Every so often I have to do one of these lists in which I jot down ideas about projects I want to do. There are a zillion things I want to do, or have started, and if I don’t spill ’em out from time to time I end up either a) obsessing about them or b) forgetting good ideas. So it’s time to share some of them here, partially to spill ’em and partially to see if there are any creative types out there who want to bite on them and be a collaborator. Some of these are already on the go.
All of these premises, original characters, titles, etc. are (c) Trevor LaForce 2011 and steps have been taken to ensure the security of these IPs. So if you’re trolling for shit to steal, shuffle on.
Tron: Morphology (with Lesley) (Short film)
Still in perpetual production hell, this has been delayed intentionally once, unintentionally once, and intentionally a third time. Gave me time to get a new computer together and also gave us time to figure out locations and do it after I’m not freaking out about school.
The Wasteland Diaries (Game)
A very short, classic point-and-click adventure game built in AGS, the Wasteland Diaries follows a long-haul trader in the ramshackle town that sits on the ruins of Oklahoma City. After finding a runaway and helping her back to civilization, he discovers that his life is becoming exceedingly difficult. Merchandise goes missing along with Rock, the runaway, and as he searches for his missing goods he begins to discover that Rock is far more than just another lost child of the wastes.
Picking Up Dead Chicks (with Lesley) (Feature film)
When a sleepy town is beseiged by the slavering undead, it’s up to a nameless womanizing zombie-killing walking munitions dump to save the day. But for twentysomethings Matt and Michelle, a more pressing concern is keeping their infuriating significant others from being stupid to death. With the help of their own personal John Q. Rambo and the slightly undermedicated guidance of the marine-biologist-turned-zombie-expert Doctor Zim, Matt and Michelle find themselves shanghaied into an effort to save the known world from the undead plague.
Gare Lake (tentatively with Aleta) (Feature film)
Gare Lake, Ontario, is essentially a college town with a heavy emphasis on competitive sports, and after a long rehabilitation one swimmer is ready to reclaim her place on the podium. As she begins her training anew, she becomes aware of a presence dogging her every move. An entity with a long-running grudge against her family and a centuries-old axe to grind has finally returned to the dark waters of Gare Lake, and there’s no way to stop it.
An hour-long TV pilot and series bible. Conceived as a melange of True Blood, Blade: The Series, The Sporanos, and Paul Gross’ H2O, Capital is the story of Julian, a runner for a prominent crime family based out of Montreal. As the mob grows in influence, Julian is transferred to the nation’s capital, where he is assigned to the Don’s daughter as protection and a go-between so that her political manipulations aren’t traced to her. Julian begins to discover that the conspiracy goes far deeper than he expected, and there’s a reason that the Don and his politically elite daughter, Ahsha, are never seen out during the day…
A design document for a videogame. This one is a little complicated to get into. To break it down: two playable main characters. Two concurrently running storylines in a science-fantasy setting a la Final Fantasy 8. Freerunning. Action RPG. Romance. Open warfare. Necromancy. It is an adaptation of Plato’s The Republic. Please continue to be confused and fascinated until the game’s release, approximately in 2023.
Dust and Ashes (Novel)
This one’s going to end up being either a collab or I’ll buy out the other main party responsible for the work. A while back, I got into a nation-based forum roleplay thing. Dust and Ashes charts the rise and fall of a number of city-states in post-apocalyptic America. There was a walled city, formerly a federal penitentiary for the criminally insane, populated by the drug-addled descendants of the inmates; roving bands of mutants calling themselves the Brotherhood; migrating nomadic tribes; and a wealthy trading town sitting on the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania, styled Nova Roma in the tradition of grand hubris that accompanies great wealth. This sprawling story of politics, trade, drugs, and eventually war was some of my favourite writing in a year (2010) that included scripts like Trauma and Foundations, both works I’m fairly proud of. I’m going to post segments of D&A here, actually, so that people can get a taste of my writing beyond the prose poetry stuff.
Saviour (Novel & Feature Film)
This is the big one. It’s prize-winning literature and Oscar nominations and moneymaker all in one. It’s an examination of word religion and geopolitics from the diametrically opposed points of view of the religious right and the secular left. It’s the story of fundamentally broken individuals and how they define themselves both within their faiths and without. It’s a story of redemption, and a discussion of how far one can ever truly be redeemed. It’s shallow love, and self-compromise, and profound, aching love, and unrequited, desperate pleas that cannot ever truly be answered. It’s an interplanary superhero adventure; it’s war; it’s salvation and self-condemnation and strafing runs by A-10 Warthogs in downtown LA and torturous truth. I’m going to try and write an abstract–not a pitch, but an outline of the plot of the first volume (Demiurge), just to contextualize all of this.
Margaret Meridale, Maggie to her friends, is, or at the very least tries to be a good Catholic. After losing her husband and infant son in a car accident, the church and her priest, Father Paul, were all that kept her sane and motivated through her rehabilitation. Something was forever changed in her, though, and both her and others’ actions on this Earth became decreasingly important as the years wore on. Nothing seemed to move her, no-one’s touch reached her. The warm, invested person she was vanished, and, though she performed the actions a good Christian was supposed to perform, they were done with no love in her heart. Even the singing of the choir at her church, which once moved her to tears, could not stir her.
One day, however, during service, the leaden roof of her church is suddenly torn like tissue paper. Oak beams are tossed like matchsticks. Stained glass windows, over two hundred years old, explode over the streets of Montreal and the life-sized carved figure of Christ tears himself free of his crucifix and splits open to reveal an individual who seems to reverberate as though one of the strings holding the fabric of the world together had been plucked. He calls himself Zayin, and proclaims that he is the returning messiah that the devout of the Ambrahamic religions had been waiting for. He names Paul and Maggie the first of his disciples and invites them to walk the world with him, correcting misinterpretations of God’s word and uniting the people to face Satan’s final bid to take over the Earth.
Zayin begins attracting incredible amounts of attention from the devout, the nonbelievers, and governments alike as he tours with his disciples, preaching, performing minor miracles, and gathering followers. He claims After a Time’s Square sermon in which he demonstrates his ability to heal the sick and levitate, he is shot by a fundamentalist Baptist sect. As he recovers, the president of the USA, quickly becoming a believer in Zayin and his message of socialist philosophy, universal cooperation and tolerance, has the Secretary of Defense assign protection to Zayin as he recovers. The former Navy SEAL becomes the third of Zayin’s disciples.
Not long after Zayin recovers, the president, who has been growing increasingly deferent to Zayin, dies under mysterious circumstances. The vice-president, an evangelical, has been openly opposed to Zayin from the moment he arrived on Earth. He sets up, apparently at the request of a small group of soldiers at a remote base in the southern USA, a special sunset sermon with the new “saviour.” Once Zayin arrives, however, he is brutally murdered by the soldiers.
Margaret begins a long pilgrimmage to his grave site, and Zayin wakes up in Hell. He is not who he believed himself to be; in fact, he has been a tool, an instrument, spreading dissonance at the behest of dark powers. Whether he was preaching the word of God or not is irrelevant. He is, in reality, a horrible person, who was granted powers simply to sway the masses and cause division.
On this plane of existence, tensions rise between the United States and other countries around the world. Civil unrest breaks out. The invasion of Earth from the Pit is mere days away, and only Zayin knows the plan and has the power to stop it…
I am so close to being smart enough and informed enough to write this book, guys. It infuriates me that five years since the initial idea, I still don’t have it written, but the product is becoming increasingly refined every day. I estimate it’ll end up running some 750 pages; this summary is just part 1 of a 3-part book. Second part roughly follows a quest structure, a sort of Exodus-lite. Third part is balls-out action.
Well, that’s it for the Spill for now. This felt good, talking about some of the things that are on backburners. And I like the idea of spilling out some old Dust & Ashes for you guys. Someone is going to fall in love with the characters Faye and Teddy and be pissed that I haven’t written more, I think, but meh. You get to wait.