I first conceived the idea for a swashbuckling adventure story set in medieval Europe, inspired perhaps to some extent by A Game of Thrones and similar genre tales.  The story was to have a female protagonist, a woman orphaned or abandoned at a very young age and forced by necessity to learn the skills of living off the land on her own.  A loner, grown tough and ruthless over the years.  She is captured by the petty and tyrannical ruler of a small fiefdom, and is enslaved by him.  She eventually manages to break free, though wounded in the struggle, and is rescued by a passing caravan of nomadic traders.  She becomes part of this caravan and develops relationships with some of its members, but eventually becomes alienated from them and leaves, to resume life on her own, but as a person deeply changed by the experiences, of both conflict and love, that she has been through.  The whole time frame might comprise a couple of years.  So I’m thinking that a lot happens to this woman in a rather short time, and she is transformed into a much different person as a result.

However after I thought about this idea further, it occurred to me that it would be more interesting to keep the same plot but have the setting be in a future, post-industrial America and make it less of a conventional genre-fiction tale.  I think this would allow for some more interesting plot opportunities.  So this is my tentative plan.  I would like the content of the story to be realistically possible, both in the psychology of the characters and in the physical realizations of its settings, and to be generally free of standard genre tropes.  I want the story to be able to stand on its own.