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 thoughts on “Reader Friday: What’s Your “What If?”

  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?

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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??

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

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

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    • 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.

  11. 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?

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