Humans are always looking for answers. Writers, especially so, I think. But sometimes it isn’t the answer that is most important. It’s the question.
One question that is essential—indeed, foundational—to the fiction writer is What if? What if? not only starts your story but also keeps it going. And going strong.
For example, let’s use the what if question to create a story. What if our character is a young soldier who has just returned wounded from war. What if he is engaged and planning to be married in a few short months? What if his fiancée, upon seeing his wounds, cannot bear to look at him and breaks the engagement? Here you have material for tremendous conflict, both on the soldier’s part and his fiancée’s part.
But what if the fiancée truly loves him and determines to put aside her horror at his wounds and marry him anyway? Now we have an entirely different story based on a different answer to the question what if?
What if? is a powerful tool in your fiction writing arsenal. Let’s hear how you have successfully used the what if? question in your own fiction writing.
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