way that made no sense, and figured out what pulled away from it. Doing so, I found the instructions!
It turned out we were on camera, in a sort of cruel game show. We’d be offered various deals. We would only be let out when we accepted a deal. But the deals would improve the longer we held out. Between deals would be issued challenges and annoyances, but nothing life-threatening.
The deals, if we turned them down, turned out to generate story ideas.
The story idea thus generated was: A teenaged boy’s mother has God’s cell phone number. She thinks God is just her Mexican gardener, Jesus, but every time she asks him sincerely for how she’d like her garden to be, he does it *perfectly*. Then she starts telling him her woes, and they start improving…
April 14, 2016 at 5:42 pm #15121
That last one might make slightly more sense if you realize that “Jesus” is pronounced “Hey-seus” in Spanish…
June 3, 2016 at 1:56 am #16382
A field trip with college students volunteering (for class credit) to guide Jr. High kids through a demonstration historical village.
Two of the children are missing when the time comes to gather everyone and go home.
The protagonist goes back to the site to try and investigate. She finds an area beside the stage where a musician had been performing during the day has changed – dramatically. It was a lake before, and now there’s a large area of dry land well into the lake, where there are strange people dancing in a circle, including one of the two children. The other child is off to one side, shivering nervously.
Going up to investigate more closely and talk to the shivering child, she realizes that the people dancing are of unnatural shapes and sizes. They’re Fae! She wraps the shivering child in her coat and offers to help her get home. As they walk around, sticking to shadows, back towards the stage and then towards the path to her car, they find themselves abruptly knee-deep in the lake that had been there during the day and wasn’t before. It turns out the lake itself is the passage to another world.
She gets the first child back to her home, and goes to talk to the parents of the other child, but it ends up that the other child doesn’t WANT to come back home.
June 3, 2016 at 5:37 pm #16386
A family buying a summer home again that they had owned a generation before.
A very deep and detailed wall frieze that turns out to actually be plaster on top of real objects. Thereby a grimoire was hidden in plain site.
A friendly pet monkey with the coloration and personality of the Cheshire Cat.
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