What if

Joe’s Post #77

So, what if I did a two part post?

First, a quick look at the what-if thingee. Then, let’s take a look at some pictures. Which one would you chose for my protagonist, a disgraced Vancouver policeman out to catch a vicious, relentless killer?  And which one… well, let’s wait on that last question.

So! I have the idea for my next novel. Not that I’m short on ideas, but this one really has me excited. Now, as Karalee said, it’s time to go what if…

So I thought I’d explore the whole what-if thing. What if I gave up any hope of a career and embarked on a path less traveled and decided to be a writer? What if I have been rejected so many times (or worse, ignored) that I wonder if I shouldn’t have chosen a career where I stick needles in my eyes all day long (or worse, have to watch Disney XL all day long?) What if none of that matters and all that counts is that I keep writing?

Would that make a good story?

Probably not.

I may need to work on my ideas, then.

For me, what-ifs work best with someone I can riff off of. A partner. Someone wacky, someone silly, someone who lives in a world where anything is possible. Anything.

My 5/5/5 peeps are great at this. Man, you should be in the room when this happens. Ideas fly like bullets in a Tarantino movie. Nothing is too far out, too wild, too crazy.

My friend, Sean, is also great at this. Actually, together, we both are. What if the villain is connected to the hero in some way? What if he threatens someone important? What if the hero is non-white? What if the location is different from LA? What if the villain is handicapped? What if the villain loves bunnies? What if the hero also loves bunnies? What if the final scene is set on the highest building in Vancouver? What if it’s set underground in Vancouver? What if the killer is a zombie? What if the protagonist is a woman who is all into the 50 shades? What if… what if… what if…

See, the cool thing is just to let your mind go for a moment. I’m really good at this. I can do it while standing in a line at Safeway or while walking the dog or while having a conversation with Sean. I simply get a blank look and stare off into space. I go completely Walter Mitty.

Either way, there are a ton of cool ways to brainstorm the what if. Start with anything, character, plot, location, theme, genre… anything, and just have some fun. Or call me. I’ll brainstorm any time any where. Hey, maybe I can even make that a business. I rent out my brain. Renting out other parts of me might not do so well, but my brain, it may be marketable!

Ok, so the second part

Take a look at the pictures below. I’ve thought of all of them as my protagonist for my next novel. But look at the faces. Really look. Doesn’t each one create a different character?

Wes Studi


WWE Wrestler Batista Portrait Session

jasonjohnny depp detectivethe rock










See? Which one would you pick? Wes Studi? Hugh Dillon? Dave Bautista? Jason Mamoa? Johnny Depp? The Rock? Doesn’t each face say something about the way they would handle things? About how they would see life? About how they would go about solving the crime?

So, what if I began my character with a picture?

And no, you can’t pick one based on if you’d like to sleep with him or not! Or maybe, that’s exactly what you should do?

Queries this Week: 0 – Desert Rains  0 – Araxi Chronicles. I need to change this to a weekly goal, not a monthly goal.

Short Stories Sent off: 0 (See above)

Number of times I had to get up for 6 am hockey this week: 1

Number of blogs written about getting up at 6am: 1 6am Practice

Another good blogger read: What if

Number of days sick: 5

Number of Ukrainian Christmases attended: 1

Number of times I think I am the luckiest guy in the world: 58,435

14 thoughts on “What if

  1. I LOVE the idea of a disabled protagonist. Possibly an invisible disability? Something that would make doing his job incredibly difficult. You’d probably best balance that off with something that he is very very good at.

    Jason Momoa. Mmmmmmm. Yeah, I pick him. And many thanks for posting pics of hot guys on your posts all the time.

    But for your story I think I like Dave Bautista best. He looks like he would know everything about anyone he met just by looking into their eyes. He wouldn’t be fooled by anyone.

  2. Okay, it’s hard for me to look at any other possibilities when Johnny Depp is one of the options. But actually, I like the guy on the bottom left — the one who looks like he’s ripped out of his mind. All the guys on the top row look like good candidates for the crazed killer. Scary dudes all.

  3. … sigh, great post Joe, but all I can think is how pathetic it is that except for Jonny Depp and ‘The Rock’ – I have no clue who the rest of those guys are. What does that say for how far I’m now removed from mainstream popular culture – I’ve got to get out there now. Thanks Joe. Now I just feel ‘old’. Oh, and I must admit, I’ve never been a Johnny Depp fan, maybe because he always seems to me to think just a bit to highly of himself. I like a humbler hero!

  4. Love your post, Joe, but not sure about the guys in the pics. Like Paula, I feel a bit sidelined here, not having kept up with the trend. Maybe post a few more options? Your female followers won’t mind, I can assure you.

  5. You must be a mystery writer Joe, and I must be a romance writer, because even though I know they are supposed to be disgraced cops, I think – ew – I wouldn’t want to sleep with any of them, not even Johnny in that pic, so, ergo, I think you should keep looking. I don’t think any of them look particularly ‘heroic’.

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