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Excerpt 1: A
vital dream forgotten
A woman has a dream in which she solves an important puzzle
or discovers the answer to something - how to cure cancer, for
example. She wakes up extremely excited, searches the house for
pen and paper and starts to write it down. But she can't remember
many of the details now. It all made perfect sense earlier, but
all she is left with now is a confusing mess with lots of gaps.
She's convinced that the answer is still inside her head though,
and tries all sorts of methods for getting at it: eating the
same things that she had the night before in the hope of repeating
the dream, setting her alarm clock to wake her in the middle
of the night, concentrating on it as she goes to sleep, and so
on. She devours books and research papers on dreams. Nothing
Realising the significance of what this dream might mean for
mankind, she decides to seek professional help. She starts off
with hypnosis and manages to fill in a few of the gaps - but
it also adds another layer of complexity to the mess. She is
completely obsessed with this dream and is convinced that she
will have it again. There has been talk of a computer than can
record dreams and play them back. This is still at an early experimental
stage but she decides that it's vitally important that she gets
involved with it. She puts herself forward as a research candidate,
sells her house, and gives the money to the scientists to fund
their work. She moves into the lab. The scientists record everything
she dreams each night and play the recordings back to her the
next day. Sometimes they play the recordings into her brain while
she sleeps to try and trigger a response.
At first nothing works, but then things start to happen. Is
she anywhere near achieving her aim? Will the things she sees
in her dreams drive her mad? Will her brain be damaged by a surge
of electricity when an experiment goes wrong? What if someone
who would prefer the secret to remain a secret tries to stop
her from discovering it? It's up to you to decide what happens
next and how the story ends.
Excerpt 2: Alter
ego goes berserk
A male writer realises that if he adopted a female pen name
he'd have far more success in the
market he's writing for. This proves to be true and he's
soon in demand for interviews, chat
shows and book signings. Obviously he can't go himself,
so he hires an actress to play the role. Things
go smoothly at first and he's pleased with the arrangement.
But as he becomes more and
more successful, the actress playing him starts to go off the
rails - out every night clubbing, sleeping with
actors and rock stars, going into rehab, and so on. Somehow 'she'
still seems to be able to write great books, so
the public supports her through all her troubles. But then one
she publishes a book of her own. It's not in her real name
of course, but her adopted name - the pen
name that the writer uses. And the book is truly awful; libellous,
blasphemous, and more.
Suddenly sales of the writer's books come to a halt as
the public goes off this dreadful woman. The writer
decides it's time to kill off that pen name and start writing
under a different name. But
how does he get rid of the actress? Does he pay her a huge sum
to go away? Does he actually kill
her? Will he make it look like an accident? And is there any
way that he can get his backlist of
books selling again, even without her around? Perhaps the books
become valuable and popular again when she's dead. Perhaps everyone
will realise what a genius she really was, and it's a
shame about that last book, but the years of alcohol and drug
abuse had obviously taken their toll.
Perhaps he writes a sequel to one of his most famous novels and
publishes it under a new female
name. It proves hugely popular, and so he's able to continue
his successful career - using a
different actress. This time though, he takes the precaution
of adding a clause to her contract
saying that she is not allowed to release any of her own books
or ever divulge the truth about
their arrangement. But can he include a 'no party lifestyle'
clause in the contract? And even if he
does, will she abide by it once fame goes to her head?
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