Lost in Alternative Plots

Do you remember the television series called Lost – about a plane that crashes on a mysterious island filled with contradictions and unanswerable questions? The series ran for something like five years and never really answered most of those questions.

When it concluded, everyone had been led to believe that all their questions would be answered. But, in truth, very few were, and certainly not any of the big ones. The audience was very disappointed. But if they HAD answered the questions – well, then, it would have been considered one of the most inventive and wonderfully produced series of all time.

Still, it is usually a very good thing to create questions in the mind of your reader or audience. These are the questions your they will be asking on their own, if you have set things up right. And if they are, then they are hooked, because they want to know the answers and will keep with you for this book or television series or even for a whole series of books that spring from the story world you have created.

Now you don’t have to know the answers to these questions going into the writing process. But you do have to know the answers by the time the series is done. You can an