One author I know openly admits to being nosey. She likes to get down to the bottom of things, find out just why people do the things they do, exactly what motives them. I love it that she admits to this (not everyone would). I’m sure it’s the spark that helps to ignite her imagination each time she sits down to write.
I usually think of myself as a live-and-let-live kind of person. I don’t often find that my curiousity has me asking, for example, why my neighbour is out digging in the ground during the middle of the night (okay to be honest, that one might have me wondering. I have my limits, but you get the picture.) I often see things that don’t make me question the why of it, but that’s just me. Where as, my friend says she constantly wants to know why.
I have come to understand, over the years, that most things do have a viable explanation we just don’t know what explanation is. In fact, we might never know and that’s something we have to accept.
I consider myself more of a “what if” kind of writer. I like to think of a situation and then sprinkle it with a magic dusting of “what if.” Life throws us plenty of curves that I like to think of as the “what ifs” in life. Say—we have a trip all planned to go to the zoo, but what if a bunch of animals suddenly broke out and started roaming around the city? What if they headed toward our house? What if we were the only one left on the planet capable of rounding up all the stray animals? What if there was one animal in the bunch who was devious and calculating?
See what I mean? For a writer, the “what ifs” are endless. I like to think it’s those very “what ifs” that make our stories, and our lives interesting. Seems just when we have everything planned out something comes along that we hadn’t expected. Hopefully, that “what if” is something we look at as positive, something so wonderful that we couldn’t even imagine it happening even in our wildest dreams. I think you’ll agree that those are the best “what ifs.” Showing up to totally delight us in a way that surpasses anything we might have planned.
At the moment I’m in the process of trying out a whole bunch of “what ifs” in my WIP. I know my characters well, know their basic situation, I’m just waiting for a storm of “what ifs” to rain down upon me. Then I’ll start sorting through them, deciding which “what if” makes for the most interesting situation. It’s a great place to be at the moment because I sure do I love those “what ifs.”
Do you often find yourself asking why when you see something unusual? Or do you accept things you don’t understand? If you’re a writer do you find yourself more often asking “what if” or “why” or is it a little bit of both?
Have any interesting and wonderful “what if” showed up in your life recently?