Writing Wednesday – Birthergate! or Using Breaking News in Your Plot

So it’s official. I mean, it was official before, but now it’s officially official. Our president can still be our president. Wow, the power of a piece of paper. Especially when several of those pieces of paper are put together to form your bestseller, right?

This week, Writing Wednesday (where we talk about all things writing) becomes “What if?” Wednesday. Let’s take the aforementioned birth certificate that had so many people’s panties in a twist. While there was never a question in my mind about Obama’s citizenship, “what if” it was a fake document? What if he had been born in Kenya in a private ceremony, or in some small village and only a few people knew about it? What would someone whose powerful position in life would be stripped from him if one of those people talked? What would that person do to keep them quiet? 

Now let’s take it out a step further, or rather backtrack the story to this point about the president not wanting this secret to come out and only a few people know about it in a remote village in Africa. Now, we need a protagonist, perhaps a strong female character. Let’s make her a doctor in Africa trying to save the world as she works with Doctors without Borders. She is working in this village when assassins come in to slaughter everyone for apparently no reason. She narrowly escapes with her life, but she notices something strange, the assassins are white. She notices something else, they use American military terms (she dated an Army Ranger). She decides to begin her own investigation into the incident, which is blamed on a warring tribe in the area, and decides to visit the one person that got out of the village many years before. He himself is a doctor living in America and has a different name that the one he grew up with. She knows this because his grandmother was very upset that he changed his name and basically denounced his association to the village once he made it in America. She goes to visit this man but doesn’t know she’s been followed. Soon, the two of them are on the run and trying to figure out what it is that makes people want to kill them. 

See what a little Breaking News can turn into when you apply “What if?”

Have your own “What if?” about the Obama birth certificate uproar? Or any other “What if’s” for What if Wednesday? To the keyboards!


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author. Bestselling author Sandra Brown recently had this to say about Mark’s latest novel, The Brink: “[The Brink] is a hell of a read. The chemistry between [the main characters] Danny and Sydney is terrific. The action sequences were heart-pounding, and I was left feeling that you have a sequel in mind!” Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at www.markfadden.com.

BREAKING NEWS!!! The Brink is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle  for only $2.99

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