Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The "What If" Factor

I'll let you in on a little secret about a game I play late at night, and I bet if you ask another author or two, you'll find they play, too.
As fiction writers, especially those of us wild enough to venture into the paranormal realm, we'd all be lost with out the two simple words "WHAT IF?" And the hours of fun we have with them. You see, all of us are fairly sunk in the routines life choices set before us. We plod along struggling each minute to juggle kids, home, careers, marriages, dishes, laundry, pets, parents, family, jobs. Then on top of those, we have to juggle all of the facts, people, and events in the real world with all of the plots, characters, and fiction of a multitude of books. You know you're in trouble when you pick up the phone and start to call one of your characters to ask them what happened when...well that's another story for another time.
Back to the "What If" factor. We all create a normal and mundane world for our characters, just like the one we live in. We give them their "real world" then we snatch it away.
What if Indiana Jones met Sleeping Beauty Instead of the Temple of Doom?
And what if the Virgin Queen had a Secret Vampire Lover?
What if Jack the Ripper lived in your town before he went to London?
What if William Shakespeare was the pen name for a man who wasn't as dead as everyone thought?
What if you wrote a story that every detail suddenly became fact?
You get the idea. One little What if sends my mind racing to all sorts of new possibilities that transport me from the routine to uh, you guessed it, out of the blogosphere.
Good night
Jennifer St. Giles


Gena Showalter said...

I *totally* play this game! What if aliens walked among us? What if a warrior was cursed into stone...

Kristen Painter said...

I love "What if" - not only is a great way to come up with a shining new premise but it's a wonderful tool for getting your hero and heroine into deeper trouble.

Oh...gotta go. My hero just text-messaged me...

Michele said...

Gee, a few of those actually "hooked me".
I'd read them ... really!
I just borrowed a book called
American Fairy Tales.
I'd like to see a paranormal
version of it. Especially the very strange story, "How They Broke Away to go to the Rootabaga Country. Bizarre

Teresa said...

I love to play the What If's. It's how I come up with all my endings. I know the first one's are not good enough or different enough so I keep going until I find that one that gives me goosebumps. . . That one is the winner.

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