I got to thinking about characters and how we make them. I love to play the What if . . . game. It’s where you ask the What if question which can lead to interesting stories. I’m watching The Santa Clause and I was wondering. What if instead of Tim Allen’s character being a workaholic divorced father he was instead Jack Bower of ’24’? What if the guy who put on the outfit was a member of the CTU unit? Now that would be a story, don’t ya think? Here’s Jack Bower trying to hunt down the bad guys while Bernard is telling him he needs to check “The List”. The Chinese finally get Jack/Santa only to be rescued by E.L.F. S. who use Candy Cane bullets to shoot at the bad guys and stuff cookies in their mouths. And don’t forget their magic Tinsel, not just for Christmas trees anymore. Jack no longer yells “Cloe, I need that data now!” into his nifty phone. Nope, now he’s screaming, “Cloe, I need those coordinates to that kid’s house now! Comet’s getting restless.” Jack kills the bad guys, then jumps into his sleigh. He’s got presents to deliver, not to mention there’s a terrorist out there who has a bomb. Jack suddenly realizes that there is a kind and good side to him and it peeks out each Christmas Eve. Now Jack has a reason to go on, he has to deliver gifts each year to deserving kids. Cute, huh? Yeah, I know, I need help.
That’s what I do, I mix stories, trying to find an interesting twist to any tale. Learn to do this, if you want to be a writer. I think folks are scared of the What if . . . game. It can be scary mixing up a story especially if you fear others will laugh at you. But that’s the price you pay, exposing your ideas to a world that’s totally technical and more interested in Survivor than War and Peace. Deal with it. Now, back to my game.
What if . . . .