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?’.