Monday, July 2, 2012

Writing Prompt: Alternate History for July 4th

What if July 4th wasn't what we here in the United States know as Independence Day? What if history had turned out differently?

That's what writing Alternate History fiction is all about. I've been watching old episodes of "Sliders" lately. With the 4th of July holiday fast approaching, it got me to thinking about writing an Alternate History short where July 4th is quite different from what it is now.

I don't know yet what that means, but I'll be exploring that concept over the next week. Have you ever tried writing Alternate History? If not, why not give it a shot - even if it's a flash fiction piece. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Then speed write. Simply ask one basic question to get you flowing: "What if...?"

What if the American colonies had never revolted?
What if Rome had never fallen?
What if a famous person's grandfather and grandmother had never met?
What if a young Bill Gates had decided to move to L.A. and start a hair band instead of go into computers?

Whatever. Just start with "What if...?" You never know what intriguing story you might stumble upon.

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