What If...

I am very new to writing. I love to read and I'm amazed at all the ideas people have for fiction books, especially authors that put out a couple of books a year, every year. Where do they get the ideas? Do they ever run out? I have a couple of book ideas but then nothing... Help.

Most good stories start with the question, "What if...?" Starting noticing what captures your attention and then "what if" it.

For example, yesterday, it snowed where I live. It had been nice and spring-ish for several days. I hadn't watched the news. For me, that snowstorm was totally out of the blue and unexpected. It caught my attention.

This morning, I looked out the window to see if it might snow again. Looks likely. And I thought to myself, "Man, it looks like late November all over again when it's supposed to be Spring!"

Then I thought, "What if a woman woke up one late spring morning and looked out the window to see what she thought was a freak spring snowfall—only to discover that it really was late November and she'd somehow skipped 8 months into the future?"

The answers—what happened, how did it happen, why did it happen—are the basis for a story.

So readers, let's play a game. Take that basic scenario (the red part) and write a very short outline for a book. If you want, post it on your blog and put the link in the comments, or post it into the comments. Or just leave a comment telling us you did it and how you feel about the exercise of imagination.

No scores, no detailed feedback from me, but if you post and leave links, I'll come read and leave a short comment.

1 comment:

Traci Hunter Abramson said...

Great advice! This is exactly how my storylines all begin.