Stuck in the creative mud

firebase tasi

There may be a convention out there that forbids an author to discuss upcoming book plans or ideas. If so, then I’m going to step on convention.

You see, I have a bit of a situation. There’s a project that I’d like to write, but all I have is the sketch of a first scene. I’m a bit at a loss as to what direction to go with this, but I am itching to write the novel.

The protagonist I’ve got down cold. What has me is the antagonist(s).

So the hell with it, I’m going to post the sketch, and see if any of you readers have a good idea as to where to go with this. I’d love to hear from y’all.

Government conspiracy? Aliens? Demons? A combination of all three?

Snippet follows, by all means post comments or shoot me an email through the “contact” page above.

Here goes.

An idea

So a guy gets approached by some suits who say they are FBI. He is sitting in the cafeteria at the VA. There is something off about the two suits. One is smirking, the other one looks dead. Their eyes are as black as the nameless dark. Something is very wrong. As quick as a snake, he stabs one in the leg and throws his food tray in the face of the other and makes a break for it. Somehow he knows that the jinni have finally come for his immortal soul.


Seven years earlier he woke up on a firebase in Afghanistan to the sound of wild shooting. His interpreter runs up to him and shouts about the jinni, they have taken everyone. He grabs his rifle and sees that all of his fellow advisors are dead, without a mark on them.

Everyone but him.

What do ya think?


11 thoughts on “Stuck in the creative mud

  1. Sounds like the beginning of a short story in Larry Corriea’s Monster Hunter universe, but could be a good story in a similar vein all by itself. (to be clear, I am a sucker for “monsters are real” type scifi/fantasy so your good in my book)

    You’ve got a LOT of world building to do. Have to set up the WHY of monsters (jinni) not being common knowledge, as well as plausible reasons as to how they can pose as FBI agents. Course you can also just make that part of their “magic”. Then you have the whole story part….I assume he survives that night seven years ago, and maybe he made a literal “deal with A devil” or there is a counter “good” side that helped him out. Either way the past has caught up to him. Given your history, I assume his experiences have left him somewhat the worse for wear, physically and emotionally, maybe from that experience 7 years ago, or after or a combination.

    You could keep it grounded in reality, with just touches of the supernatural, or go all in with a hidden magical world hidden just out of site of “normal” people. Maybe the Jinni are the reason why the Russians gave up in Afghanistan and the US seems to have problems finishing the fight!
    In any case, now I am excited to see where your snipped goes!!


    • Good to hear from you, Aaron. You’ve got some excellent points, including the WHY. Something pretty cool would be to go with shape-shifters who have maybe marked him for some reason. I tend to think I’ll go with touches of the supernatural, as opposed to whole-hog, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.

      Darn straight there’s some world building to do! (Laughs.) Personally, I’m looking forward to dipping my toes into the sci-fi fantasy thing, I’ve never done it before. But I think this will be fun.

      Yeah, if there’s anywhere on this old world that’s haunted, it would be those creepy mountains. That’s kind of what led to this idea.


      • Good guy scenario
        The Jinni are the elite core of the Mujaheddin whose bloodlines have spent centuries guarding the greatest treasure in the Muslim world. Located in the Tora Bora Caves (might need to check geography).
        Your troop were paid by a Russian Oligarch (drugs, sex trafficking) to infiltrate the Tora Bora mountains and steal the icon. You were never approached as the troop knew you were incorruptible so you weren’t part of the mission (reason you got away). Now the Jinni need you help to resist the Russian. They need someone to guide them through the outside world.
        The Russian uses a section of the Spetnaz as his private army.
        You agree to help the Jinni they in turn promise you an eternal life.
        You lead an assassination attempt on the oligarch but are unsuccessful.
        He realizes the game has changed and leads an assault on the Jinni stronghold. He goes personally as he doesn’t trust his people to bring him the prize.
        You lead the defense of the stronghold. Naturally you win (not much of a twist there)
        Twists –
        1. You accept eternal life and dedicate yourself to the good fight.
        2. You give eternal life to the Russian so life in prison becomes a serious sentence
        3. The relic had no power just the truth about the one religion that all religions stem from.

        I see this as a serious action thriller with stacks of explosions.

        Working on the bad guy scenario now.


  2. Working on an idea but I need some tech info.
    Can you still serve in the armed forces if you have a metal plate in your head?

    Need to have a metal plate in the heroes head.


    • There is a waiver for almost anything. Yes, I would imagine you could serve with a plate in your head if the docs determine that it won’t interfere with your MOS duties. Sometimes a guy with a serious injury/prosthetic is given the option by the medical board of taking a medical retirement or staying in, his/her choice.


  3. Bad Guy scenario.
    The Jinni are soul stealers who thrive on death. As we go back through time you can see their hand in many conflicts (Afghanistan has been a battleground forever).
    The Jinni have existed in the Tora Bora Mountains for millennia. Your troop were the first troop to get close to the enclave they live in. When they raided the camp you were left alone because they could not sense your soul. The metal plate in your head affected their senses so they did not sense you. The bodies with no marks show that the soul was taken. Autopsy will say chemical weapon as they cannot explain it.
    The guide who woke you and helped you escape calls them by name. You remember this.
    They come for you at the VA. They have been trying to track you for a long time as they know you escaped but have no idea why they could not sense you. They are worried you are a new threat or mutation they have never seen before.
    You escape and find your family threatened. You run with them until you lose the Jinni. You have to fight back or you will always be under threat.
    You head back to Afghanistan to find the guide who had some knowledge.
    His Grandma is the only person who believes in them. She tells a tale of them manipulating events over a long time by holding people’s souls in thrall. The Jinni Lord has set up as a War Lord in the Tora Bora.
    They are setting up something big. Looks like a massive attack on US assets killing thousands of civilians. You have to prevent it.

    Explosions to follow.


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