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How I Came Up With the Idea for The Only Boy

// Author: Jordan Locke // 12 Comments

Usually, soon after I finish one novel, the idea for another comes, as if my mind automatically kick-starts in a new direction.

The concept for The Only Boy came a few weeks after watching the movie Children of Men. If you haven’t seen it or read the book, the gist is that babies have stopped being born, for some inexplicable reason, and the youngest living person is now an adult. This got me wondering what a world with only women would be like. How would they reproduce? Could they develop a technique to combine DNA from women to make more women?

After many years, centuries even, perhaps the women would no longer want men around? Maybe they would blame them for the disease that nearly wiped out humanity.

Introducing a boy into the mix would make the story more interesting, make the plot more complicated. Some of the women would want him dead. He would have to hide his identity.

I needed characters. Taylor, the only living boy, has just lost his family and friends, everyone he knew. Mary is an inquisitive girl with a yearning to learn more about life before the disease. The Matriarch, the figurehead for the group, is obsessed with making sure men never return. I tossed them together to see what would happen.

Of course, I thought the idea was totally original, but soon after I finished The Only Boy, I learned that the concept (just one living male) had been done before, in a comic book and a made-for-TV movie. It seems there are no new ideas, or at least very few of them. How many vampire books have been written? Avatar follows the same basic plot as Fern Gulley. Cinderella has been rehashed countless times.

A fresh take, however, can bring new life to the story. I haven’t seen the aforementioned comic book or made-for-TV movie, but I’m fairly sure The Only Boy is unique. Hopefully, my novel stands on its own. If you get a chance to read it, let me know.

Tell me in the comment section: how do you come up with ideas?

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12 comments

  1. Jordan Locke - December 30, 2013 3:20 pm

    Please post a comment.

    Reply
    • Sherry Janes - February 8, 2014 6:02 pm

      Hi Jordan: There are plenty of women alive today who don’t care to have men around! I do like my world dotted with them however. I shall have to see what happens to the only boy. Wishing you tons of success!
      Sherry Janes
      author of the Spirit Song series.

      Reply
  2. Laura Kim - December 31, 2013 11:25 pm

    Neat. Reminds me a bit of Kamandi or The Only Living Boy comics. Will check it out.

    - Laura

    Reply
    • Jordan Locke - January 1, 2014 12:55 am

      Never heard of this. Now I’ll have to take a look.

      Reply
  3. Laura Kim - December 31, 2013 11:26 pm

    or even Y: The Last Man comic

    Reply
  4. Jordan Locke - January 1, 2014 12:56 am

    This is the one I mentioned in the post.

    Reply
  5. Casandra Leventry - January 15, 2014 7:28 pm

    I find that after I also finish one book, I come up with an idea for the next without even thinking about it. Which self-publishing agency are you using?

    Reply
  6. Jordan Locke - January 16, 2014 3:43 am

    I used CreateSpace. It was amazingly quick, cheap and easy, especially for someone with a design background.

    Reply
  7. Léatitia - February 15, 2014 9:43 pm

    Hi !
    I’ve heard of writers who dream about their novel and then write it. I’m kind of like that but I only see a few scenes of the story. It comes up in my head anytime, even when it shouldn’t. And I know I will write an entirely story when I can tell myself what’s the end. If I know the beginning and the ending, I just have to fill the blank. Sometimes I go back and add something but I mostly try not to change a thing.
    Otherwise, a book I read or a movie I saw can lead me to an idea. I have a lot of stories in my closet, almost ready to be writen. A writer I met, (Amy Plum) once told me that every time I should ask myself if my idea is unique.
    I’ve learned a lot from her.
    What is your favorite part of writing?

    Reply
  8. Katarina - February 17, 2014 5:53 am

    I agree that nothing is unique nowadays. Everything is just reused ideas and to be honest that really annoys me. I have all these ideas, but then when I begin research to start writing I always find out that there’s been a variation that has been done before. Do you have any advice for me?

    Reply
  9. Abby - April 25, 2014 1:40 pm

    Just stumbled across your site. Your book sounds really interesting, and it also reminds me of a Charlotte Perkins Gilman novella, “Herland.” Three men crash-land their plane on a remote island inhabited only by women, who reproduce via parthenogenesis. As you imagined with your book, some women are okay with the men, and some want them dead or gone…

    Looking forward to checking out your book!

    Reply
  10. Marilyn @ The Salonniere's Apartments - September 9, 2014 1:01 pm

    Hi Jordan! This is my first time on your website (I came across you via Twitter suggestions!) and The Only Boy sounds intriguing – am marking it for my TBR list. Reading the plot reminds me a lot of The God’s War trilogy by Kameron Hurley which explores themes around a situation where most men are away fighting a war while the women took care of things at home. And that’s not to say they’re looking after the homestead. They’re rough tough women and they’re the ones in charge… and they’re not letting anyone forget that.
    What is it they say about how there’s only seven original plots in the world? Much like the seven deadly sins, I’m thinking :) even before J.K. Rowling came out with Harry Potter, there were stories about wizards and boarding schools but what matters is how we turn these stories on their head and rewrite them from a fresh perspective that no one’s ever thought of!

    Reply

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