Monday, November 19, 2012

The Power of "What If?"

A few years ago, my older brother stayed with my family for a bit when he was working at home. Sometime during October, he left to visit a friend. Me and my mom got off work and drove him to the airport. After we’d dropped him off, we did a little shopping. I ended up around a table of jewelry, looking at what they had, seeing if any of the rings or broaches caught my eye.

I opened this one ring box and found a very pretty ring with a fake diamond for $10. I bought it just because it was pretty.

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry. But I wore this ring for a few days on my right hand. It looked very much like an engagement ring. I am not married, so I didn’t want to give that impression. One evening, about a week after I got the ring, I was on the computer. My fingers weren’t used to the ring, so I took it off. Then, just for the heck of it, I put it on the ring finger of my left hand. It looked like I was engaged.

I got distracted, I think, and I left it on for a bit. Out of nowhere, a “what if” hit me. What if you were wearing an engagement ring, but not engaged?

From that one random question came my next NaNo novel, My Name is Not Jane. The character was an amnesiac private investigator, looking to take down the company where she worked.

That book came about because my writer brain went “What if...?” Today, I want you to have a “what if” moment. What if your character says no when they’re supposed to say yes? What if the villain is delayed? Or the hero? What if someone else cooked supper tonight?

Things can spark from one random question. All you have to do is ask “what if...?”

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