What if?

There are some things you never ask a writer unless you want to spend a couple of hours listening to a real story teller weave a story.

What if…?  is one of them.

Unless you are a dreamer you have no idea how those tiny little words effect the very fabric of how we see the world.  “What if?” opens doors.  It takes paths that we haven’t tried before.  It sings songs that we can listen to if we are quiet.

I have been going over some of my short stories editing them as I go along and the question I start out with is “What if?”  It is not just one question, one time; it is a lot of them, a herd that I try to corral to the ending.  I make notes on my questions and answers.  Things make more sense and I can follow the story line a bit more easily.  Tonight I am going to write one that has been bouncing in my head for three days.  I started, then stopped then started again.  Last night I asked myself “what if” and things were much more clear

Asking myself “what if” helped me pick the viewpoint, the reason for the story, the ultimate thrill at the end.  I only asked it a few times and this will be a very short story of 2,000 words or less.  (Imagine that short of 2,000 words lol)

I can write it in one sitting.  One stab at the keyboard.

Edit it tomorrow.

Send it out on Friday.

What if….


4 responses to “What if?

  1. Ah, the good-ole what-if. I love the question of everything. And that’s the true meaning of what it is to be human, isn’t it? WHAT IF? It’s inherent in our every action, our every exploration. It’s what feeds the creative, drives our intelligence, and strikes fear in the theocracy.

    In the end, it’s a quest for answers, which is really what the art of creation, be it the written word, music, or the visual arts, is all about.

    Wow, that was pretentious, wasn’t it? 😉


    • Not pretentious at all. Well thought out in a short blurb of letters! lol

      What if leads to a lot of things.


  2. Shadow,

    this is a great post. “What if” is a great question but a dangerous one and I think you hit both nails on the head 😀 I know when I’m asked “What if she did…” then my mind starts spooling into a new direction for the story. But dangerous because then the story doesn’t feel like mine. Always the double-edged sword those words. 😀

    later gater.


  3. Yeah, I love what-if’s all through the story development too. It’s a good way to come up with something creative to throw in the protag’s way and see what he/she will do to overcome it. As well as using it for initial concepts. Good stuff. 🙂


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