Thursday, May 10, 2012

What If - guest post by author Robert Rogers

Happy Thursday!

Time to a guest post again! Today's visitor is Robert Rogers, the author of Lost Indian Gold. He writes about "what if".

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Robert Rogers!

What If

by Robert Rogers

People often ask me how I find ideas for a story. Well, I like the question because I can answer it with a “what if” example. And, you’ll see that just by asking “what ifs” as you go along, the story will write itself.

For example, my daughters once asked me for a story about what I did when I was a boy. I didn’t have an exciting story at the ready, so I asked my self, “What if during a family move, I got left behind and got lost in the swamps?” That could be a story.

So, now I’m the main character in the story and I can write it in the first person. What if I was eleven when I got lost? That was the approximate age of my daughters so they could identify with the action.

What happened next? What if I searched for a way out and naturally I failed or I wouldn’t have had an adventure.

What if I discovered a lump of land someplace in the swamps and lo and behold, a big colored rock anchored one end and from under the rock bubbled out a spring of crystal clear water. And, what if there were berry bushes nearby and a creek with fish to catch?

What if I, recalling something my “Papa” made, decide to make a lean-to shelter behind the rock? Now, the story has me lost in the swamp and learning to survive. I’m beginning to like this story, but wait; it can’t end there. Not enough adventure.

So, what if I (I’m moving into the crux of the story now.) overhear a conversation between two bullies about a lost treasure buried someplace in the swamps, maybe on a sacred island? (Of course, that scant intro demands more details and more details would have to be added. IOW, More what ifs to answer.)

Whoops, I need to add another “what if” at the beginning. (That’s okay. When you’re writing, you often have to go back and add antecedent material.) What if my family was moving because we’d lost because our farm through foreclosure? Maybe it’s time I gave myself a name. Spud. Doggone, this story sounds better and better each time I answer a “what if.”

What if Spud decides to find that treasure himself to help buy his crying mother a new home? Of course, the two bullies want that treasure for themselves, a complication.

What if I add another complication? What if there are two Indians in the story? One, Spud’s age, Cricket by name and the other, his father, is a real Indian Chief. What if Spud learns that they are also searching for the treasure that belongs to their tribe? Poor Spud has to wrestle with his conscience.

Now, let’s expand the story a bit. What if Spud happens onto a farm and meets two “pretty princesses?” (Just happened that the two princesses had the same names as my daughters and looked like them as well.) To further complicate matters, what if they are the younger sisters of the bullies? Makes Spud wary but not so much he doesn’t make friends with them on the sly. And, what if he gets invited to a Halloween party, always a source of fun. And that one was no exception.

Moving on, what if Spud finds a “sacred island” but no treasure. Has to be that way or the story ends too soon. I’ll let the girls help him the rest of the way.

Well, I see that my daughters are about asleep so I’ll have to finish the story tomorrow night. Suffices to say, the story became Lost Indian Gold and is available on

Practically all stories can to driven simply by answering the question of “what if” at every plot development.

Thank you Robert for coming by and writing a guest post for Me and Reading!
Happy reading!


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