This post is going to be exactly what the title claims (for once!). In response to two great posts by Cait at Notebook Sisters and Emily at The Loony Teen Writer, I'm cataloging some possible future story ideas for the record, and hopefully piquing the interest of my wonderful blog readers!

(Let's try and ignore the fact that this post is being published MONTHS later than the ones it's supposed to be responding to. I'm great at follow-up, aren't I? *sigh*)

I have too many story ideas. I have so many bouncing around in my head at once - it's nothing short of maddening.

These will be divided into novel ideas and short story ideas - and hopefully I'll be able to see which have the most appeal (and which to write first, someday, if - * ahem* - when I finish my current projects). Note that these are all working titles, because many of them suck.

Novel Ideas

Season of the Hunt

Genre: YA fantasy

So, basically: A retelling/twist of Red Riding Hood. Rika is one of the cursed huntresses living in the woods by the village. (Obviously the village doesn't have a name yet because I'm great at planning like that.) These huntresses are said to wear red hoods and flower crowns, and they're rumored to be beautiful and pale as corpses. They're the Red Riding Hood figures. The huntresses have been cursed to be young forever, with enhanced reflexes and senses, hunting the wolves that were once common in the woods. Now, they're even more terrifying than the wolves themselves. Rika accidentally breaks the curse on herself and discovers the real reason behind it, with the help of one of the wolves. It turns out that the entire pack in the woods are actually boys who have likewise been cursed. The rest of the story basically follows the wolves and the red-hooded girls joining forces to break both of the curses and return to life in the village.

Wait, but why?: This was all about the aesthetic - black and red and pale, pretty flowers. I just wanted to write something with that feel to it, and Red Riding Hood seemed like the perfect thing to steal and twist into exactly what I wanted it to be.

Of Keyholes and Roses

Genre: YA fantasy with gothic undertones

So, basically: A retelling of the fairy tale "The Maiden with the Rose on Her Forehead", set in a gothic-esque castle in a France-esque kingdom neighboring a Middle East-type country. The heroine doesn't have a name yet, but I know that her father is from said neighboring Middle East-type kingdom (making her mixed-race), that she's asexual, and that she was born unable to walk, so she uses a wheelchair. (This is because I wanted to have a heroine as diverse as possible, and her identity just sort of came to me. A lot of my story ideas these days spring from wanting to represent minorities, so I think about them with this specially in mind.) She also has a rose growing from her forehead. Since her forehead rose and the fact that she needs a wheelchair are seen as bad luck in her home kingdom, her mother hides her away. This becomes... complicated, since her mother is the country's princess, ruling in her brother's stead while he fights a faraway war. The story unfolds as our heroine claims her birthright as royalty and comes to terms with her incongruous identity.

Wait, but why?: This whole thing springs from the fairy tale - I found this on a list of little-known fairy tales, and it's so delightfully screwed up and creepy that I couldn't help coming up with a book idea for it. Then I added the element of diversity that I've been yearning for in books.

Pick Your Poison

Genre: YA science fiction with possible fantasy elements

So, basically: A science fiction novel, possibly with fantasy bits and pieces, in a southeast Asia-type setting. Our heroine (who has no name because I have so much forethought) works as a professional poisoner in the capital of the kingdom. She's also something of a vigilante, delivering punishment to clients who use her poisons to take advantage of women. (Meaning she goes and poisons them personally. She might not kill them, but she does cause them a bit of pain. It's all very morally ambiguous.) Anyway, our MC's dream is actually to go to medical school, but the admissions officer is barring her because a) she's got this criminal record, right?, b) women aren't admitted into medical school anyway, and c) she poisoned his son as part of a contract. Meanwhile, MC is being hunted by a man who believes she's the heir to some long-lost bloodline and wants her to have his children - he doesn't really care what method he uses to impregnate her. The story follows how MC comes to achieve her dream while avoiding the a-hole who's doing whatever he can to find her.

Wait, but why?: I basically combined a bunch of elements I want to see in YA - Asian-inspired fantasy, girls making poisons, girls fighting rape, girls in medicine, friendship, a YA without a romance - and came up with this.

The Silent and the Stained

Genre: YA contemporary fantasy, possibly magical realism

So, basically: A retelling of the fairy tale "The Six Swans", set in modern-day New York City. Lynna Garter (wow, one of my future heroines has a full name for once!) hasn't spoken for six years, and a rich boy (with no name, predictably) wants to find out why. She works on the street selling shirts that she makes, but she works the hardest on a set of shirts she keeps to herself. It turns out she needs the shirts to break a curse on her brothers that has turned them into swans (that's the fairy tale part). She and said rich boy strike up an ill-fated and somewhat messed-up romance on the side that she has to learn to break away from.

Wait, but why?: I mainly came up with this because I had this idea about magical tattoos and I wanted to write a protagonist who looked like Emma Watson. Truth.


Genre: MG cyberpunk (ooh, how refreshing!)

So, basically: (I know this title sucks. It will most definitely change if I ever write it.) Twelve-year-old Seamus is a military genius, Ender Wiggin-style, and he has to team up with a ragtag group of hackers in order to wage a cyber-war on the corporation that has been oppressing his city.

Wait, but why?: My younger brother asked me to write this - we came up with it together (he did the name, genre, and some of the premise stuff) and I thought it'd be super fun if I managed to do it right. 


Genre: YA historical fantasy (and we're back!)

So, basically: (This title sucks. It's an extremely working title.) All I know is that it's going to be magical and set in 1920s America. That's it. That is actually it.


Short Story Ideas


Genre: YA fantasy

So, basically: A gender-flipped retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth with a medieval Japan-type setting. When sickly princess Seii's guard, the dragon Kaoru, is killed while defending her from a would-be assassin, she must journey down to the Underworld with nothing but her koto (a Japanese musical instrument) to save him. Once there, she must use her music and her intelligence to open three gates that lead to the very heart of the dead lands and reclaim her guard - only to realize that he might mean a little more to her along the way. (Although I plan on changing the original myth's tragic ending.)

If we're thinking inspirations, Seii and Kaoru are obviously heavily inspired by Chihiro and Haku from the Miyazaki film Spirited Away.

Wait, but why?: I was deeply inspired by Chihiro and Haku after a rewatch of Spirited Away and wanted to do something with the Orpheus myth because it has so much potential. 

"The Art of Swallowing"

Genre: YA fantasy (though this could very well turn into a novel)

So, basically: A retelling of the fairy tale "The Girl Who Pretended to Be a Boy" with a Middle East-type setting. Possibly ties into Of Keyholes and Roses (mentioned above in "Novel Ideas" section). Our as-of-yet nameless heroine must dress as a boy to serve the emperor who has conquered her father's lands, because her father has no sons to send. The emperor sets her on the impossible task of winning a beautiful damsel's hand in marriage (named Iliane in the fairy tale, but no name in my version quite yet), but our heroine and said beautiful damsel end up falling in love instead. It's all totally great and girl-power-y.

Wait, but why?: I just adored this fairy tale so much. There's so much feminist awesomeness going on here, even if the ending ruins it a little. (The ending involves the heroine making a wish so that she turns into a boy and marries Iliane that way. I'm planning on keeping the heroine as a girl.)
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Wow, I haven't done a Fiction Friday in a long while! And look - what a milestone. It's my tenth Fiction Friday here at Fairy Skeletons, and to celebrate, I'll be highlighting two extra-special short stories from
It's no secret that Tor is one of my favorite places to look for short stories online - they publish very high-quality stuff that manages to not take up too much time to read. (In fact, it's one of my greatest aspirations to be published by them someday.) It's refreshing and fun and a wonderful venture. So without further ado, here are two of my favorite speculative fiction stories on the web that I've found this week!

Gorgeous illustration for the story, done by Pascal Campion.
Ignore the stirrings of war. Let the carriage to a royal ball wait. There is a story to be told: of a starless night, a mother and her sick son, and a mortal who falls in love with the snow god, and will do anything to have her...
"Bridge of Snow" by Marie Rutkoski - It's basically a given that I would love this one. After all, it's a tie-in to Rutkoski's fantasy YA book The Winner's Curse, which I'm sure I've talked about on this blog a number of times. I've gushed about the setting and characters to anyone who will listen, and this short glimpse into Arin's (the male protagonist's) past is a delightful bite of a country long gone. 

Oh, and a short sampling for your enjoyment, which will undoubtedly lead to you reading the rest of the story if you haven't clicked the link already:
But how to tell her son the rest? The way the god silently followed the goatherd, so close that his shoulders grew frost? He drew for the snow god, whose frozen diamond tears fell at the sight of his images and rang against the rock. Every morning, he looked for her. He began to love the chattering of his teeth. When she appeared, the air sheered and sharpened. It became hard to breathe. Still, he longed for that painful purity.
Unfairly pretty illustration for the story, done by Karla Ortiz.
Claire’s lover has no tongue. A slave liberated from a heathen temple, Aya cannot tell the story of her stolen voice, or of her and Claire’s unfolding love. She cannot speak her pain, her joy, or her sorrow. And if she sees that which eludes the blind goddess of justice, she cannot bear witness.
"In the Sight of Akresa" by Ray Wood - This piece is so tragic and lush. I loved the danger sweeping beneath every sentence, the rich fantasy worldbuilding done in such a short space of time, and the passion of the characters all around. I say without exaggerating that I want to read a book of this. From the bottom of my heart, I need a book of this.

And a little, slippery, burning quote for you:
I think you caught the waver in my voice. Your eyes plunged into me, direct as daggers, and I had to let mine drop. My fingers lingered on the leather of your glove as I handed the bird over. I had seen enough, in that look—I had seen, in the way your eyes hesitated on my hair and then my lips, that you shared something of my desire.
Hopefully you all find as much to love in these pieces as I did. Happy Friday reading to you!
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Oh man.

This song has worked its way into my bones and I don't even know why or how or when. I just love it so much.

So I've listened to three different versions of "Do I Wanna Know?" by Arctic Monkeys.

It seems a little over the top, I know. But it's a great song, perfect for dark musings at ungodly hours of the night, simmering and dusky and cool. All three versions are equally fantastic and have their own appeal, so I've embedded them all below.

The Original: LISTEN ON SPOTIFY / or you can Google it if Spotify isn't working for you

The original evokes the most unique mood, I think, and that's what drew me to this song in the first place. There's a rough, bloodshot, half-crazy aesthetic to the entire thing that carries a dangerous appeal. (In fact, it reminds me so much of Ronan and Adam from Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle series that I want to burst. Right down to the lyrics and the background and everything.)

The Vitamin String Quartet Cover:

This is a tiny bit slower than the original (a really tiny bit!), but I love string quartets with the fire of a thousand suns, and the way VSQ has interpreted the song here makes it just as amazing even without the lyrics. 

The Paola Bennet Cover:

I've talked about Paola Bennet before - in the very first Music Monday post I ever did, in fact. But I couldn't resist featuring her again for this cover because it's gorgeous. It makes me ache in corners of my heart I never knew existed.

So I know this is a bit of a short post, but hopefully the music rec makes up for it! I'll leave you with a snippet of my favorite part of the song:

So have you got the guts?
Been wondering if your heart's still open 
And if so I wanna know what time it shuts
Simmer down and pucker up
I'm sorry to interrupt
It's just I'm constantly on the cusp
Of trying to kiss you

Enjoy, and do comment with your thoughts!
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