Every time I think of or start re-reading Alien Tatters by Clark Coolidge the central conceit of a science-fiction novel I want to write pops into my head. This is funny because otherwise I have no active interest in this genre or in practicing it myself. The plot just occurred to me once as I read Coolidge, whose book of poetry is vaguely evocative of the feeling I would want to create in the book.
The idea is that the aliens are present off in the woods somewhere but are never actually seen. So the entire mode of narration tries to explain what has happened, but in a very indirect way. The narrator realizes that something has happened when he notices the children of the small city at the edge of the woods are speaking another language when they think the adults are not listening. The infiltration is gradual and insidious, manifested by the idea that certain zones of the city and nearby areas have become inexplicably menacing, or subject to sudden unexplained fluctuations in temperature and humidity. The effect is also felt by changes of rhythm, for example, in people being suddenly unable to walk rhythmically by alternating their two legs. Gradually, the new reality is accepted, when the aliens have essentially taken over. Each chapter will become progressively less "human" and more in the voice of the aliens themselves. The entire book is an allegory of alterity and the passage of time. I will call it Alien Tatters, of course.
I'm quite confident that this novel will be brilliant. I know I can write it and it will be altogether free from all science-fictiony stuff. Nevertheless, the odds are heavily against me getting around to writing it, even though the minute I start to think of it I am flooded with new ideas.