[Originally posted on my former blog, Michael Runs the Gamut]
The most common question writers get asked is “where do you get all your ideas?” Every writer has a different answer, but many times what happens is the author read or heard or saw something that sparked an idea, and that usually followed by them wondering, what if, instead of what they just witnessed, something else happened, or what if it happened a different way, or what if someone or something prevented it from happening. As they question those possibilities, the idea for a story often spreads out in front of them.
In some cases it happens when an author merges two different incidents into one idea. Applying a series of what ifs to those scenarios is almost always a key part of the equation.
Stephen King said, “I get my ideas from everywhere. But what all of my ideas boil down to is seeing maybe one thing, but in a lot of cases it’s seeing two things and having them come together in some new and interesting way, and then adding the question ‘What if?’ ‘What if’ is always the key question.”
We have to pay attention to the masters. I’ll be posting an occasional “what if” idea, like the next post, from time to time.
Standard Disclaimer: Please post a comment below if you would like to. All comments are personally moderated by a grouchy old guy, though, so posts by self-promotional schemers, spammers, and lunatic ranters won’t make it through. Everyone else, whether your thoughts are positive or negative, please feel free to speak your mind. Thanks.