I’ve gone through some odd phases in my writing career.
When I was in high school, I started writing what could best be described as Christian science fiction and fantasy. I even tried submitting one of the manuscripts to a literary agent. One I found in the phone book. And had no idea what kind of stuff he represented. Not surprisingly, I got a stock rejection.
But for some odd reason, after I graduated from high school, I started dabbling in stuff way out of my wheelhouse. For example, in college, I dabbled in writing for the theatre (another confession for another time).
And then, for whatever reason, I got it into my head that I should write movies.
I have no idea what possessed me. I think I bought a book about how to format scripts, which I used around the same time to write my TV scripts. And somehow, I got it into my head that I should write full length movies. I had what felt like a great idea. And so I started slapping the idea down on paper.
So what was it about? Imagine this: there’s a secretive cult that’s been working for years to infiltrate the government. Their ultimate goal is to get enough people in the right places so that their leader, who calls himself the Phoenix, can someday take over and rule…well, not the world, but the United States. Everything is going as well as can be expected, but then the Phoenix is diagnosed with a terminal illness. I think it was cancer, but I have no idea.
Well, the Phoenix isn’t about to let all of his scheming go to waste. One of the newest recruits to the cult just happens to be one of the best geneticists on the planet, and he has an audacious plan to salvage everything. They’ll clone the Phoenix. But since that would only get them a baby and not the Phoenix in all his glory, the cult would have to use their resources to ensure that the clone had the same experiences as the Phoenix growing up. They identified a number of key events that had to take place and infiltrated the town of Shawano, Wisconsin (where my family lived at the time) to recreate their leader so that one day, the clone would be able to take the mantle of leadership and lead the cult to its glorious future.
Yeah, I was pretty much ripping off The Boys from Brazil.
Only things don’t go quite as the cult hopes. When the clone is in high school, his girlfriend is supposed to die in an accident (I think). But before that can happen, the clone is approached by a disgruntled member of the cult who reveals the entire plan. Said deserter was going to be played by Mel Gibson or Scott Bakula, I can’t quite remember which.
The clone rebels, saves his girlfriend, and goes on the run with the cult’s deserter. They have to hide, because the cult’s chief enforcer (who I think I called The Talon) was after them. But before they can disappear, the deserter reveals that there’s another clone out there. Only this one is a female. It turns out that the geneticist decided to do a little experiment and see what happened if they put a female version of the Phoenix through the same experiences. Would she turn out like the Phoenix? Or would her genes influence her differently.
So the clone and the deserter go after the female clone and rescue her. They’re able to and then go on the run, trying to get somewhere they’ll be safe. Then…well, I don’t remember exactly what happened. I do know the deserter was revealed to be the cult’s second-in-command and the Phoenix’s estranged brother. The female clone betrayed the other two to the Talon and almost pulled off the planned coup. And then…something something something. They lived happily after ever.
Unfortunately (or, more probably, fortunately), I never did anything with this. I wrote it. I revised it a few times. And then I moved on to my next project. But I’ll get into that next time.