Wednesday, August 24, 2016

At the Heart of What If?

by Alex J. Cavanaugh 

Parallel universes explore the what if – what if one or more elements was different that our own world. But if you think about it, all speculative fiction is about the what if. It’s exploring a place unlike our own, transporting the reader to a world of possibilities.

This type of writing appeals to both writer and reader on many levels.

For the writer:

Fun to brainstorm. We can just start listing all sorts of crazy what ifs.

No limits. This is about things that aren’t real. Not yet and maybe never. We can go as far as we envision.

We become Creator. All writers do, but we can take it a step farther with a whole new world.

For the reader:

The chance to escape reality. When the news and troubles of the world overwhelm, nothing is more satisfying than retreating away from reality.

Struggles easier to handle. The troubles of this world can overwhelm us. But present those same struggles in a speculative fiction setting, and they are easier to handle and understand. We can process them better.

Encourages imagination. The same imagination that created the story flows into the reader and he envisions the world beyond the book. He’ll create his own stories.

What if takes us to a place beyond this world. And that’s a good thing. After all, all of the advancements and inventions of this world came from that simple question – what if?

Alex J. Cavanaugh
- Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

23 comments:

  1. I think What If is the best game on the face of the planet. It makes us stretch to find the common element we share as people while allowing our imaginations to go wild.

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  2. I think What If is the best game on the face of the planet. It makes us stretch to find the common element we share as people while allowing our imaginations to go wild.

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  3. Great post Alex - "What if" is at the heart of all creation!

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  4. Great post, Alex! Most, if not all, writing has a bit of the "what if" involved in it, but specfic takes "what if" much further.

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  5. "What if" is the launching point of so many things.

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  6. Thanks for the great post! I've loved speculative fiction my whole life for many of these reasons. What I like best is that as a writer, I can let my imagination fly. It's like being a kid again, and all things seem possible.

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  7. The site look beautiful. Great post. Imagination changes the world.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  8. Duh! Somehow this blog got by me ~ So thanks Alex for sending me this way! I enjoyed your post on What If.. Some of the finest books I've ever read have been in the speculative fiction area. It's truly my favorite collection of genres! I thoroughly enjoyed "Parallels" so it's fun to see the faces that go with the stories!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Fundy Blue!

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  9. I love the "What If" game. It takes into different worlds and lets us experience all kinds of excitement. The interesting thing about What If, is that the speculative road often leads to a new reality.

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  10. What If? I am always wondering "What If" they are trigger words that open the mind to possibilities. You can travel so many realms with two simple words What If?

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  11. Awesome post, Alex! I love to explore the what ifs. Even small things can lead to great consequences in a story.

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  12. I think it's interesting that speculative fiction is a separate category. Aren't all stories, regardless of genre, "what if" exercises? I guess the main difference is whether the author adheres to the rules of the known universe or not. Thanks for guest blogging here, Alex.

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  13. Sorry, I'm so late, but that is the perfect first question!

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  14. "What if" got me to where I am today. If "What if" were a person, I'd give him a big hug. Great post, Alex.

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  15. What if, indeed. That's the key question to EVERY piece of fiction. Hooray to Alex.

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  16. What if is a great way to think about many things. I think it's fun to fantasize about what if's.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  17. i believe that all is possible what exist in our imagination and whatever is beyond of it will soon be in the circle of our imaginative journey

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  18. I love the little girl graphic. She's smart.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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