This morning I woke up with a memory and an idea: I remembered one time I let a friend of mine, whom I knew would not steal any of my ideas, look at the list of ideas for novels and other assorted creative endeavors. This was midway through high school and I’d probably just started the first draft of Reborn City. He sent it back to me with one note: Interesting. A lot of ideas using magic here.
That was several years ago, like I said, and that Ideas List couldn’t have had more than 15 ideas on it at the time. Now it’s at 51 ideas and counting, and I thought I’d take inventory again. I went over the ideas, and I found some interesting numbers here. I share them with you now because they give insight into not only the sort of stories I like to write and create, but also gives an idea of who I am, and what my imagination gives birth to.
I’ll list these ideas, occasionally giving some information on why I gave these stats, and then I’ll tell you what I think of all these sorts of story ideas. You’re welcome to draw your own conclusions as well and tell me what you think. Also, please excuse the randomness of some of these stats. I listed them as they came to me. Also be aware that several of these ideas cross over with each other in terms of elements, such as serial killers crossing over with demons, science gone wrong featuring monsters, and so on and so forth.
Number of stories dealing with the supernatural: 29
–Number with ghosts: 6
–Number with monsters/demons: 26
–Number with magic: 24
–Number featuring God(s): 9
Trust me, plenty of stories featuring this sort of creepy stuff.
Number of science fiction stories: 9
–Number with science gone wrong as the main theme/driving force: 7
Number of crime/thriller stories: 17
Number featuring human antagonists: 33
–Number featuring serial killers/rapists/etc.: 25
Number of stories with strong female protagonists: 25
Number of ideas that aren’t for novels: 13
–Number of films: 3
–Number of TV shows: 2
–Number of comic books/mangas: 7
–Number of video games: 1
Number of ideas that are suitable for younger audiences: 1
As I said, I’d provide a little feedback on some of the numbers listed above. The first I’d like to draw your attention to is that most of my science-fiction ideas feature science gone wrong. Why? Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that I sometimes wonder that our society, which is getting more technologically dependent with every passing day is going to find itself in a lot of trouble because of how much we rely on our technology. Although none of these stories feature Terminator-like elements, where the tech actually rises up to get us, I do think the stories do illustrate just how dangerous technology can be if we let it be the center of our existences, and shows just how paranoid I am about that happening. It may also explain why I always wait to try out new technology and social media until everybody else is using it. Makes it safer, I guess, at least in my strange mind.
Also, why did I emphasize stories with strong female protagonists? Because even in the year 2013, there are many novels/TV shows/movies/whatever where the female characters just fill a postition, often times to draw in male readers. And there are plenty of times when the female characters could be replaced by male characters and there wouldn’t be much change to the overall story. Imagine for one second that Hermione Granger from Harry Potter was a boy. How much would it change? The Ron/Hermione subplot would be taken out, but beyond that, there’d still be a smarty-pants character helping Harry figure out important stuff that’ll save his life later. Perhaps the readership, particularly the female readership, would be less, but it might still be a popular story.
Imagine how different this story would be if Katniss were a normal girl or if she were even a bad-ass boy? Not too fun to think about, is it?
So I write a lot of stories where female protagonists are like Katniss Everdeen: they’re indispensable to the plot. Change their gender or make them more meek or in a more traditional role, and you have by far a much less interesting story. Katniss is so popular not because she has two dreamy guys after her affections, but because she’s a kick-ass female with sharp-shooting skills and the determination to fight against a very corrupt system. All without showing off her boobs and butt as well. She’s something female readers want to be, and something male readers can fall for because of how different she is. So many of my female characters become like that, indispensable and not allowed to change or they would change the story for the worse.
By the way, I think that part of me that likes those characters might be due to my childhood, where I had a lot of women and girls around me all the time and where I had a lot of strong female role models in my life, including but not limited to my mother. In addition, a lot of the shows I watched when I was younger involved strong female main characters, most notably Sailor Moon (not afraid to put that out there, by the way). It’s no wonder i have so many strong female characters.
And finally, there’s the fact that one of my ideas is suitable for children. Unusual for a horror writer, right? But I recently discovered some of the old cartoons I used to watch when I was younger, and one of them I relly enjoyed watching again. I hope someday to reboot that as a movie, if I should ever have the money, power and influence to be able to do that. So I list it there, with the hope that I can someday be able to create a fun little movie reboot with jokes for both kids and adults and a plot that’ll draw in any viewer.
I sometimes think my subconscious looks a little something like this. Eerie to behold, right?
So what does all this say about me? Well, without the actual list it’s difficult to pull up any sort of psychological profile about me. But I think it does give you an idea of what sort of stories I’ll put out in the future, and what you can expect from some of them. So either you are either very psyched to read my work or you’ll never pick up a Rami Ungar book as long as you live. Either way, it gives you some idea of who I am and what I like to write. And I think that’s what I want people to get from this post.
Got any questions? Feel free to ask, and I’ll make up an answer as best I can.