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Forum: Story Ideas

Commissioned work

BloggsFred

I have a SF story in my head that hasnt been written before but *needs* to be written. I can't write. I know because I have tried. I am interested in providing a *modest* comission for an author to write the story. Is this an appropriate forum to discuss such a thing?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@BloggsFred

I think it is an appropriate forum to ask for a ghost writer. But you need to layout just a little more about the idea to get a nibble. You don't need to go into the full plot, but will need to give people an idea as to how much sex you want in it, what types of sex (so if it may include squicks they can know not to apply) and the genre.

typo edit

Replies:   BloggsFred
BloggsFred

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks. This is where it gets untidy. I am completely in the dark about how to describe the story other than in milestones based around facts, but the work needs by it nature to be fiction.

I literally don't care if it has any sex in it, in fact I think sex might be incongruous. Inter-'personal' relationships would be useful in the plot, but ancillary.

I also have no idea what level of remuneration a ghost writer might consider. I assume it would be word count and iteration based, but that is just a guess.

Rather than blurt out the basis of the story in what is essentially a public space, I would rather ask that anyone who has any history writing SF, and would enjoy writing an intriguing story, put their hand up. I would then open a private dialogue to see if we, the story, and the potential remuneration are a match, and proceed if so.

I hope I'm not being too idealistic. I am, after all, a virgin at this.

docholladay

@BloggsFred

Heck if nothing else just describe the ideas you have in as much detail as possible. We have one huge supply of talented storyteller/writers available here. Maybe one or more will take those ideas and create a story or stories based on them. And since its free, you have nothing to lose but a little time laying the ideas out. Ideas are worthless until shared in one form or another.

Ernest Bywater

@BloggsFred

anyone who has any history writing SF


That's a wide open field you have there. many of the writers here have done some form of SF at one time or another. However, the limitation to a No Sex or Minimal Sex story will cut a lot out. Many authors think it has to have sex to be on SoL, but they're wrong.

In the SF categories you have the:

a. Basic In the Future SF story.

b. Basic Invading Aliens Right Now SF story.

c. Basic Into Space Right Now SF story.

d. Basic Time Travel into the Past SF story.

e. Basic Set on Another Planet In the Future SF story.

f. Basic Alternate Earth Right Now SF story.

g. Basic Psychic Powers SF story.

h. Basic Alternate Time Line via a Change in History SF story.

There are many other sub-categories, but I think I've hit the highlights. I'm sure someone will post a correction if I missed anything by posting while I should be sleeping.

In the past I've written and published stories involving time travel to the past (various times), a cyborg, people with psychic powers, and have written (but not yet completed) stories involving space and other planets in the now and the future. My email is available via the SoL author's list if you wish to provide a little bit more information for me to consider being involved prior to a full plot disclosure.

Replies:   BloggsFred
Dicrostonyx
Updated:

@BloggsFred


Rather than blurt out the basis of the story in what is essentially a public space,


The fact that this is a public space shouldn't deter you from going into detail. One of the hardest things to accept about writing, especially to non-writers, is that the skill of writing -- whether technical, trained, or natural -- is far more important than the idea behind the novel.

An idea without a writer is just a thought, never going anywhere, but a good writer can always write, even if they use a generic or borrowed idea. Even if your idea truly is unique, or at least some of the details of it are rarely expressed, three different authors basing stories on that idea will create at least three different finished works, more if one decides to play with variations on a theme. In some cases, the finished stories might be so different as to make the originating idea invisible except to those who know to look for it.

Another thing to think about is the difference between an idea and an outline. Saying, for example, that you want a story based on an alien invasion where it turns out later in the story that the aliens are actually time-travelling humans, genetically engineered for different biomes, is an idea. From that idea you could end up with any number of interpretations.

From your description, though, it sounds like you have a very specific structure in mind for the finished product. Now that's fine, but it does require that you do a lot of the work. You can't just give a hired author a general sketch; the more specific you want the finished project to be, the more detail and organisation that you need to put into your outline.

As for remuneration, a lot will depend on the situation. Most of the authors on a site like SOL are writing for fun; while some do also sell their work, writing isn't generally their main source of income. That is both good and bad for you. It is good, because it means that writing your story doesn't take them away from a five-figure project, but bad because it means that many available writers will only take on projects that they are also enthused by.

That brings us back to your going into detail on the forum. If you just talk to a couple of specific authors, that's a work for hire situation and could cost some serious money, but if you sketch out your idea more fully, you might attract the attention of someone who actively wants to write that story, and will be willing to do so for far less money.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Dicrostonyx

In some cases, the finished stories might be so different as to make the originating idea invisible except to those who know to look for it.


An example of this would be Overboard, a story suggested by Oyster50. Seems Oyster had an idea and wrote the first chapter, then couldn't figure out where to go from there. He let others write their own stories using his first chapter, which resulted in Overboard Too by brertuck and Overboard! by Handyman. Both are very good stories IMHO.

docholladay

Any idea is worthless until its acted upon in one form or another. For stories the idea is just a beginning of the inspiration. The ending will depend on several factors for stories the main ones (while others do count) are: Writing skills and storytelling ability. Those are the minimum skills in my opinion with the storytelling have a heavier weight than the writing (which editors can help correct) but it does require both to tell a story properly.

tppm
Updated:


I also have no idea what level of remuneration a ghost writer might consider. I assume it would be word count and iteration based, but that is just a guess.


If I write a story based on your idea, if you ever get around to posting it, I'll give you 1% of my royalties, if any. Not that there are likely to be any as I have never sold anything. Baring that, I'll give you credit for the idea.

Oh, wait, you were wondering what YOU should pay ME....

Replies:   BloggsFred
BloggsFred

@Ernest Bywater

My email is available via the SoL author's list

Unfortunately I could not find it there, so I have sent you mine via the form.

BloggsFred

@tppm

Oh, wait, you were wondering what YOU should pay ME....

Yep.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@BloggsFred


Thanks. This is where it gets untidy. I am completely in the dark about how to describe the story other than in milestones based around facts, but the work needs by it nature to be fiction.


As with any story (such as when new authors are looking for volunteer editors), you need to start with a story description, which contains just enough detail to get your audience (potential authors) intrigued. I always start my stories by writing the story description (the simple plot summary helps me to focus on what's essential, rather than what's immaterial to the plot).

Genre is important (which you've provided)

@Ernest

the limitation to a No Sex or Minimal Sex story will cut a lot out.


I wouldn't think that would apply to sci-fi authors as much, who are often into bigger picture issues. He didn't state that there's couldn't be a romance in the story to keep it interesting, only that he was more focused on plot than on a series of sex romps.

@Dicrostonyx

That brings us back to your going into detail on the forum. If you just talk to a couple of specific authors, that's a work for hire situation and could cost some serious money, but if you sketch out your idea more fully, you might attract the attention of someone who actively wants to write that story, and will be willing to do so for far less money.


Another idea, is to propose the idea as a 'story contest'. It would take a bit of talking to convince authors to take it on, but it might be fun seeing how different authors take on the same story idea--especially if it's a unique one.

BloggsFred, you've gotten me curious. I've written a lot of sci-fi, but I'm very picky about picking stories close to my own wheelhouse (my personal tastes), so I'd want to hear more before jumping on board.

In short, contact me and we'll talk.

Replies:   BloggsFred
BloggsFred

@Crumbly Writer

In short, contact me and we'll talk.

Will do.

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