At OsFest 5 I had the good fortune to be involved with a panel called “Plot in an Hour.” Guy De Marco, Peter J. Wacks and I guided our audience through creating a science fiction novel plot, and had it done in an hour. I have to admit, it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a panel, and the audience seemed to really get into the swing of things.
By the end of it, we had what Peter and I (during the drive back to Denver) agreed was a pretty damn good storyline. I think what was most satisfying about this panel is that there wasn’t an actual writer in the group, and these folks—ranging in age from about eight to sixty—were able to put together as good an idea as I’ve seen.
Here’s the logline: A brother and sister, one of whom is half-alien, must save the world from intergalactic real estate agents looking to turn Earth into a beachfront resort where humans are slaves.
Guy, Peter and I went out of our way to avoid contributing to the storyline, instead opting for asking questions and providing multiple choices for the who, what, where, when, how questions of a storyline, and every member of the audience contributed to the story. When all was said and done, we were all jazzed about the story that now belongs to those people. Any or all of them can write their own treatment of the story, and we three authors are hoping to see one or more of them again next year at OsFest 6 with a manuscript in hand.
Seeing as I’ve posted a picture of both the group and the plot notes we came up with, I want to caution any posers out there that this story belongs to the group pictured here. Consider it copyrighted in an old-school-Italian sense of the word. If I find out that you pilfered the story from these folks, I’m going to take in personally in the same way that The Godfather would. I’ll hunt you down and do a double-tap to your favorite cranium. Fair warning… hands off. 😉