Friday, August 8, 2014

Reader Friday: What's Your "What If?"

Every story starts with a writer asking the question, "What If?"  For example, "What if a giant shark terrorized an island resort on July 4th?" (JAWS)

Tell us the "What If?" behind the story you're working on.  

62 comments:

  1. Ok, at the risk of having people scratch their heads and go "Hunh?"

    What if a man who uses his anger, channels it in his drive for success, gets addicted to the anger, what if he discovers he's no longer angry?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This has a Dr Jekyl & Mr Hyde bent to it, in that within us all lies a monster. I just quoted Penny Dreadful. But this could be a cool idea if you present his dark side as something he can't thrive without, and the consequences.

      Delete
  2. He'd have to find a different way to get his fix--bungee jumping, something like that?

    ReplyDelete
  3. What if the FBI agent who has been in your heart and on your mind for the last year walks into the strip club you manage? The kicker is that he's undercover with an outlaw motorcycle club.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What if the guy who saved your life during the war shows up out of the blue and wants you to help him resolve a big piece of unfinished business from "back in the day"? What if getting involved means turning your comfortable world as a California beach dude and jazz piano player on it's head. What if it means backstabbing your new-found "love of your life"?

    And what if I put the question mark in the wrong place? Jodie, help??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does this have anything to do with time machines and coffee?

      Delete
    2. I promise neither Leonard nor I have any idea about where that question mark should go.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What if someone wanted to stop the wedding of a wheelchair bound bride?

    ReplyDelete
  7. What if, during the collapse of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge seized an American drilling ship that's actually a CIA front?

    ReplyDelete
  8. What if your answer to this question disappeared four times? Who would you kill?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What if the blog administrator tried to frame a co-blogger for the problem? I'm just sayin'.

      Delete
    2. Um...did you suddenly see a flash of blue-light and unexpectedly your keyboard smelled like whiskey laced coffee?

      Delete
  9. What if three ordinary women, outraged over society's failure to protect its children from predatory pedophiles, form a conspiracy to kill the suckers?

    ReplyDelete
  10. What if a cat burglar stumbles across a secret society that perform ceremonies in blood?

    ReplyDelete
  11. What if a creepy, unexplained ability you've had your entire life made you the target of a supernatural killer from another world that isn't even supposed to exist in reality?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What if you wrote this book and sent it to me?

      Delete
    2. Better check in with Basil. I think he knows those guys.

      Delete
  12. What if you want to somehow redeem the antagonist from the first book in the series, and make him the wounded hero in the second book?

    ReplyDelete
  13. What if a ghost hunter dies on a hunt and comes back as a ghost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, these "What If's" are amazing! :)

      Delete
    2. THAT would upset me. ... Just saying ... !

      Delete
    3. Let us know when you finish this one. It sounds like a great premise.

      Delete
  14. What if my cousin Leonard takes off in the time machine, but he spills his coffee on the control board and now he can't control where he lands each time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it was Eight O'Clock Coffee, at least he'd know the hour of day! ;)

      Delete
    2. Khaladi Brothers Red Goat, and I think it was a 32 oz sludge cup...with six shots on top of the black coffee...and just before he shut the door I think I caught of whiff of "other stuff" in the cup.

      But boy, when he hit the big red button that machine took off FFFAASSST!

      So either something broke...or he hooked up with Lindsay Wagner again. Gotta start watching Bionic Woman episodes again to see if his name shows up in the credits.

      Delete
    3. I think I saw that dude out in the woods this morning. He's probably still there and okay, long as the bears haven't found him.

      Delete
  15. A killer flaunts his claim to be related to the infamous Jack the Ripper and he's brutally butchered a descendant of Mary Jane Kelly, carrying on his legacy in blood..

    What if a psychic could telepathically hunt Jack the Ripper in Victorian London to stop the White Chapel slasher's reign of terror and thwart his progeny in present day? Would the psychic risk an unimaginable ripple in time that could change lives forever in order to save a young woman already dead?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And before anyone asks. The psychic doesn't drink coffee.

      Delete
    2. Whew...glad you clarified that...cuz I don't think Leonard does well with the site of blood.

      ...that said, this sounds like an interesting story, kinda Koontz-ish, with a Dane flair. ;-)

      Delete
    3. What if you finished writing that ASAP and told us about it? Because I need to read that NOW

      Delete
  16. What if the forty year-old daughter you never knew you had showed up at your door, wanting you to rescue her mother?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whew! I'm feeling this breeze suddenly passing beside my head. You know something,Joe, or are you just trying to scare me?

      Delete
  17. Kathryn, you obviously sneaked into my office and read what was on my computer. I've already written my blog post for next Friday, with a title "Three Magic Questions For Writers," and the first is "What If...?" Great question, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Richard! I have to admit I cribbed it from an excellent post by Joe Moore a couple of years back. killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2012/06/magic-words.html#.U-ZdymK9KK0

      Delete
    2. Kathryn, you'll be hearing from my attorney, James Scott Bell.

      Delete
  18. What if, in the time of the language of the unknowable flowers, an American officer from the Office of Naval Intelligence kidnaps an amazingly beautiful Nisei young American from the tropical island United Church of Christ school of St. Boniface. (It's a long story.)

    You see, the U.S. Navy wants to talk with her. They want to know why she has believes that the Japanese Navy is planning to attack the American Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

    But that knowledge is why she had to invent the language unknowable flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. What if the gated subdivision still under construction was a false front for an underground government complex...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's an "Orphan Black" dark humor element to this premise.

      Delete
  20. Blog Admins: You need to bookmark this and bring it back in 3 months for everyone to chime in on their progress on these awesome ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent idea, Terri! We can do a "What If" refresh!

      Delete
  21. What if...a young woman is sold into slavery, but when they find out she is a he they don't want her any more.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What if the war criminal you're hired to kill turns out to be your father?

    ReplyDelete
  23. What if the entire population of a small town in the middle of proverbial nowhere turns out to be in witness protection...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This could be filled with humor, when everyone in town is keeping the same secret. If it's a mystery, why are they all in one town & who is behind it? Good premise.

      Delete
  24. What if everything you love and deem valuable and precious that you keep secured behind fences and gates to keep the "bad" and "strange" out turns against you and won't let you leave?

    ReplyDelete
  25. For the Outlander time travel series starting tonight on Starz:

    What if your future lies in the past?

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What if every electronic device you pick up blacks out at your touc

    ReplyDelete