Play The "What If" Game
The fastest way to jump-start your fiction writing when you don’t have a clue as to where to go next is to play the What If? game.
Here’s an example. Your character is in a fight, gets scared, and runs away.
You like the fight. It worked well. It has good tension. But you don’t know where to go next.
Ask yourself, "What if my character doesn’t run away? What if she faces down her enemy?" So you try this new "What If?", but the passion still isn’t there. What next?
Ask another "What If?" question, such as, "What if the character pulls out a gun?"
Where did that thought come from? There’s not even a potential for a gun in the scene.
Aha--what if the character pulls out an emotional gun? For example, if in your first version, the character is silent or passive in the face of a verbal assault, what if he shouts? (Notice that in asking what if, she turned into he.)
What if he screams? Rants and rages?
What if she ignores the other person or walks away, feeling proud of herself for ignoring the way she was baited?
What if she is planning some kind of revenge? What does revenge look like to your character? How does it make her feel?
What if the character is married? What if the character isn’t married? Has children? Has just been fired?
What if the character is a hit man? Lives in the country instead of the city? Lives in a poor neighborhood instead of a middle-class neighborhood?
Is really a writer and not a doctor?
Is a homeless woman instead of a wealthy suburbanite?
The "What Ifs?" are endless!
Invite change. Don't worry about writing garbage.(Everyone does in a first draft.) Write fast. Don't think. Have fun!
Playing the What If? and What Happens Next? games are part of my teaching method The Five Ingredients of the Scene.
An unfettered imagination and a strong grounding in fiction writing craft are the keys to unleashing great stories, characters, and a completed novel that will fall off the shelves into the hands of readers!
Sign up now for a free exploratory session to find out exactly how my Five Ingredients of the Scene makes fiction writing easy and I'll answer any questions you have.
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You deserve this adventure into characters, plot, and writing success that no one can take from you.
I’ll talk to you soon.
PS. So many students who have worked with The Five Ingredients of the Scene tell me that this method opened doors to an understanding of the fiction writing process that totally changed their writing and their life. Now they can look in the mirror, smile, and say, “I Am A Writer!”
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Emily has realigned my sense of self and purpose... Sonia Giordani
If you want to write, you need to talk to Emily... Bob Storms
Emily expands me as a writer... Anna Marie Hrivnak
I realize how really good you are as a writing coach... Sara Healy
Emily is a magically gifted teacher... Kurt Blankmeyer
I completed a novel that is beyond my wildest expectations!... Jackie Bennett
In a 30-minute session, Emily hit on what was wrong with my writing... Angela Leone