This is the fifty-first installment of The Curious Creative, weekly 10-minute writing exercises for busy individuals interested in exploring their creativity. For the complete rationale, click here.
What would happen if…? What would it be like if…? Science fiction writers explore what-ifs. Mystery novelists play with how one event affects the natural course of things. Poets and essayists can also use such questions to inspire their writing. Writing from what-if questions requires analysis and imagination, a meeting of both brain hemispheres, and so it can be a great source of creative play.
- Start this creative exercise by getting out of the house. Take a walk down your street and comb your surroundings for salient details. Maybe you will notice a car that’s lost its side view mirror or a single shoe in someone’s front yard.
- Choose one of the things you noticed as your idea starter. From imagination, create a flow chart of the events leading up to it.
- Begin a story or poem that describes the unlikely phenomena leading up to the detail you noticed on your street.
How did you do? Did getting outside, taking a walk, and paying close attention to your surroundings put you in a different mental state? Is there anything worth excavating from your started poem or essay? Did the exercise remind you of playing pretend as a child?
To encourage each other and grow a community of Curious Creatives, sign in from a google account so you can share your creation in the comment box below. Also, if you subscribe to this blog (submit your email address in the "Follow this Site by Email" box to the right), you will get an email update whenever a new exercise is added. Thanks for playing!
Inspired by: Michael C. Smith and Suzanne Greenberg’s “Implausible Causes and Unlikely Effects,” Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink, 2nd edition, p. 170-172.