I have a lot of ideas for stories. Like, if I wrote a novel’s worth of them every month, I’d still most likely die before getting through them all. I will admit that some of the ideas probably suck, but I think there are some that a good writer could make something of them. I’ll just never get a chance to. So, I give them to the world. If you can make something of these, go right ahead. And if these are the ideas I’m giving away, maybe check out the ones I keep.
began with Lindsay Ellis’s video essay Bright: The Apotheosis of Lazy Worldbuilding. It wasn’t she said
something and I immediately had an idea, but more she said something I thought
was interesting, and over the next couple of days it took five random turns in
my brain and became the nucleus of this story.
I’ve rewatched the video, but I can’t remember what point she made which
began the rock rolling on this idea. This
has absolutely nothing to do with Bright,
although, to be perfectly honest, for the longest time I referred to this
project as “Dim.”
guess this could be a novel, but I see it better as a movie. Admittedly, a large part of that is a
training montage at the beginning, but I’m sure a talented writer could work
their way around the issue.
is set in a fantasy world with humans, centaurs, elves, dwarfs, goblins,
etc. There used to be dragons, but they
were hunted to extinction centuries ago.
It’s a completely different world than ours, but it is comparable to the
80’s or 90’s technology wise. This world
is split into various nations. Some of
them are a single species, while others are maybe a mix of two or three. There are also a few cities where all are
welcomed. The reason these cities exist
is mainly for trade. Centaurs may like
goblin coffee, but they don’t want to deal directly with goblins, so they go to
dwarf coffee shops to get their goblin coffee.
(Because everything we do in the real world makes perfect sense.) Odd little quirks like this started in small
trading ports, and over the centuries these grew into city states. The story is set in one of these, which will
need some name, but for now we’ll just call it the City. There is an Elf Kingdom, but they are very
closed off. They do allow ambassadors
from the other nations in, but the elves themselves rarely leave. As a result, in this world elves are almost
the movie starts with the camera sweeping over the City late at night. We see normal cars on the roads, but there
are also these van things that are centaur cars. We go from the “good” part to the “bad” part
of town. Like maybe we see a group of
prostitutes, there’s a human, dwarf, and centaur. The camera ends up in the ally next to a
dingy bar – possibly called The Hexed – and we see a portal open. On the other side of the portal is a day lit
forest meadow, and a hooded figure. The
figure looks behind them, then steps through.
The portal closes. The figure
looks around, then starts walking.
eventually arrive at a police station. I
was thinking that these police have a motto that’s some variation of “To
Protect and Serve.” Whatever that variation is, I was thinking that might be
the title of the movie. Anyway, the
figure goes in and the desk sergeant asks what they want. The figure lifts up the hood revealing an elf
woman, who says she wishes to become a police officer. In this world, elves have a glowing glamour
that more or less stuns anyone looking at them for ten seconds or so,
especially if you’re attracted to whatever gender the elf is. So this desk sergeant just stares at her with
his mouth open for like ten seconds, and then he does a little shake of his
head and asks, “What?”
the montage. It starts with our elf –
Shay – in a small room sitting before some mirrors. She has some things of makeup before
her. She puts foundation for white skin on
one cheek, and black skin on the other.
She looks back and forth between them.
We then see that she just mixes the two, which cuts back on the glamour
and if you don’t noticed her pointed ears, she’d just looks like an extremely
attractive human woman. For her hands
she just wears gloves. She then flips
through a book on the laws of the City.
She reads as fast as she flips the pages. We then see her rapidly filling in answers on
a test in a classroom with other cadets.
Then begins physical training.
There’s a track and when the instructor fires off the pistol she goes
right around, like she’d easily “On your left” Captain America. When she gets back to the starting position,
she stops and the instructor just looks at her for a second or two before
clicking the stopwatch. The cadets also
run to a tower with cargo nets that she goes up in no time. Then instead of climbing down, she just jumps
and does a superhero landing. She then
runs towards the rope to swing over the thirty foot wide stretch of mud, but
she just jumps over that. In hand to
hand training, she easily overpowers everyone and we see her casually flipping
a centaur. In gun training, she fires
off ten rounds as fast as the gun allows, and the gun doesn’t move. As she’s bringing the target to her, we see
the next trainee – maybe a centaur – is shooting slower because the gun
recoils, like in real life. In Shay’s
target, there is only one, perfectly centered hole. She smiles at the instructor next to her, who
looks at her for a few seconds, then makes a mark on a clipboard. (Also, my idea is that this is the only time
in the movie she fires her gun.) Up to
now there’s probably been some fun, montage music, but now it turns mournful as
we see Shay getting lunch. She sits
alone and eats, while the other cadets give her occasional glances.
next meet … someone I’ll just call Partner.
She is a loud mouthed, somewhat crude cop who is not thrilled to learn
she is being partnered with the Elf Cop.
She thought Gay Cop was going to be partnered with her, but the LT says
Gay Cop thinks he might be bi-curious, and even though Shay is wearing makeup
to hide her glamour, they don’t want to partner her with anyone who is
attracted to women. Partner has a
lengthy, profanity laced comment to all that.
next scene I have is them in a car, with Partner driving. Partner says she finds it odd her name is
Shay, because “I thought elves were all named after flowers, or whatever.” Shay
says that Shay isn’t her real name.
Partner asks what her real name is, and Shay replies with this long,
(not Tolkien) Elvish name which does not contain Shay in any part. Partner asks how she gets Shay from that, at
which Shay replies with an even longer string of Elvish, and then she
laughs. She then explains that it’s an elvish
joke that doesn’t really translate.
Partner isn’t sure what to do with that.
their first call is for some deranged guy with a knife yelling in front of a
store. They show up, and Partner starts
talking about how to make sure everyone is at a safe distance, only to turn
around and see Shay walking right up to the guy. She talks with him for a bit, he’s a little
stunned by her, but he eventually hands over the knife and she walks him over
to the crowd and says something like he just needed his medication.
call an ambulance and get the guy some help.
Partner and Shay drive off, and Partner starts by saying, “If you do
anything like that again, I promise I will shoot you myself.” Shay raises an
eyebrow. Partner then starts about how
there’s a ton of paperwork if your partner is killed. She can’t imagine how much there’d be if they
died on their first day. “And if it’s
the first goddamned elf cop, killed on her first goddamned day, I’ll be filling
out paperwork for twenty years after I’m dead!” To which Shay asks, “Will the
paperwork be less if you shoot me yourself?” “Don’t tempt me to find out.”
you might have a montage of boring, mundane cop stuff to show the passing of a
few days or weeks.
there’s an incident which makes the other cops not too fond of Shay. The end result is she arrests another
cop. Why, is a bit complicated. The first idea I had was some cop arrested
someone and had them handcuffed, but then – while members of the public watched
– they punch them a couple of times. So
Shay immediately arrests the cop for assault.
For the department, Shay stopped the PR nightmare of them being lax on police
brutality, but for the other cops it rubs them the wrong way that she’s
watching over them. Partner points out
that this idiot did it in front of people, so what else could Shay have
done? The reason I’m not fond of that
idea is that it might seem too … topical.
The other idea I had was she arrests a cop for stealing evidence, which,
just seems somewhat bland. This is a
free idea, but there is some work you’ll have to do if you actually complete
Partner takes Shay to a bar, where a lot of guys hit on her, but she turns them
all down. Partner asks if there’s an elf
waiting for her back home, but Shay doesn’t answer. We then find out that elves can’t handle
their liquor. Well, one shot leaves Shay
plastered for about a minute, until she completely sobers up. Partner finds this amusing. At some point she had asked Shay why she
wanted to be a cop, but Shay doesn’t answer, and maybe she asks Partner the
same question and we get some of her backstory.
But at the bar, Partner gives Shay a second drink and then asks why she
wants to be a cop. To which Shay slurs
something about stopping a prophecy.
When she sobers up and sees Partner just starting at her, she says,
“Fuck,” which I think is the one time she swears in the movie.
then explains that in this world elves have a thing for prophecy which they
don’t let the rest of the world know about.
And prophecy isn’t a certainty that something will happen, instead it’s
more like a 98% chance something will happen.
The prophecy that she got was that one of her bloodline would destroy
the City. So she left the Elf Kingdom to
come here and hopefully do some good before then. Also, if she gets killed in the line of duty,
that would end her bloodline. Partner is
rather unhappy with all of this.
then go back to The Hexed the next day, where another portal opens. This time an elf man steps through. He sneers at the surroundings, then starts
walking. Partner and Shay get the call
for an elf causing trouble, basically just slapping away people trying to get
close to him, so they go to the location.
They pull up and as soon as Partner sees him in his full glamour, she’s
dumbstruck. Shay gets out and the two
start speaking in Elvish. In the
subtitles, we learn that they were engaged, but she broke it off when she left
the Kingdom. They found out where she
went when one of the ambassadors to the Kingdom told them about this elf who became
a cop. He sneers about the human filth
and her wearing makeup, and orders her to come back with him. She says no.
He doesn’t take this well, and she orders him to go back or she’ll
arrest him. He says she’s crazy, but he
asks who that was, and Shay explains how she left him just so she wouldn’t have
a bloodline. Partner offers to marry him
instead, but Shay says he would probably rather die than marry a human.
other stuff happens, and then we see the portal open again. This time an older elf man steps
through. This is Shay’s father. I’m not sure of the exact steps for this, but
her father is so upset at what Shay is doing, that he wants to do some blood
magic – requiring him to sacrifice Shay – that would destroy the City. When Shay realizes that it was her coming to
the City to prevent the prophecy that made her father – part of her bloodline –
want to destroy the City, she lets out an elvish curse – the one time she yells
in the movie – that blows the parked car she’s standing next to back like ten
feet and sets it on fire. Partner sees
that, but is like, “I don’t want to know.”
a part where the other cops come to their aid.
They protect and serve, that’s what they do, even if they are still
unsure about Shay. So while the other
cops are evacuating people, Shay and Partner try to stop her dad. Somehow, her father gets a knife to Shay’s
throat. Shay sees Partner and tells her,
“Do what you promised to do.” Partner hesitates for a second, but Shay
nods. So Partner draws her gun and
in this world elves are so badass that they’re bulletproof. The bullet falls to the floor and her father
starts to say something about foolish humans, but that was the distraction Shay
needed to disarm her father (perhaps with a move we saw her do in the training
montage?). I don’t want her to kill her
father just because, but also it leaves room for him to come back in a
sequel. Perhaps Shay adjusts whatever
spell he was using to tie him to the City.
Like, if the City is destroyed he’ll die, or something. How it all works, I don’t know. I leave hammering out the finer details to
does explain to Partner that the last time humans and elves fought a war was
before the invention of guns. To kill an
elf required either an enchanted human blade, or a captured elf blade. She suspected that she would be bulletproof,
but wasn’t sure how to test the theory.
If she wasn’t, then she would die which would have prevented the blood
magic from working, thus saving the City.
that’s my idea for Elf Cop. A big
question is why Shay is different from the other elves. By being stronger, smarter, faster, etc.,
they feel they are better. They’re
basically Elf Supremacists. So why does
Shay show compassion to others? One
possibility, is that Shay got this prophecy like ten years ago. At first she wonders why she should care some
city she’s never heard of will be destroyed.
But she’s curious, and starts looking into it. One idea, since this is like 80’s level
technology, is that the elves have a space program, which they might not have
told the rest of the world about. Do
they have spy satellites watching the rest of the world? Are there, think all echoey, Elves … In … Space? (I don’t know why I found that so
funny.) By taking an interest in the
City, did she come to question some of what she had been taught? I don’t know.
Part of the reason I’m doing these Free Story Ideas is to stop thinking
about projects I’ll never do so I can focus on ones I can do.
I did have an idea for a sequel. The
idea is that elf blood is like super glamour.
If you put a drop of elf blood in someone’s drink, they become your
slave for like a day. And if you do this
every day for a month or so, they just become a mindless zombie. Perhaps a way for her father to not destroy
the City, but cause a lot of havoc.
Something to think about.