Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Package Snatcher

My mind spins faster than a top. Sometimes I imagine I can hear the whirling sound of it’s motion in the air. LOL. Must be true of all writers, because I think each of us are born with that inquisitive gene. You know, the one that makes you ask what if.

Stories are born from those what ifs. You can be in line at the bank, the grocery, the movie theater, or in a coffee shop, and see something that suddenly begs for attention and leads our minds in a “Walter Mitty” direction.

The other day, I was at the post office. The line was practically out the door. And this really sweet guy held it for me and even offered to hold my packages. Pretty tame stuff. But it hit me. What if it wasn’t a nice gesture on his part? What if instead of standing there and chatting with me, he’d taken my packages and then ran off with them? What if he was a package snatcher?

Well, if he had, then my latest prize winner wouldn’t eventually get the book I sent. LOL. It’s cool, Kelley, your package got in the mail. :D

But still, it causes you to realize that everything we do in life has an effect, like dominoes. Chain reaction of cause and effect.

When we sit down to plot a skeletal framework for our stories, we have to play by the same rules as life. No matter if our novel is set 100 years into the future, or on another planet, or a contemporary set in the here and now. We all have to think about cause and effect.

If your heroine drinks four margaritas and follows it with three Long Island ice teas, odds are she’s going to be pretty wasted. At the least, she should wake up in the morning with a doozy of a hangover. And that will have an effect on the rest of her day. Side note: If she doesn’t have a hangover after all that booze, then I’m going to hate her. So not fair! LOL.

What I don’t like as a reader is when a book doesn’t follow it’s own rules, or tries to circumvent cause and effect. Or maybe I just agree with the bad guy in the Matrix movie. I dunno.
But I figure I’ll never stop asking what if. It’s too much fun! :D

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