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What Would Happen If...

Banes at 12:00AM, Jan. 5, 2023

what if there was a creepy basement…

Barbarian was one of the new movies I enjoyed last year. As far as I know, it got good reviews, and a mostly-positive reception. Some people criticized it for making no sense. It's a fair point - although like I said, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit.

It's best appreciated in the moment, I think, with the visceral dread about what's going to happen next driving the thing forward.

There are multiple articles I could write about Barbarian, with its interesting structure, interesting thematic and allegorical elements, and masterful building of dread about the unknown.

But for this time, I'll appreciate it for its fun use of “What Would Happen If”.

As I watched it, I could picture the writer rubbing his hands together when he asked himself “Imagine if you rented an AirBnB, and someone else was already there. And you didn't have a better choice than staying there with a complete stranger?”

I have no idea if that was the question that drove the writer to create this story (I did hear that it was written from the beginning, without any plan as to where the story was going. That's pretty fun).

But so many wonderful stories, or beginnings, can be born from thinking about “What Would Happen If…?”

It can be the birth of farcical comedies, alternate-history stories, interesting romances, and of course, riveting science fiction and gripping horror stories.

What would happen if…

- Aliens appeared in the skies above us for the first time?
- People could clone themselves?
- legions of robots were invented to serve humans?
- Peter Pan grew up?
- speech writers for opposing political candidates fell in love?
- dinosaurs appeared in the present day?

On and On. Some of those, maybe all, are actual stories/movies already, haha. Not all are stories I have any interest in personally (I don't remember the name of the speech writer romance movie…or several movies…but it doesn't interest me) but the germ of an idea often comes from posing that question.

What Would Happen If This Newspost was finished now?

See you next time!


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DylanTale Comics at 11:21AM, Jan. 5, 2023

@bravo1102, you also just nailed it. I've been asking that famous question, especially when I had worked on the soon-to-be-released Set 3. The whole concept of not just working on one world or one universe, but working on multiple at the same time has always been enjoyable for me. That also applies to what you said about alternate history. That could mean history that takes place in another universe or history that was previously untold that involves characters that you create, which is actually what I'm starting to get into now. Definitely relatable!

bravo1102 at 4:13AM, Jan. 5, 2023

@PaulEberhardt: nailed it. Most of my world building is all based on "what if?" There are so many possibilities and then there's alternative history, but it doesn't have to our world, it can be one like it but just not it.

PaulEberhardt at 3:41AM, Jan. 5, 2023

Sounds a bit like the writing prompts I make up for my students (especially when they need to get familiar with these dreaded conditional clauses). That's how I know this approach is a pretty safe bet when it comes to jump-starting your or anyone else's mind. It's fun, too.

bravo1102 at 12:37AM, Jan. 5, 2023

People don't realize that Peter Pan growing up was always implied in the usually forgotten epilog of the original play. Pan keeps coming back amd we see Wendy as a mother of another little girl. He offers to give her a kiss, and Wendy tells him not a thimble this time, so he gives the girl a real kiss. Exactly the sequence shown in Hook. Growing up I had records of the original play, the Disney soundtrack and the classic Mary Martin TV special. Loved Peter Pan.

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