Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Creativity: generating with What If? and Why?

What if she was real a moment ago?
It is the What Ifs that writers bring into reality. What if kids had to fight  to the death to earn a position in society? What if everybody was altered to fit into one of five personality types?  Questions and possibilities are what we build our stories on.

Questions make us search for answers, for back stories, for the first domino to fall and the last. And that search creates stories. This is nothing a writer does not know. But it is another way to dive into the creative moment.

  1. Who is the woman who lives in a cave in the earth caring for mushroom gardens and why is she there?
  2. Beneath the fallen roof which leaned precariously against crumbling rock walls, lay a child, clean, unmarked, sleeping peacefully. Who put him there, for whom does he wait, and why does he rest so well, so safely?
  3. When the man crouched down to look into the toddler's eyes, he backed up recklessly and lost his footing, yet still he scrambled away from her, his gaze never leaving her face. Why?
  4. A snuff box lid, engraved with delicate swirls about a blue cabochon, is canted against a plain, smooth gold container. Who does the box belong to?  Why is it here, open, empty?
  5. The house slumps in the dark shadows of a long night. Occasionally, a ghostly glow moves behind the windows as though someone is using their cell phone for a light. What do they search for and why the lack of electricity?
  6. Over there, among the autumn-pruned rose bushes, something glints like a butterfly's wings. Only it is a brightness almost too glaring for one's eyes to stay focused on. What is it?
  7. The mud reveals the outline of footprints, pressed to impart only the front portion of the foot.  Whoever stood here wore heavily shod shoes with a deep tread as if they were cut from tires and reshaped to be the sole of some large man's shoe. Who stepped here uninvited, unwelcome, on tiptoe?
  8. What if a teacup arrived in the mail without any indication who sent it. Who could it be from?
  9. What if over night every single person found that when they closed their eyes, they could still see what was before them.
  10. Today the phone rang and when it was answered the person on the other end said, "Finally. I have been trying for an hour to reach you.  I must talk to you about the absolute worst day I have ever had.  Sit down and just let me talk. You don't have to say a word. I just want you to listen." The voice is unfamiliar.
  11. Dr. Who's tardis showed up in your kitchen blocking the doorway to any other part of your house.
  12. The young woman reached for her water bottle and took a sip. Not water. She sipped again just to be sure. It made her think of pineapples. 

Alright, those are mine. You come up with the last one and write about it.

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