Posts Tagged ‘what if’

Following the White Rabbit

Let’s say you’re walking along, minding your own business, when BAM a story idea waylays you.  It’s interesting, it’s fun, it has all the information you need to sit down and get going.

Let us also assume that you are in a place where you can pick up a new project.

The problem?  It’s not your genre.  Or it’s not your age range.  Or it’s a new style, an unfamiliar POV, an uncomfortable narrator.  Something about it doesn’t fit in your writing niche.

What would you do?  (Or what have you done in the past?)  Do you let the story idea move on, looking for its next victim?  Or do you give it a try anyway, knowing that you have no experience in this area and may never write another book like it in your life?  Do you have limits (i.e. is something out of character okay for a short story, but not for a novel)?

(On a related note, anyone have any good examples of fantasy novels for 6-9 year olds?)

The Writer’s Dream

I thought about changing the title of the blog to “Where Sky Sharks Fear to Tread” but then I realized that there is nowhere that Sky Sharks fear to tread, and also that they would probably eat me for even implying it.  So.

We’ve all thought it.

If only I didn’t have to go to a day job and stay home and write all the time.

Some of us like our day jobs.  I do, but I would still give it up in a moment for the chance to write.

But then the doubts creep in.  Let’s say I took the plunge, quit my job, and decided I was going to write full-time – would I be able to?  Or would I procrastinate on Twitter for hours and play Pokemon?

I would hope that I’d be able to impose some sort of organizational structure, but I am really easy to distract.  (My husband says I have ADD but I like to think that I am just too awesome to do one thing at a time.)

Still, I dream.

At what point would you make that leap?  When you hit the bestsellers’ list?  When you sell a book?  As soon as you can manage it without your spouse throttling you?

Any ideas on how you’d lay out your day?  How many projects you’d work on at a time?

While we’re dreaming, we might as well plan out the entire thing.

What Ifs

Yesterday I took my first business trip with my new job.  I fly fairly often, but it makes me nervous.  (Unnecessarily so.  I am, as I have mentioned before, an aerospace engineer.  I know how commercial aircraft work.  In terms of safety, a jet beats just about everything except sitting still not doing anything, and even then you have to worry about things like blood clots and obesity and muscle degradation.)

With my old job, I traveled much more often, but I was only going from the San Francisco Bay Area to LA.

Reasons why this was the best airtravel commute ever:
1.  Same time zone
2. Less than an hour actually in the air
3. Low probability of turbulence
4. If you have to stay through the weekend, you can go to Disneyland

Disneyland!  Happiest place on Earth.

Anyway.  Now I no longer live in California nor travel to California and the whole business trip thing is more of a big deal.  (Also, I had to go to a facility I’ve never been before and I didn’t know what building I was supposed to be in and I was late.  Rawr.)  That’s why this entry is again on Tuesday instead of Monday.  I bet you guys didn’t even know I was supposed to be posting on Mondays, based on my success rate.

Anyway, flying always brings out the worst in me.  I begin to think of things that could go wrong.  Not things like “Oh God what if the plane falls out of the sky?” because realistically I know that doesn’t happen.  Things like “I have a giant, swollen bruise on my leg (because I knocked it hard against the corner of a flatbed cart at Home Depot because I was paying more attention to moving the 120 lb grill than as to where the cart was) – what if it sends a blood clot to my brain?” or “If you were pregnant and didn’t know it would the x-ray scanners damage the embryo?”  My imagination gets very grim around airports.

Even though I find it kind of disturbing, these “what ifs” are one of the greatest tools a speculative fiction writer – or any writer, really – have in their arsenal.  What if there were a secret magical society hidden within our own?  What if the ancient gods were real?  What if our country declared war on China?

The answers to these questions and others have produced some amazing works of literature.  As distressful as my imagination can be at times, I would still take that over not questioning anything at all.