Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Fun Times at the Corner Cafe

This month I'm pleased to be part of the publication of The Corner Café, a dandy little collection of short stories by a group of indie writers. You can learn more and buy it on Amazon at http://bitly.com/Cornercafe. The cost is only $0.99, and all royalties will go to a charity that promotes literacy.

Now (drumroll, please) I'd like to introduce my guest and cyber friend Stephen Tremp. The floor is yours, Steve:

Today I thought I’d have a little fun and blog about really bad ideas writers conceptualize when developing a new story. Not every idea is a good idea. And sometimes we only see this in retrospect, after spending many valuable hours trying to write the story.
This is not Steve Tremp.
Hmm. This isn't him either.
Example: a few years ago I wanted to do a private eye series. The protagonist, named Dave McCracken, lived and worked in Manhattan. The first book in the series opened with him failing miserably in a particular case where the bad guy got away and killed an innocent person. Dave knew he needed a street smart sidekick. Little did he know his future partner would be a black crack whore with a bad attitude.   Another character was an informant Dave would get valuable information from. He was a cab driver and would see a lot of things happening on the streets at night and hear things from people he drove around. His name: Hack. That’s it. Just plain Hack. Together, the three incompatible misfits solved crimes.   I wrote a few chapters and outlined a few more. After a couple weeks I stood back and took a look at my work. It was then I realized that this was one of the stupidest things I had ever read. Two weeks wasted, down the drain.   After receiving feedback from people, I can see that I might have something of significance lying dormant with the really dumb idea I had. Perhaps there is a spoof in there, consisting of a white bungling PI, a black crack head hooker, and a surly middle-eastern cab driver. Part of the slap stick conflict between the characters could arise from this diversity.   Each book in the series would present a new cast of supporting characters, such as families who hire the PI, the suspects, local police, and people in the neighborhood such as shop owners. Crime fighting comedies include Reno 911, the Keystone Cops, Barney Fife, Police Academy, the Naked Gun series, among many others.   Although I like taking calculated risks, I would be stepping into a new genre, and one I’m not confident I am able to write. But I do see potential. Just not sure I want to step off this particular cliff.

Question: Have you ever changed genres? Have you thought about making the leap?   Stephen Tremp blogs at Breakthrough Blogs and is the author of the Breakthrough Trilogy.   If you feel this blog is worthy, go ahead and make my day. Retweet.

Oh, here is Stephen Tremp.

Next up in the Blog Book Tour for The Corner Cafe: June 6 Red Tash interviews Dani Greer at http://RedTash.com

28 comments:

Chris Verstraete said...

Goes to show, no idea is really stupid, right? You never know what you might do with it later.

Robyn Campbell said...

*Waves* I discovered the not every idea is a good idea last year. I had a lousy idea that I thought would make a really cool story. (I was too dumb to realize it was a lousy idea) But your idea doesn't sound bad at all. Especially the spoof. I think I'd revisit that someday, Stephen! I have thought of changing genres. And I still might someday. Never say never?

I love Barney! :-)

Morgan Mandel said...

Great way to think outside the box, Stephen! I like diversity, and have been known to switch genres. My first book, Two Wrongs, was a mystery. Then, after the doom and gloom, I switched to Girl of My Dreams, a romantic comedy. Then did Killer Career, a romantic suspense, followed by Forever Young:Blessing or Curse, a paranormal thriller. When I was approached to contribute to The Corner Cafe, I completely switched gears and wrote What Nice Blessings, a young adult short story, plus The Closing of the Corner Cafe, a family geared story.

I never now what will come out of my head. That's why writing is so much fun!

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Dani said...

Writing fiction (even though I edit it and certainly read a lot of it) turned out to be a scary thing to publish! It takes way more courage to dream up fiction and then publish it, than to write non-fiction. At least for me. Learned that with the Corner Cafe project.

Helen Ginger said...

All ideas are good, but sometimes the execution is not. I like that you're still pondering the idea. Who knows, it may take a twist in your mind and you'll write it. My book, Angel Sometimes, is mainstream women's fiction. But I used to write mystery. I've been looking at an old manuscript and considering revising it. Who knows, maybe I'll tackle it. Maybe not. I think your idea could be a seller.

Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks Bob for having me today. And thanks everyone for stopping by!

I think we all have considered, if not taken then plunge, into a different genre. I'm currently kicking some ideas outside my normal genre. We'll see how that goes.

I'll do a link back on my blog that I'll post this afternoon too.

susan said...

I think it's good to play around. Not every idea is 'it' but they all contribute. Better to reject it at an early stage than write a whole novel and realize it was a mistake!

patbean said...

I have a character in my head for a mystery named Carnegie Hall -- because that's where she was conceived by her musician parents. I can't decide if this is a great idea or a dumb one. Of course she would be called Carny. Or pehaps it should be corny. On some days I want to write mysteries and on other days I want to write fantasy.

Bob Sanchez said...

Thanks for being my guest today, Steve! My dumb ideas seem to come from every direction, but usually they don't make it to my keyboard.

Corner Cafe looks like a great way for writers in BBT to get some good exposure, and the stories are fun. Now if we can get about a million downloads...

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for this reminder, Steve. I think we've all had our moments when we realized we had the dumbest idea in the world and we were beating it with a stick to make it work. The key is to give it up before the stick breaks or the characters start screaming. LOL I agree with Robyn that your spoof idea sounds like it could be fun and a good read.

Shonell Bacon said...

Makes me think of the saying when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Nice to find good in what could have easily made you think, "I'm tossing this out for life!"

silfert said...

Sometimes our muses drunk-dial us. Play with the idea some more; you might turn it into something really cool.

silfert said...

Make that "you probably WILL". :)

Cara Lopez Lee said...

I once tried to outline a plot for a "perfect crime" story, and within three pages it was as full of holes as a cheese grater. Stephen, I gained a new respect for people who write in the mystery/suspense genre and decided to leave the field to them. :) BTW, I wonder what the mix would be like if the cab driver were a white dude and the PI a middle easterner?

Gail said...

Stephen brought and I stayed.

Christine Rains said...

Great post! I mainly stick to my genre and the ones blending with it when writing novels, but I try to exercise my muse and write from different genres when doing short stories. I tried some hard sci-fi recently and that was major work for me, but I was pleased to have stretched that muscle.

Old Kitty said...

All the best with Corner Cafe!! Sounds amazing and for a great cause too!

Hello Stephen, hello Bob!

Reading this amazing idea for the PI series, all I can say is that it's a very brave concept where one has to perhaps tread very very carefully with the cast of diverse characters - so they don't slink into negative stereotype! Just my very humble opinion!! Please ignore, I know nuffink! LOL!

Take care
x

WS Gager said...

Great post Stephen. Bad ideas just need a new spin and you proved that. Thanks for the smile.
Wendy
W.S. Gager on Writing

Stephen Tremp said...

wow! I step out for a few hours and come home to all these awesome comments!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I am a genre-hopper, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The thought of being trapped into one form makes me feel claustrophobic.

Rosalind Adam said...

I have notebooks full of stupid ideas. Wouldn't it be great if they could all turn into winners!

Red Tash said...

I hate being genre-bound in the first place. It seems contrary to creativity, in general. And so final. Like you're saying "Judge me this way according to what you've come to expect from other works." That gives me the heebie jeebies! BUT, on the other hand, it is what it is and it's such a great short-cut for readers to find what they like, so...

I say, HOP away! Write where your passion moves you, and go for it!

Bianca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bianca said...

I love the pic of Stephen on the dock! Great story as well. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

Thank you Bob for hosting me today! Always a pleasure to visit. And thanks to everyone who stopped by and say hello!

Karen Lange said...

Had to laugh, for my high school algebra teacher's last name was McCracken, so this brought an interesting image to mind. Thanks so much for sharing this; it provides good food for thought for a project.

Sheila Deeth said...

Nice to find out more. I'm really looking forward to reading more too.

Dianna Bellerose-Author "Fire and Ice" said...

Hi and glad to be here. Love your blog spot, and Good luck