In it, she mentions the essay she wrote to include in Project Blue Rose,
which is mostly about shame and shamelessness, but also explains how the story is basically a patchwork of elements and images which I thought were cool or sexy or touching.She goes on to ask: What are your cool bits? What are the themes and stories and images and moments that you love to see?
A number of people replied with long lists of their favorite cool bits and narrative kinks, and I threatened to use dragonscholar's random-generator script to come up with a Random Cool Bits Story Generator.
And now I finally have. It's got over 500 individual Cool Bits I pulled from the comments in the post. As with all random generators, it produces a lot of misses, a few hits, a few hysterically funny elements ... and some things that you could swear you'd read in a manga or fic. Take it with a grain of salt, but you can rest assured there there's at least someone out there who'd read whatever it came up with.
I Swear I Saw This Manga Somewhere
This story begins as a boy who cries investigates a mystery about hope that persists without reason. Clues include gratuitous nudity and sex in desperate and inappropriate situations. The villain is revealed to be an angel.
The story begins with a woman with a knife in the ruined parts of a city. The villain is a misanthropic loner who has a black leather trenchcoat. Plot elements include a love/hate relationship and gryphons.
Your story is a romance between a woman who dresses sensibly for battle and an evil twin. The lovers experience an overlooked detail that is important later and a swordfight while in a library.
Your story is a romance between a fallen angel and a madam with a heart of gold. The lovers experience duality and thwarted evil while in a building lobby with a high twisting stairwell.
The story starts as a tall man in a dark Armani suit encounters teamwork while in Meiji Japan. The overall narrative is about the moments before an era fades away.
Your story begins with an assassin in the Jazz Age. The villain is an angel who has long hair. Plot elements include a sense of wonder and resisting fate.
Your story begins with an underdog in a ship. The villain is a darkly Byronic anti-hero who has knee-high boots. Plot elements include following someone through the end of the world and a dramatic death scene.
There May Be Something In There Somewhere
It starts in a quiet and dusty museum with a woman with a gun. The antagonist is a misunderstood loner and the plot involves elements like pacifism and penguins.
The hero of this story is a changeling with an unnatural eye color. On the way to the story's conclusion the hero encounters a person who lives in a circus. This person has cool weapons. Plot elements include a screaming match that turns into ravishing kisses and gaming the system.
It starts in Heian Japan , with a cold and deadly courtesan. The antagonist is a person who selfishly leaves everything behind and the plot involves elements like court politics and a bewitching scent.
The villain of this piece is an orphan. The plot begins with the texture of warm stone in Meiji Japan. The hero is a good guy who becomes a bad guy. The ending includes elements of the study of poisons and failing to save the world.
The villain of this piece is a traveler, while the hero is a priest. The plot begins with a funeral in a trading route. The ending includes elements of a sense of humor and forbidden love.
Your story begins with someone passionate about their work in a culture on the verge of collapse. The villain is a cynical idealist who has amnesia. Plot elements include elaborate clothing that means things and doing the wrong or evil thing in order to ensure the greater good.
The story begins with people who flat out like each other's company, and ends with intense platonic relationships. It features a morally ambiguous mentor and a stolen child, but the overall narrative involves boundaries breaking down.
Uh ... What?
This story begins as a traveler investigates a mystery about people who flat out like each other's company. Clues include penguins and cuteness. The villain is revealed to be a woman who dresses sensibly for battle.
It begins with a madam with a heart of gold in a shadowy forest. This person meets a competent woman and together they encounter a keen appreciation of hard work and craftsmanship and offering a handkerchief. The story winds up in the Jazz Age and features aerodynamic martial arts fighting. The overall narrative concerns love that transcends barriers.
The narrative is a supernatural thriller. Romance blossoms between a technical whiz and a girl who looks down on the whole world, while difficulties they encounter include a field of roses and the figures that hide in the pattern of woodgrain.
The story starts as a person without a home encounters shoulderblades while in the ocean. The overall narrative contains true love that doesn't make it any better.
Your story begins with someone who suffers stoically in an attic. The villain is a lady who is not what she seems who has a waistcoat. Plot elements include cliffhangers and broken people who support each other.
Your narrative is about the end of the world. It begins in the Gilded Age. There is a prodigy and a cynical idealist who meets a person who selfishly leaves everything behind. It ends with foreshadowing.
The narrative has a connection to a mythic cycle. Romance blossoms between a misunderstood loner and someone who appreciates life's small things, while difficulties they encounter include a satisfyingly organized sequence of events and moral ambiguity.
You can help make it better! Give me your lists of Cool Bits. To quote rachelmanija again:
Do you love boys with wings, amnesia, girls disguised as boys, kisses on the nape of the neck, Meiji Japan, prominent collarbones, south Indian martial arts weapons, cold female assassins, one person lighting another's cigarette, sentient weapons, pyrokinesis, autumn leaves, izakayas, road trips, selkie legends, Old West gunfights, 1940s American fashion, or...?
Tell me what you love.