Today's Friday Plot Swap is brought to you by the Bitmoji above.
The circumstances leading to me as Big Foot are wholly unimportant. Inspiration comes from odd places sometimes. You've got to grab it while it's there. This week it led me down a rabbit hole of Big Foot sightings.
First, I had no idea the mythical hairy one hung out in Jersey.
What's great about this article isn't so much that this couple claims to have seen Big Foot, it is that the story drips with absolute sarcasm. What if your main character was a journalist who wrote a piece like this and it didn't sit well with her/his boss? Maybe they send her out in the woods to do a follow-up and she meets a cute forest ranger who helps her search? Or she meets a vile murderer whose body farm she's about to unwittingly expose? It could really go either way.
She might even end up having to interview this person.
She's suing California for not recognizing Sasquatch as a distinct species. Which sounds a little...odd, but what if she's not crazy? What if the lawsuit really has not to do with Big Foot, but there is some other underlying motive and Big Foot is just a red herring? (like Communism in the movie Clue.)
My mind also took this to a complete other place. Say it is a man in a hairy suit. He's spotted, caught on camera (a clear picture. Why is it that all these creatures seem to make the camera footage revert to 1987?) Anyway, he's caught on camera in some small town and now journalists are showing up, chaos is ensuing, and he can't just step up and say, "Hey, my bad!" because he was somewhere he wasn't supposed to be or doing something illegal, like stalking an ex-girlfriend or stealing pigs (that's in the first story).
Speaking of stalking,
You know all those Facebook posts that have a person holding a handwritten sign that they are searching for their birth mother, adopted sibling, long-lost love, whatever? Those always get my brain churning.
What if those people don't want to be found? Or what if the person who is "looking" isn't who they claim?
PLEASE NOTE: I am not saying any of the people are frauds or anything like that. We are playing PRETEND here.
What if a stalker used that method to locate the object of his obsession after he/she ran from him? Well-meaning internet people might lead him right to the person who has been desperately trying to escape.
Or something like this might happen.
This story is about the whole "Other People You May Know" feature. This one turns out happy, but it could just have easily ripped a family apart. What if it recommended a man's mistress as a friend to his wife? They team up and pull a Two Black Cadillacs.* Awesomely creepy video.*
And you don't even want to get me started on catfishing and all the stories that could create!
Oh, and one more while we're talking about Facebook and all its weirdness. First, PSA: NEVER repost/share a story that you don't verify first. You might end up passing along something like this:
This is about the whole "put your PIN in backward and the S.W.A.T. team will instantly materialize to save you in a robbery" story. IT DOESN'T WORK. There are so many things wrong with that theory. One being what if your PIN is the same forward and backward. Two, could you really have the brain power to reverse your PIN while you are under the threat of physical harm? I mean, I have enough trouble remember mine forward at the grocery store when the only pressure I have is the man behind me who wants to buy his Stouffer's lasagna and case of Coors Lite.
My question is always: Who makes this stuff up and why?
What if your character created one of those kinds of hoaxes as an experiment? Just to see how far it would go or just to make someone they know look bad and it went viral...then got someone killed. That could make an interesting YA. if someone showed up demanding the money from one of those "If you share this, we'll split our 46 bazillion dollars with you!" What happens then?
So, swap with me! Tell me some good hoaxes you've heard. How could you make it into a story? I took all of these to kind of dark places. What would you do with them? Any sparks for sweet romcoms?
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