I should have included a polar bear

Published July 5, 2010

I’m currently in the process of sorting out and organising my writing notes. This sounds a lot grander than it really is. When I used to write, I started dozens of notebooks, scribbled on scraps of paper, and created quite a few Word documents. They were saved all over the place, both in terms of hard drives, and boxes.

When I started writing again, I began a new system, and now it’s all a bit messed up.

With all the chaos, it was time to start sorting. The idea is that instead of sitting down and being put off by the disarray everything is in, once I have my folders sorted, I will have no excuse but to get writing. Either that, or this is just one more procrastination exercise and I will find another once this is done.

Regardless, this post is not about my non-existent writing work ethic. It is about what could have been. Amongst all the scribbles, I came across some notes headed up: Tribes. A catchy title, I know.

Upon further investigation, this was the outline of a story about a plane crash. Each chapter was dreamt up, although only a sentence or two in each. Some people landing on a deserted island, and splitting into two groups - pitted against each other in order to survive. Their one goal to get off the island.

Hang on a minute, that sounds sort of familiar!

Let’s be clear. I am by no means suggesting that LOST stole my idea, or even that I had the idea before them, but it simply struck me as a weird coincidence. There are no mystical features to the island in my outline, no games of backgammon, smoke monsters, whispers, no flashbacks or flashforwards, and certainly no alternate timelines.


There is one sole surviving air stewardess, who’s a bit mysterious. Her name wasn’t Cindy, though, sadly.

Also, they are a bit nervous about going into the jungle. I didn’t get as far as clarifying why.

There are guns, and a baby is born. There is surgery, and caves, and lots and lots of running. There’s one person trying to keep the peace, there’s another who stirs things up because he believes it’s the right thing to do. There’s even someone called Ben!

What this tells me, more than anything, is that I should write stuff instead of just dreaming about it. I could have been as famous as Damon and Carlton, I could have had a hit TV show!

And I would have ended it properly too.

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