Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mercenaries with Jet Packs and Laser Guns

Husband is a great supporter of my writing.

He's bought DVDs for research (like the Bourne series), never moans if I don't get round to things I ought to, stoically eats beans on toast and gets on with the laundry while I'm wrestling with a book. He never raises an eyebrow when my little office turns into the Godforsaken Hell Pit of Despond (which it is now - clearing it up feels too much like procrastination away from the book).

He doesn't read manuscripts - which might explain our continuing marital harmony - but he does help me out with brainstorming, with detail, with questions.

But if I ever think the book I'm working on needs just that little something extra, Husband always makes the same suggestion, uttered with glee and anticipation.

"You should put in mercenaries with jet packs and laser guns."

Now, let's face it, this is a good suggestion. There's not many a work of fiction that couldn't be improved with the addition of some jet-packing mercenary las-guns. Imagine Elizabeth Bennett calling them to her aid when Lady Catherine de Bourgh comes to visit. Or, hey, how about simply having Fitzwilliam Darcy packing a laser canon?

I'll leave you with that thought for a moment.


It's not even as if I can use the excuse that I don't write Sci-Fi - after all, jet packs and laser guns are pretty much science fact these days.

All these things notwithstanding, I am yet to include mercenaries with jet packs and laser guns in any of my books. I am clearly a woman of little sense.

Happily, Husband's imagination is not limited to aerial hired soldiers - he also gave me the false wall in the laboratory in my current work-in-progress.

So what's the worst (and the best) plot idea anyone's ever suggested to you?

Visit us again on Thursday, when Christina will be here!


  1. I think someone mentioned vampire ninjas with jet packs and laser guns... ahh yes I remember now. It was YOUR husband!

    I think the best plot idea I ever had was from you when you first took me to Mayburgh Henge :-)

  2. Awww, thank you!

    I remember Husband making some pertinent suggestions about Land Rovers for my first book. Fab.

  3. My husband always tells me to put in aliens. I tell him I wrote a whole book about the aliens, I'm done with aliens, enough with the aliens already. But he keeps on suggesting them.

    Actually, come to think of it, I actually have put in some aliens occasionally. So maybe it's good advice.

  4. I think my husband would agree with yours, Anna, but a historical with laser guns is probably not a good idea. Or maybe it is? Hmmm ...

    The only person I ask for help with plot ideas is my critique partner though and she always comes up with great stuff that makes me wonder why I hadn't thought of it myself. But then I do the same to her!

  5. Hee. I liked this.

    I haven't written enough fiction for people to be making plot suggestions (also because, since my fiction is as yet unpublished, I continue to keep my fiction-writing habit fairly close to my chest), but the husband is happy to offer his two cents on elements I'm uncertain about. I may not always agree with him, but it's useful to get a second opinion sometimes.

  6. I am totally in favour of aliens, Julie!

    That sounds like a great critique partnership, Christina - hard to come by, and worth keeping when you find it. :-)

    Thanks Seebrooke - I was in a flippant kind of mood... *g* Yes, you're right, even if the suggestions aren't what we're looking for, it usually sparks something off in our own brain.