What If What Next What Now Writing Your Story

I found this perfect quote from Tom Clancy, and doesn’t it fit all of us?

“Two questions form the foundation of all novels: ‘What if?’ and ‘What next?’ (A third question, ‘What now?’, is one the author asks himself every 10 minutes or so; but it’s more a cry than a question.) Every novel begins with the speculative question, What if ‘X’ happened? That’s how you start.”

– Tom Clancy

Isn’t this how your stories start? It’s exactly how I come up with ideas. One day, out of the blue, I see this image in my mind or I dream it and then I take it to the next step – What if?

From there, the story starts to write itself as I wonder, What next? and of course, as Tom Clancy so well put it, every 10 minutes or so comes the cry of What now?

I’ve long believed that my novels and short stories write themselves with my prodding of these questions.

Isn’t that how your stories go to? So what are we waiting for? Let’s get back to writing before we forget the answers to these 3 simple questions.

Love, Honor, and Respect


4 thoughts on “What If What Next What Now Writing Your Story

  1. Absolutely. Sometimes I go on walks with those questions in my mind. I’ve been known to get back to the computer with whole scenes practically written. The challenge then is typing fast enough to get it all in the computer before I forget!

    • That’s how I am too, David. I’ll let scenes go until it all comes to me then I’ve got to get them typed out before I forget parts. I guess that makes us writers, for sure.

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