If you’re a good little MBT student, you may have worked on a story question for your novel. If you’re the overachieving sort, you may have even written your story question on a Post-It note and slapped it atop your computer monitor.
Quite often, our story questions start with, What if . . . ?
However, if you ask me (which I’m sure you planned to), speculative fiction writers have a story question process that’s a bit lengthier to go through. It’s like they ask themselves, What if . . . and if . . . and if? Until they’ve created a whole new world or a new kind of human or society or science.
I don’t write speculative fiction. I’m just not that smart. Yet. Maybe someday.
But in case you’re asking yourself, Huh, do I write speculative fiction? Could I? I thought I’d help you out a bit.
You might be a speculative fiction writer if . . .
- You still have crazy dreams about that dragon dog thing in Neverending Story and have every intention of one day working him into a story.
- When you can’t decide whether your main character should be a man or woman, you say, “Hey, what if they lived in a society so gender-neutralized the character him/herself and even the reader doesn’t know the character’s sex? Mind-blowing!”
- You’re positive one day George Lucas or Peter Jackson will turn your novel into a movie.
- Darn, you can’t remember what eye color you gave your hero earlier in the book! Oh well, he probably would’ve changed out his eyeballs by now anyway.
- Uh-oh, you’ve written yourself into a doozy of a corner. How’s the heroine going to get out of this scrape? Hmm, every book needs a Gandalf.
- You’re not writing a novel. You’re writing a trilogy.
- Instead of wearing a tux to the annual ACFW Awards Gala, you rented a costume from a Halloween shop.
- When you hear the words “put a bonnet on it,” you’re assuming a Brit is talking about adding a hood to the new time travel machine in your story . . . not Amish fiction.
Lest anyone think I’m poking too much fun at speculative fiction, please be assured I love it. Ted Dekker’s fantasies are some of my absolute favorites . . . eyeball-pulling-out and everything.