What If? 31 Creative Writing Prompts for January

Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your brain – what can you do with these? Some of them are deliberately vague or ambiguous so you can interpret them in different ways!

There’s one for each day of the month. If you need more please take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. events from real life sounded too implausible to include in your novel?

2. everyone’s IQ dropped by 50 points overnight?

3. everyone’s IQ rose by 50 points overnight?

4. everyone’s IQ reversed overnight, so the most intelligent became the least intelligent and vice versa?

5. trouble had a way of finding you?

6. you did all of your children’s homework while they got on with something that you felt was far more important and worthwhile?

7. your partner became suspicious when you said you were working late – and they were right to be, but not for the reason they thought?

8. you were addicted to having cosmetic surgery?

9. people said you really needed cosmetic surgery and offered to pay for it?

10. a stranger offered to make you a star?

11. a stranger offered to dress you like a million dollars?

12. a stranger identified that you had a hidden talent and offered to pay for you to develop it?

13. Christmas was moved to once every four years as it had become too commercialised and expensive, and older people felt it came around too soon?

14. Christmas products were not allowed to be sold until 7 days before Christmas?

15. birthdays were held when you and your friends and family agreed that a full year had passed since the last one, irrespective of what the calendar said?

16. you disappeared?

17. you found yourself somewhere else and had no idea how you’d got there?

18. you were told you apologised too much, so resolved to fix it?

19. you refused to let your nerves get the better of you?

20. you were accused of being vulgar, which might or might not have come as a surprise?

21. readers said your stories sounded ‘too fictional’?

22. readers said your stories didn’t sound fictional enough?

23. your reputation lay in ruins?

24. your reputation was restored?

25. bathing became (or was still) a public activity?

26. everyone thought you were lucky – but you didn’t?

27. everyone thought you were unlucky – but you didn’t?

28. you decided you would no longer settle for an ordinary life?

29. someone gave you a truly inconvenient gift?

30. you learned that you’d been studying the wrong subject?

31. you discovered that you had donated the money to the wrong cause?

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