Monday Creative Writing Exercise because it’s a good way to start the week — WHAT IF….
Journalists ask who, what, why, where and when.
Fiction writers ask WHAT IF.
This is a good WHAT IF for a Monday and it could turn into almost anything: a fairy tale or a horror story or a description of a mind or a relationship going badly wrong…..
WHAT IF your character returns home after a tough day with the kids or a hard day at work and gradually comes to realise that the house is tidier than it was when she or he left in the morning. The washing up is done or the dishwasher emptied. The bulging rubbish that was on his or her to-do list is in the dustbin. All of these are small things – things that s/he might have forgotten about.
The next day the same thing happens…and the next.
The devil is in the detail – make readers feel as though they are standing shoulder to shoulder with your character, seeing what she or he sees. And the more ordinary the house, the more the reader will be able to relate to it and that will add to the tension.
Describe a smell or a sensation (air freshener just been zapped….?)
Don’t rush ahead. Tease out the truth: don’t deliver it in a dollop and if you intend to write more than a thousand words you could even have a mini revelation that leads readers to make false assumptions