ask strange questions

On WritingRecently I was contemplating the phrase, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” It’s odd, when you think about it.

Roads exist because people travel along a path frequently enough to warrant them. This begs the question, who is making their way along this road?

What’s more, it’s paved. We don’t pave every road. Rarely used roads are often simply dirt or gravel. We only take the time to pave and maintain roads when they are used a significant amount. So, the road to hell. Often traveled? By who or what? Why? We know what it’s paved with, but who paves it? Who maintains it? What’s that particular road crew like?

I know, I know. It’s only a metaphor. But the exercise of breaking it down and tearing into it looking for practical, literal answers has given me all kinds of fiction ideas. (If you’re getting the same ideas based on this post, hold your horses, bucko. I call dibs.)

Granted, this is a very horror-focused example, but the basic methodology holds true regardless of what kind of fiction you write. Ask strange questions. Don’t accept the standard answers. Push beyond them.

“What if…?” may be the best question any writer can ask, provided he/she has imagination enough to devise an answer.


About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

2 Responses to ask strange questions

  1. Oh yes…I can see it now…the yellow brick road slowly chipping away, revealing the dark imprints of faces who’d tried to pass through to Oz only to cross paths with a rusted-out tin man and a singed scarecrow waiting to take them out with Glenda’s wavering wand.

    Okay. Horses held.

    Liked by 1 person

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