I’m convinced that the best sellers are those that ask the question, “What if?” I admit that I’m a little partial to a Mystery or a Whodunit. However, what a reader really wants is to be taken on an adventure. I also happen to like learning something new or being challenged in some way. So let’s examine what would happen if …
Christmas is the perfect time to ask this question and many of our beloved holiday stories start with this premise. Frosty the Snowman asks the question, “What would happen if a snowman came to life?” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer asks, “What would happen if one of Santa’s reindeer had a red nose?” The Grinch Who Stole Christmas asks, “What would happen if someone stole Christmas?” I followed this same formula with my own children’s story, I Wish For Snow. I was curious to know, what would happen if a little girl asks for snow on an island?
The next time you are having difficulty with a theme or plot twist begin with a question – What if? Exploring all the possibilities and even the impossibilities of a situation will open the story up to intrigue. The best way to give your characters an interesting dilemma is to examine how they would respond if the rug is pulled out from under them. The most interesting characters are those that are a little abnormal in some way. Edward Scissorhands was one of the most unusual Holiday tales that asks, “What if a man was created with scissors for hands?” The answer, is what makes this a classic story.
Until Next Time,
Nicole D.P. McLaughlin
- 10 Greatest Christmas TV Specials From Your Childhood (entertainment.time.com)