Searching for Ideas | Living the Write Life

After seeing the 2018 Robin Hood movie, I thought it’d been fun for you to get a peek at what happens when coming up with story ideas. Disclaimer: This is my own method and not to be taken as something other writers/artists do.

Me: Hey guys, I just came up with an idea. Why not do a Robin Hood story? We could call it Robin Hound.

Danny: That joke’s been done.

Brain: To death.

Me: Then maybe we call him Robbie Hound.

Sally: Not your best work.

Me: *sigh*

Brain: What has you on this path anyway?

Me: I just saw the 2018 Robin Hood.

Brain: Little late there. We have already seen it.

Me: There were some problems getting it.

Danny: I liked that part at the beginning where one of the soldiers was hanging upside down. It made me think of…OH! If we are doing this, we should have a scene like that. The Crusaders are approaching the man. Suddenly, Admiral Fishbar says…

Danny and Me: It’s a ruse! Ah-hahahaha!!

Sally and Brain: *sigh*

Brain: Just one problem. “Admiral” is a navy term.

Me: Speaking of fish, we could have Robin be a fish-person instead of a dog-person. We’d then call him Robin of Lox.

Brain: *rubbing the bridge of his nose* It is just getting worse.

Sally: Or he could be a casino owner. That way he’d be called Robin of Lucks-Lee Casino.

Brain: Et tu, Sally? Let us move on, shall we?

Me: OK, Grumpy Pants, what part did you like?

Brain: I enjoyed the choreography during the treasury raid.

Me: Oh yeah, that was awesome. During it, I thought, “That’s a lot of guards. He really needs to recruit his Merry Men.”

Danny: Ooh! Like other folk legends…like Aladdin.

Me: And have a Folk Legend Cinematic Universe?! Yes, please. They could have Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and…uh…*snaps fingers*

Danny: King Arthur.

Me: Yeah! He could be the one recruiting them all like Nick Fury.

Brain: Those legendary characters come from different time periods.

Danny: Pfft, Arthur could just have Merlin pull the people through time.

Me: The threat could be some immortal being who keeps showing up through the ages so they all have to team up in order to stop the villain.

Sally: Who’d be the villain?

Danny: Morgana?

Me: Been done. She’s always the villain.

Danny: Maybe a viking foe. Do you think they could recruit Hiccup and Toothless? Dragons are legendary.

Me: I thought this was live-action.

Danny: It could be.

Me: Live-action Toothless?

Danny: Can’t be any worse than live-action Genie and Sonic.

Me: You have a point.

Ding!

Me: What was that?

Brain: I have just finish preparing a meal of pizza and doughnuts.

Danny and Me: *rushing off* Alright!!

Sally: Was that some trick to get us to stop talking?

Brain: Absolutely. Would you like a doughnut?

Sally: Eh, why not…


Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Walmart eBooks, and more.

The first interactive story game based on my book series can be found here.

YouTube CliffsNotes | Living the Write Life

After seeing the latest “couch-side chat” by MatPat (host/owner of The Game Theorists channel–among others) where he discusses how the good that YouTubers do is largely overlooked by the news media, my first reaction was “duh.” (Click here for the video.)

He mentions how a public relations person told him that no one is interested in good news about YouTubers. As a once-upon-a-time reporter (and for a short period a PR person), I was not surprised by this statement. The first thing they tell you when you walk through the Journalism 101 door is “if it bleeds it leads.”

It’s not just YouTubers that are targeted by this “no one interested in the good news they do” belief, it’s everyone. I can’t tell you how many times I pitched a “good” news story only to have it rejected or published on page 25.

The reason for the “no good news” is partly because “bad news” is what sells. News media operates by lowest common dominator, which sadly is drugs, sex, and violence. People are more interested in reading about a scandal or accident or disaster–probably because these things end up affecting people. The story about the 100-year-old woman is cute but how does it affect the average person. The story about the tornado ripping through a town impacts more, especially if you have friends or family there.

The “bad news” is also easier to write from a reporting perspective. It’s a lot easier to find an angle for a story where YouTuber X is found to be a child predator versus YouTuber X donated $2,000 to charity. In the later, pretty much all your questions are answered within a few words; the former creates questions and creates more stories (i.e. coverage of a trial, controversy over if YouTube should run background checks, etc). In the charity example, you get one, maybe two, stories. In the child predator story, you get hundreds.

But, I’m not here to talk about business theory or sociology or psychology. I’m here to talk about the second thing I thought of after watching the video. How do people find out about all these news/debate topics and still spend hours upon hours on their videos? Is there a YouTube CliffsNotes I don’t know about?

So, naturally I began thinking about how funny that would be if there were CliffsNotes on YouTube Creators/Channels (there might be; I just said I’m not “in the loop”). Wouldn’t that be weird/cool to walk into a bookstore and there is CliffsNotes: MatPat? It’d be full of all the stuff about his channels you’d need to know, like “clap and a half,” and “#BlameJason,” and “Pro Tips.” It would also have brief summaries of the more popular videos.

Or how about a “For Dummies” spin-off/series. Grian for Dummies or Domics for Dummies.

I’m sorry, these are the weird rabbit holes that writers/artists find themselves in sometimes. But, you can’t tell me that you would rather have a post discussing news media theory or dissecting an Internet video than hearing about Let Me Explain Studios for Dummies.

Two hours later…

Two hundred dislikes?!

OK, so maybe you would rather have a post dissecting a video…


Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Walmart eBooks, and more.

The latest Side Quest short story Carl Rogers Is Missing is out now for FREE.

Food Scanner | Living the Write Life

One day I was at an all-you-can-eat buffet. While there I came up with the idea of a futuristic world where buffets had body scanners much like the x-ray body scanners airports have but these would scan for food. So if you tried to sneak something out, the scanner would catch you. I went further with this idea; I decided that theaters would also have these to catch people bringing in “outside food.” It was a real bleak and dystopian society.

I came up with another idea from this buffet visit that I’m planning to turn into a comic. Hopefully, someday I’ll post it on my YouTube channel–once I get through the 400 other ideas running through my mind.


Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Walmart eBooks, and more.

The latest Side Quest short story Carl Rogers Is Missing is out now for FREE.