Story Concept: I Need a Prosthetic Leg

Dwayne Johnson, affectionately known as “The Rock” is often cast in films as a bad a** thug. He’s frequently seen in roles busting heads and catapulting through the air as a building explodes behind his massive frame.

What makes his recent movie Skyscraper any different? 

A prosthetic leg. 

In essence, he’s the same skull-cracking hunk fighting terrorists. He has a family to humanize him and a past to intrigue us. Literally the only difference between this movie and an array of other films exactly like it is a likely hero with a prosthetic leg. 

It’s genius. 

More than likely this film will attract the same people who would normally see this type of movie, but the thing the prosthetic leg insures as that the fence sitters still see it. It also might draw in a crowd that would normally never go to such a movie (much the same way casting Harry Styles in Dunkirk drew a fanbase that would normally have no interest in seeing a slow-paced war film). 

Also genius. 

I’ve known for quite a while that one of the stories I’m sitting on needs a metaphorical prosthetic leg. Of course it’s not the same old troupe, but at first glance it might seem that way. It’s needs one little piece that sparks a person into asking, “How is that going to turn out?” 

The best example I have found of this is in the book The Glass Castle. The opening scene is a women in a limo on her way to from her New York penthouse to a red carpet event. She passes by a homeless woman, digging for goods in the trash. The woman in the limo quickly ducks her head, lest the homeless woman spot her. 

We discover in the next paragraph the homeless women is the limo-riding woman’s mother. 

The question we ask at the end of the very first few pages is: How did the first woman move from having a homeless mother to riding in a limo and living in a penthouse? 

Jennette Walls could have begun her story in any other way. Beginning it thus was genius. 

This is a memoir, and we can’t all give ourselves homeless mothers. But that’s what my current story idea needs. A homeless mother. A prosthetic leg. More than likely the homeless mother is already there, I just have to find it and pull it out into the open. Or I need to add in a prosthetic leg—something that doesn’t alter the integrity of the story but causes us to turn our heads for a second glance. 

A hook is just a nice dress—highlighting the beauty that’s already there. 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash