Two words that together, have a lot of power, especially to a writer. Those two words can actually turn out to be our best friend.
“Lost in Austen” (here she goes again with Jane Austen…I hear you) is one of the best examples I can think of, that made the most of, “what if?”.
Jane Austen lovers will likely either love it or hate it. I love it and have to watch it every so often, just like Jane’s originals. If you haven’t seen it, it’s all about the what if’s.
What happens when the heroine, protagonist, is missing from the story? Imagine what drastic changes begin to take place in the lives of those around her. All the interactions are changed, for better or worse. Then, insert a young woman from our modern world who is out of time and space but is desperate to fix her most precious tale…. All the while, ruining it at every turn.
(No real spoilers, if you haven’t seen it.)
It’s amazing the tangents that a story will take when you ask, what if?
Next time your story is having a ‘yawn’ moment, ask ‘what if?’ and go with it. See where it takes you. Maybe it won’t take you where you thought you were going. You may have to scrap the what if and go back to plan ‘A’.
Perhaps, perhaps it will be the best thing that could happen to your tale; be the sparkle that lights the fuse to success.
Never be afraid to ‘what if?’.
Go back in history and there are many millennia of the written word.
Of course before the advent of the telephone, Skype, FaceTime, and all manner of social media the only way to communicate when one was not in another’s company, was to write!
Old fashioned couriers on horseback, ships across the sea, all took the information from one person to another, one family or business to another.
It is quite likely not everyone actually enjoyed corresponding, however it was and continues to be necessary.
There have always been those, who did more than simply write out of necessity, laying out information and facts because it had to be done. Others viewed writing as a way of interpreting and sharing their view of the world and to entertain with tales of fantasy or folly.
Even when it was unfashionable, women found a way too write and have others read and enjoy their work.
Beatrix Potter’s mother had the usual expectations of the time for her daughter. Society dictated marriage and begetting of children from young ladies of rank. Carrying on the family name and creating financial alliances between families of wealth and property.
However, the instinct and great need of Beatrix to draw and write, kept her true to her passion, not even realizing how successful she was at first. It was not the driving force for her.
Jane Austen also wrote at a time when it was not fashion all for ladies to do so. Are we not extremely grateful that she did not yield to the dictates of her time.
I know not everyone will agree with me, and that’s just fine. However, it goes to show how passion moves beyond what is popular, making it a necessity.
Whether or not we are able to leave our current jobs or careers behind and make our way in the world with our passion to write, we press on, unable to stop.
Writing has always been in my blood I suppose, sometimes out of necessity. However, it has never been a burden. Writing in earnest, for readers who are not yet known to me, is a relatively new and somewhat scary venture.
But, what the heck! Isn’t there a slogan that says, “just do it!” I know it is primarily meant to get people more active, which reminds me….. I should really go and walk!
It can also move us to action on just about anything we are procrastinating about. So, I will write, and keep writing.
Just let the chips fall……..