A Story Idea Each Day for a Month — Day 2

This is the 9th year in a row I’ve run this series in April. Why a story idea each day for the month? Several reasons which I’ll work my through during this series of posts.

Here’s another one: The only way to find a great story idea is to work your way through a bunch of crap ideas.

Ira Glass (“This American Life”), arguably one of the most knowledgeable people around today re storytelling, said this:

“You have to record and get rid of a lot of crap before you find something special.”

Same thing with screenwriting: You have to generate a bunch of crappy ideas before you find something special. Still don’t believe me? How about the wisdom of Linus Pauling:

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”

And Linus Pauling should know, one of the few people to win multiple Nobel Prizes.

So why focus on generating a bunch of story ideas? Because most of the ones you come up with will be crap. However somewhere along the line, you’ll find some that a pure gold.

Today’s story idea: Pope Francis Defrocks 9 Ukraine Monks for Rogue Exorcisms.

Pope Francis stripped holy orders from nine monks in Ukraine, following reports that they had engaged in unapproved exorcisms and listened to a “prophetess.”
Investigators found monks violating monastic discipline and performing exorcism prayers without authorization at monasteries in Kolodiivka and Velyki Borky. Some of the monks did not follow the rules and were guided by the orders of a so-called “prophetess.”
Many of the unapproved practices — like reading exorcism prayers without permission — seem to have originated from a self-proclaimed “prophetess.”
“The people started to talk about Sister Maria Baran from the monastery in Velkyi Borky in 2004,” church leaders explained. “She seemed to hear the voice of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Sacred Virgin Mary, and some saints. Some of the messages were written down by Father Planchak. The priest confirmed their veracity and origin from God but did not have the authorities for this as the Synod of UGCC officially claimed.”
The church ordered a re-organization of the monastery thanks to the commission’s conclusions. Some of the monks refused to obey, however. They continued to violate monastic rules and illegally settled elsewhere.
“After the proper warnings, nine monks were defrocked,” a statement read. “Pope personally approved this decision.”

Okay, I’m not a horror guy, but this seems to have all of the makings of a freaking scary ass movie. You’ve got your exorcisms. The weird Prophetess. And oops… exorcisms gone awry?

What could THAT lead to?

It’s like Pandora’s Box only who knows what spiritually screwed up stuff could emerge from the depths of Hell?

I’ve actually attended an exorcism. Not Catholic, but charismatic Christian sect. It went on for hours. I came away completely convinced the people involved with this religious group were bat shit crazy.

But what if it were real? And what if the Prophetess had an ulterior motive? To have these priests — thinking they were doing God’s work — actually facilitating the work of the Devil?

I’m thinking the Prophetess is the 1st cousin of Piper Laurie in Carrie:

This is the After picture of the Prophetess. The Before picture, she seems like a cool sage and seer.

It’s The Exorcist meets The Exorcist.

There you go: My second story idea for the month. And it’s yours. Free!

Day 1

Each day in April, I invite you to join me in comments to do some brainstorming. Take each day’s story idea and see what it can become when we play around with it. These are valuable skills for a writer to develop.

See you in RESPONSES to hear YOUR take on this story idea. And come back tomorrow for another Story Idea Each Day For A Month.