Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spice Up Your Writing: Explore Alternate Realities

Spice Up Your Writing: Explore Alternate Realities
By Nomar Knight

The concept of alternate realities actually existing has always excited me, particularly when it comes to writing fiction. When I visit one of my favorite getaway spots, I often ponder what I consider to be the key trigger in an alternate reality scenario. I unleash my imagination thinking about the power of IMPULSE. Impulse can be defined as the sudden, involuntary inclination that can prompt one to action.
Let’s say I’m at the beach, observing people as they’re having a good time. I spot a guy that looks like he eats weights for breakfast as he sprints across the sand, accidentally kicking the stuff into a sunbather’s eyes. As the thin sunbather cusses and tries to get sand out of his eyes before it begins to sting, the big guy stops and doubles back.
Now, perhaps in your currently reality, the muscle man did the right thing and apologized to the sunbather. You as a writer would prefer an alternate outcome, one that should keep any reader awake. Just think of what you saw and ask yourself, what really happened in one of the many possible alternate realities?
Since I tend to live inside a dark world, my alternate reality would look something like this:
Muscle man sprints across the beach, accidentally kicking sand in sunbather’s eyes.  Sunbather cusses.  Big man doubles back and asks, “What did you say?”
“Hey man! Watch how you run! You kicked sand in my eyes.”
The muscle man shakes his head, and in a deep voice says, “Is that all you’re worried about?” Then he promptly lifts the sunbather off the sand, carries him in spite of his pleas for mercy and tosses him into the rushing waves.
Of course, a more likely alternate scenario for me would be the muscle man attempts to lift the sunbather, the sunbather pulls out a knife and guts the big guy in front of the shocked beachgoers.
The point is that there are an infinite number of possible scenarios and while what you witnessed might have been a little boring, in an alternate universe, the universe you want to tap into as a writer, boring may be replaced by chaos and mayhem. Chaos and mayhem are excellent ingredients when it comes to writing action-packed fiction.

Till next time. Catch you on the dark side.

© Copyright Nomar Knight 2012. All rights reserved.
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