21 July 2005

What If...?

Most fiction writers play a game with themselves while writing. They ask themselves what-if questions about their characters and stories.
What if my protagonist went for Chinese food instead of pizza?
What if my protagonist drove for the food instead of riding a bike?
What if my protagonist ran over his friend while driving to pick up the food?
What if my protagonist was the one hit by a friend's car?
What if my protagonist sued the friend?
What if my protagonist refused to sue the friend despite an insistent lover demanding such action be taken?

Sometimes, coming up with more and more exciting what-ifs is challenging and deciding on the outcome even more so. Enter the online personality quiz.

Many sites offer not only such quizzes but the ability to create and post your own, Quizilla for instance. They require a sign up/login, but it's free. Once inside this site, you can check out what others have posted: What kind of animal would you be? Which Star Wars character are you? What drink best represents your personality? How big of a loser are you? Casanova or Steve Urkel?

The process of creating such quizzes provides a writer with the opportunity to flush out the what-ifs of character development. Most of the quizzes work like the magazine variety. You know the kind; you keep track of the letters you selected then match them up with a number, which you then add up to arrive at an overall score that tells you what kind of a kisser you are: downy soft, sloppy wet, coarse and gruff, better start kissing something besides the back of your hand.

So, seek out sites like Quizilla and make your own personality quizzes as a way of working those speculative muscles so vital to a writer's success.


theresa said...

I don't know much about fiction writing, so this is altogether interesting.

Great idea about using the Quizes

Kyle Stich said...

Anything to help move a story along, Theresa.