Saturday, October 13, 2012

What Ifs ?

Writer, Jorge Luis Borges poses, "What if?" and lets his stories work questions out to their logical or absurd conclusions.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez blends the fantastic with the ordinary for his approaches to story. In his short story, "The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" he ponders, "What if an angel appeared in our own village?" A poor couple in an impoverished South American village cages the creature and sells tickets to view it. Marquez toys with the reader's emotions of disgust and strange wonder when an old man rises from the sand and flies away content that the couple has made money to support their new baby.

Writers need to stay open to surprise, absurdity and play with complexity for stories and poems to reach to the edges of possibility.

Stop reading and look around.  Notice a roundness, square objects, colors and scents.  Add a sound or two. Launch your imagination and add tiny creatures. Where did they come from? What if they spoke?  Let plants philosophize. What would a grasshopper do if . . . ?

Invite a character from your favorite novel into your living room. Which questions would you ask?

Creative Write: Imaginate and return to a story or poem that has lost its energy. Ask, "What if?"  Keep going until you have moved beyond reality into a realm that produces surprises, absurdity and fun.

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