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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015: Organizing

     I don't know how it is with other writers; I suspect that it's different with each one. For me, ideas come in spurts. There are times I sit down and think about my notes and stories I was developing at one time or another. I examine what I wrote and where the story was leading. Was it a good story, with an original idea, or was it just something that I was spinning off of another author's story or some show I'd seen. I tend to drop those kind of stories very quickly because my goal is to always try to give the reader something new to think about. I had a quick flood of the good ideas come to me, and had to sit down and make some clear decisions about what to write about first, second, third, and so on.
     I often explore one of those "What if..." type of questions. What if this extraordinary thing happened and all of these amazing events occurred and everything ended up just the same as it did before? Wouldn't that be ironic? Or maybe something different happened and lead to an entirely unexpected outcome.
     I guess the comic books did that to me with all of their talk about alternate worlds and infinite possibilities. They would feature stories where Superman would come to Earth, but this time, his parents were able to escape with him. Perhaps Spiderman would have saved his Uncle Ben and gone on to become a confident, well adjusted superhero instead of second guessing everything that he did. What if Sue Storm had married Ben Grim instead of Reed Richards? What kind of changes would that cause in the Fantastic Four? The possibilities are as endless as one's imagination.
     Of course, it doesn't have to just deal with comic book characters. You could ask the same kind of questions about real life. One of my favorite authors is Harry Turtledove, and his forte is writing historical alternate reality. What if the South had won the Civil War? What if Lincoln or Kennedy had not been assassinated? What would the world be like if Hitler had won the war against the Allies? Such speculation is interesting, and of course subject to the direction that the author decides he wants to go in.
     You can even bring it down to a personal level. There are lots of movies about people who through the magic of film, are given the chance to go back in time and change some aspect of their lives with the hope of improving them or maybe correcting an error that has long been regretted. There's that guy almost married, or that career that got passed over, or maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity that slipped through the fingers.
     Such is the stuff of fiction.....

1 comment:

  1. What if questions are things I dream about. Not always the great big questions, but sometimes the small things that people wouldn't notice. In WWII the chances for a change in the forward path of history due to a different outcome is rather large. The Nazis definitely bet their money on great big science and futuristic weapons in the hopes of a breakthrough and thereby dominance. Had they achieved that, who knows where we'd be.


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