Hi, everyone! I’m Ms Geraldine, a teacher and curriculum writer at Lil’ but Mighty. As someone who grew up with a love for creative writing, I hope to make it less intimidating for my students through fun free-writing exercises. In my first blog post, I shared a writing exercise that allows you to rewrite the stories of your favourite characters, especially if you were disappointed in how they were represented in the film, game, or storybook they came from.
Today, in my second blogpost, I will be sharing how to get our creative juices flowing by pondering the age-old question:
Growing up, I am sure all of us have asked numerous questions starting with those two magic words. For example, here are some of the questions that plagued me when I was little, and still bother me today:
I am certain some of you find the above questions relatable. After all, most of us do not take the world for granted. We wonder why things are the way they are, and we also wonder how things would be different even if there were small changes to our universe.
Today, as part of our creative writing exercise, we will imagine a world that is indeed different from the one that we currently reside in. We will immerse ourselves in an alternative universe and pretend that it is our actual reality. Most importantly, we will attempt to tackle the “What if?” questions that have likely haunted us since childhood.
We will be writing at least one paragraph (but you can always make your story as long as you like) about one specific “What if?” question. Let’s start by brainstorming some ideas for this alternative world following the steps below. To help, I will also be carrying out the steps along with you — you can find my own answers in the images below each question.
Step 1: THE QUESTION
Let’s grab a piece of paper and write our chosen “What if?” question in the centre of the page. Make sure you choose a question you are curious and passionate about!
Step 2: THE CHARACTERS
Choose at least two main characters that will feature in your story and add them as a branch extending from the circle in the middle of your page. The characters you choose should be directly relevant to your chosen “What if?” question. For example, since my chosen question is about animals, I should therefore feature an animal as one of the main characters in my story.
Tip: It is easier to choose yourself as a protagonist and write in first-person perspective. After all, how exciting would it be to imagine yourself in this different world?
Step 3: THE UNIQUE MOMENT
What if… animals could talk?
Now that we have identified our characters, choose a unique moment to include in your story, and add it as an additional branch extending from the centre. This unique moment WOULD NOT happen in your everyday life, but only occurs because your chosen “What if?” question is true in your alternate universe.
Step 4: WRITE THE STORY
Now, you have all the necessary elements needed to put together your unique story. You can choose to write a short paragraph in response to your own ideas, or you can even turn your ideas into your own novel. The choice of length is up to you—but importantly, just make sure you have fun with your writing!
If you are curious, here’s my short excerpt in response to my own prompt above:
And there you go! My step-by-step guide on how to answer some of the questions you must have about our mysterious universe. I hope that this exercise has shown you that you can have a lot of fun writing about imaginary worlds and exploring your own thought experiments!
Do note, however, that you should not be introducing such fantastical elements into your own compositions in school, or even while you are attempting a composition examination question, as it is easy to get carried away about these questions we are so curious and passionate about. As a result, you might end up not answering the topic or using any of the given pictures, which could cost you your precious marks.
Leave a comment sharing what your chosen “What if?” question is! If you feel like sharing your piece, or a short excerpt from your writing exercise, why not type it out in the comments too? Till my next post, have fun writing!