Essential What Ifs for Writers
inspiration for your
short stories, novels, characters,
What Ifs are one
of the easiest ways to come up with great ideas for things
to write about, even on days when your brain refuses to
With the help of this book you'll easily
come up with stories packed with fully rounded, three-dimensional
characters, fascinating and memorable plot twists, interesting
locations, and all sorts of other ideas that will leave
your readers thinking: How on earth did you think of that?
Simply turn to any page, scan your eyes down
the list of What Ifs, and within seconds you should feel
your brain click into gear as all sorts of story ideas
and possibilities begin to emerge. You'll soon be ready
to get writing again!
you have a particular theme or subject in mind, turn to
the list of categories at the front of the book, or look
at the headings along the top of each page – there
are 150 categories listed in alphabetical order.
you have an idea that you like, you can use it as a
starting point for a short story, novel, screenplay, stage
poem, joke, article – or just about anything.
And once you have your starting point you can use more
Ifs to add extra characters, personality traits, background
details, plot points and twists, and all sorts of other
Full list of categories
included in the book:
Birth, babies, pregnancy;
Celebrity and fame;
Control (lack of);
Crime and punishment;
Decisions and choices;
Dedication / determination;
Emotions and feelings;
Exhaustion and tiredness;
Friends and enemies;
Knowledge and (mis)understanding; Language;
Living and lifestyle;
Lost and found;
Love and romance;
Lying and cheating;
Noises and sounds;
Paranormal?; Parents and parenthood;
Personality and behaviour;
Pets; Phone calls;
Plans gone awry;
Press and Media;
Right and wrong;
Science, maths, inventions and discoveries; Science fiction;
Science fiction – alternative history;
Science fiction – animals;
Science fiction – geography;
Science fiction – science;
Science fiction – time;
Skills and superpowers;
Sport, exercise and fitness;
Things going badly;
Things going well; Time;
Weddings and marriage;
Winning and losing;
Work – boss;
Work – colleagues;
Work – customers;
Work – employees;
Work – jobs;
Work – job applications;
Work – not working;
Work – pay, money, budget;
Work – problems;
Work – you’re fired!;
(Note: where it says "You" or
"Your" in the following list of What Ifs, it doesn't
have to mean you personally.
It could be someone
you know, or it could be one of the characters in your
story - the hero, the villain, the victim's secret lover,
or whatever you like.)
- What if a lorry crashed through your front wall?
- What if a man you'd never met
before fell through your ceiling?
- What if a plane crashed through your roof?
- What if a tree fell on you?
- What if something fell from your car and caused an accident?
- What if you accidentally damaged a statue and then realised
there was a body inside?
- What if you accidentally gave it to the wrong person?
- What if you accidentally spread disease into a country
that didn’t have it?
- What if you accidentally switched something on (or off)
- What if you caused an accident?
- What if you crashed your car
into an electricity sub-station and blacked out a whole
- What if you fell down the stairs in a public building
and decided to sue them?
- What if you fell off the roof?
- What if you fell out of the window?
- What if you had an accident at work?
- What if you had an embarrassing accident?
- What if you killed someone and made it look like an accident?
- What if you lost one or more limbs in an accident?
- What if you said it was an accident, but it wasn’t?
- What if you saw an accident waiting to happen?
- What if you took a gun off
a shelf in a sports shop and fired it, assuming it wasn't
loaded – but
- What if you were browsing in your local library when
a bookshelf fell on you?
- What if you were having so
many 'accidents' that
it had to be more than just coincidence or bad luck?
- What if you were in a plane crash?
- What if your faulty workmanship caused a serious accident?
If The Fastest Way to Get Ideas doesn't
help you to come up with tons of great new ideas for your short
stories or novels, simply return it within 60 days for
a full and prompt refund.
Dave Haslett wrote his first book (a 300-page illustrated guide
to tropical fish) at the age of 13, and has since written novels,
non-fiction books, screenplays, over 200 articles, short stories,
reviews, poetry, and a monthly column. In 2002 he founded ideas4writers,
the ideas and inspiration website.
Dave is the author of The
Fastest Way to Write Your Book and is
currently working on further titles in the Fastest Way series.
He is also the co-author of The
Date-A-Base Book series which each
about, including notable events, discoveries, inventions, births
and deaths. The 2013 and 2014 editions are currently available.
author and publisher
Cullompton, Devon, UK
20 March 2018
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