Some of the most speculative stories and books are based on What If?. I have a book that is based on what if. Some of the most interesting movies and TV shows are based on what if scenarios. Here are 20 prompts that should encourage writers to speculate on what if.
(1) THE UNITED COLONIES OF GREAT BRITAIN A General Reginald Fitzsimmons comes to the American Colonies in 1776 shortly after the Colonies declare independence from Great Britain. He believes in going after the rebels and not letting up on them until the rebellion is crushed. Instead of letting Washington and his troops settle in at Valley Forge for the winter of 1777, General Fitzsimmons attacks with 3000 Hessians and regulars and 30 cannons and captures Washington and his troops. The war ends in 1779 with the British winning at the Battle of Camden, New Jersey where three American generals are killed and the others surrender along with their troops. Our fledgling navy is defeated off of North Carolina and the French never come to our aid thanks to Admiral Blake of His Majesty’s Royal Navy blockading the French coast.
It is 1945 and Prime Minister Churchill is ready for an all out invasion of the Soviet Union after crushing Hitler and the Nazis. The over one million soldiers and airmen and naval personnel from the American Colonies are ready to invade the Soviet Union on the front lines. What might have happened if America had never won its independence?
(2) PIRACY IN THE 21ST CENTURY What if piracy had never been defeated by the British Admiralty and it had become as big as organized crime? How might piracy have been had it never been abolished?
(3) TESLA’S WAR What if the electronics genius had been employed by the War Department to fight the Nazis and Japanese Empire with some of the most advanced weapons ever devised by man? What if he had worked with other advanced thinkers back then? How might WWII have changed? Would we have needed to drop the atomic bombs?
(4) MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN What if Donald Trump had been allowed to be President for eight years and both the media and the Democrats had not tried to bring him down? How might America have been by 2025 and beyond?
(5) UNDER THE MUSHROOM CLOUD What if out-of-work Russian nuclear scientists had gone to Iran and helped the Mullahs develop nuclear weapons that were used starting in 2017 after the election of Hillary Clinton? She continued the Iran deal made by Obama and the money sent to Iran helped the nation tremendously.
(6) THE WAR AT THE SOUTHERN BORDER Due to the illegal immigrants flooding across the Southern border, crime rates soaring, human trafficking, and drugs killing thousands, militias are formed in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to fight the invasion. How might such a war progress?
(7) DOCTOR COLLEY’S CURE A Doctor Colley in Baltimore discovered in the 1890’s that patients with terminal cancer could be cured of cancer if they received a staph infection that activated their immune system to fight the infection. At the same time, cancer was attacked. What if immunotherapy had been the normal treatment for treating cancer starting 130 years ago?
(8) FUTURAMA What if the visions of futurists had become reality by the times they predicted?
(9) FREE AT LAST What if the civil rights amendments placed in the Constitution by Republicans in the 1870’s had never been derailed by the Southern Democrats and their unconstitutional Jim Crow laws. How might a totally integrated America had developed without the obstructions imposed upon blacks and other minorities?
(10) CZARIST RUSSIA Lenin and his Bolsheviks are defeated in 1920 and the Romanov Dynasty continues well into this century. How might Russia have been by now if the Communists had never turned Russia into the Soviet Union?
(11) THE BUFFALO STILL ROAM What if the tribes of the Americas had been dealt with in a civilized manner and the federal government had made treaties that were honored?
(12) THE RACE TO THE STARS What if the United States had landed on the moon in 1961 thanks to the secret program called Operation High Ground headed by Von Braun and his team of rocket scientists and Soviet defectors? What if Tesla had also contributed to the achievement because he lived until 1957? The Soviets bypass the moon and concentrate on landing cosmonauts on Mars by 1977 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution. The Chinese learn that aliens came to their part of the world over 40,000 years ago so they feel they should also be out in space. How might occupation of space had been if America, Russia, and China had reached for the stars early on?
(13) PRINTING NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH What if the media printed only the truth?
(14) ALIEN DOMINATION OF THE WORLD What if a race of aliens had invaded the earth and defeated it? How would the world be?
(15) IT’S A WOMAN’S WORLD What if only 10% of the world’s population were male? How would the world be and would society benefit from having 90% of the population being female?
(16) THE BEST ATHLETES IN THE WORLD What if racism didn’t get in the way of the best athletes in the world competing in sporting events? According to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, an Indian was timed in less than four minutes for running the mile during the latter part of the 19th century. What if Indian and black and Chinese American athletes had competed in the first Olympics in Greece in 1896?
(17) ACE What if President McKinley had met with a group from another dimension in the White House in 1897? The significance of the President forming the Alien Cooperation Enterprise (ACE) in 1897 might have made the Roswell Incident a minor event.
(18) THE SHOW TRIAL OF HITLER What if the Soviet organization called Smirsh (it wasn’t made up by Ian Flemming but actually existed and was run by a woman) had successfully captured Hitler and brought him back to Moscow for a show trial after the end of the war?
(19) THE ALAMO DEFENSE What if Colt had invented his revolver in 1832 and the defenders of the Alamo had been armed with revolvers and rifles that had larger revolving cylinders to hold metal cartridges instead of paper cartridges? And what if the Alamo defenders had four breech loading cannons that fired 3-inch shells? Could the war for independence from Mexico had been won at the Alamo?
(20) BEAM WARFARE The Nazis were constructing an installation that would have used beam weapons to shoot down bombers around 1944. It was destroyed before the weapons could be installed. What if the Nazis had used beam weapons against our bombers and Tesla had lived long enough and been employed by the War Department to build beam weapons to be used against the Nazis? How might the war have changed?
These are twenty interesting what ifs that might produce some incredible books and movies in the future. What if the people reading these prompts make the ideas thought-provoking stories?