Updated: Aug 15, 2022
Certainly the "What If" scenario is the mantra, "cry to battle," "raison d'être," and calling card of the film industry. Script writers, producers, directors, and anyone in Hollywood with a pulse loves to live and breathe this philosophy. Certainly it's been championed throughout the film industry ad infinitum. Even Stan Lee with Marvel Comics utilized it with his "What If" comics series which recently became a series on Disney Plus.
Well, Canaanites & friends, it's the same for novelists as well. Great fiction can be the result of one single idea that twists the norm, or elaborates on a topic or story already told but with renewed panache, vigor, or gravitas. The space opera, the western showdown, the cop story, the rom-com, the superhero story, the mystery, the suspense thriller...all these have been done before, but what is your unique twist on the subject/genre?
Your creativity and imagination can lead you into some great territory, things that have never been thought of before. George Lucas and his "little known" space opera "Star Wars," Spielberg and Indiana Jones, ET, etc show that with the right amount of vision great things can spring forth. If we can come up with a novel idea, flesh it out with memorable characters, great dialogue, and the right amount of believable plot, anything can be achieved.
"What if" you create the next great story that lasts for decades??? You can do it. Trust your instincts!