Copyright 2011 by Gary L. Pullman
Although this post uses Buffy the Vampire Slayer to support its thesis, virtually any novel, television series, or motion picture and, indeed, many short stories could just as easily have been used, because, theoretically, my technique applies to any and all of them. The technique is simple. Identify loose threads, as it were, in such works which threads could be developed into additional stories. Then, making key changes, develop them into additional stories.
- Amy Madison’s mother, Catherine, a powerful witch, is imprisoned inside a trophy in her daughter’s high school’s cheerleaders’ awards display case (“Witch,” season one, episode three). What might happen were Catherine to escape?
- At the end of “Teacher‘s Pet” (season one, episode four), a sac of praying mantis eggs is shown in a science classroom closet. Sooner or later, these eggs are bound to hatch and, when they do, to paraphrase Spike, wackiness must ensue.
- Marcie Ross, an invisible girl, is recruited by secret agents (perhaps of the Central Intelligence Agency), and schooled in assassination and infiltration techniques (“Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” season one, episode eleven). What becomes of her, following her graduation?
- Cain, a werewolf bounty hunter, is sent packing by Buffy after he tries to bag Oz (“Phases,” season two, episode fifteen). What becomes of the hunter?
- In “Go Fish” (season two, episode twenty), several fish-men, products of an experiment performed by their coach, swim out to sea after they have killed and eaten him. What becomes of the fish-men?
Many other examples could be easily cited, but these are enough to demonstrate this simple, but effective, technique for spawning additional plots from their narrative forebears.