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Need Story Ideas? Visit a Museum

  • March 20, 2017
  • Blog

I was once stuck at a friend’s business function at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since we were limited to one small room and boring small talk, in desperation, she and I began to read every single card in the few glass cases available to us.

It was a revelation. An Empress had been assassinated in the 1800s? Why didn’t we know that? We pounced on each tidbit of explanation for the art carefully positioned behind the glass, and I wrote notes so that I could look up the information when I got home (it was before the instant age of the Internet on cell phones).

The Met is a huge, wonderful museum that I will never get tired of. But if you don’t have access to something quite so grandiose, keep in mind that I was riveted to a couple of glass cabinets. A treasure trove of great richness that piqued my curiosity and led to games of “what if.”

What if the Empress hadn’t been killed? How would that have changed the world? What if her double was the one who had been killed and she was forced to live a completely different life? What if she had been turned into a vampire instead? (You can tell I write fantasy.)

And all these ideas came from one small index card.

So go visit a museum. Explore the art, the history, the millions of possibilities for you to play with. And have fun.


  • Christine • March 21, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I have played this what if game for years. It really does incite my imagination.
    Most recently I had a what if thought in relation to my bridesmaid… you, know her very well, I believe…
    What fun!
    What if…. she is really a fairy in hiding? Can she make our dreams come true?
    Stay tuned…

    • J. M. Levinton • March 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      LOL Sounds like a great story to write!

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