What If?

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This weekโ€™s guest post is brought to you by my sister Kris. Thanks, Kris!

Perhaps the most important question for a writer is, “What if?” What if the moon blew up? What if dogs could talk to us? What if we’re all robots?

As writers, our minds are constantly open to all of the potential story ideas around us. What if takes us on journeys far away from our current lives, even though our feet are still on the ground. It gives us a boost in our writing lives, enabling our imaginations to soar to ever-new heights.

What if this character had magic? There are all sorts of new possibilities, both good and bad, open to our story with the help of magic.

What if this took place in a desert landscape instead of a forest? Imagine what the symbolism of surviving in a harsher environment would mean for the character’s development.

Hang on, thoughโ€ฆ

What if someone already wrote something like this? All the good plots have already been used by the bestsellers. There are no more fresh twists out there.

What if I’m a terrible writer? There is no amount of schooling that can teach one to write like the greats.

What if this story is just a waste of time? There’s little to no money in the job unless you are blessed and practiced with skills on par with the likes of J.K. Rowling and Stephen King.

Unfortunately, there’s also the downside to What if. That question can hinder our minds just as easily as they help us. Writers are notorious for being plagued with self-doubt, for punishing ourselves for not writing the perfect draft the first time. Many of us need to write just as we need to breathe, yet this vicious cycle can leave us feeling haggard and useless and just about ready to throw down the pencil or turn off the computer.

But wait…

What if J.K. Rowling had given up on Harry Potter after those first dozen rejections? What if Stephen King hadn’t started Carrie even after his first novel was rejected?

What if your story changes someone’s world?

So pick up that pencil or turn on that computer. All those “What if?” questions aren’t going to answer themselves. They need your story.

Kristen Poli is a young woman in her mid-twenties who is obsessed with writing, video games, dogs, and chocolate. She’s always up for meeting others who share her obsessions, so feel free to say hello over at her social media.

If you would like to know more about Kris, visit her on her social media:

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