What happens next (WHN) is key in creative writing as it holds the deep secret of story: development. In film, development is action / reaction by characters. In novels, development weaves in and out of consciousness, thinking, subjectivity. Authors develop in between the lines and beyond words, filling white space with reports from the war front, the crisis, the boiling points of conflict.
What happens next? is for many, a guessing game in which the possible enters the funnel of what can be done, manifested physically, and how. Writers want options and WNN is the door to open to activate them.
Originality is on everyone’s wish list. It feels good to be taken by a creative flow of ideas, driven to relationships and associations of mind and spirit. Yes, having lots of ideas can be good, but also bewildering. Something to manage, balls to juggle before an invisible audience salivating for the drop.
Less is more? Let’s consider the need to develop a scene in which a character BLUE needs to get out of a room set on fire by his nemesis, RED. The trouble for Blue is that there appears to be no way out.
So, What happens next?