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30 What If Writing Prompts

What If Writing Prompts

What If?

Yeah, those two little words can crack open a whole universe of crazy ideas. Forget boring questions, “what if” is like a magic door to anywhere.

Every “what if” is a chance to play with reality, to break the rules and see what happens.

So get your creative muscles pumping ’cause this trip is all about how wild your imagination can go.

Ready to mess with the way things work?

Let’s hear it for… “What if?” with these amazing prompts and ideas.

What If Writing Prompts

1. What if smartphones had never been invented?

Imagine a world where smartphones were never developed and society still relied on basic cell phones, landlines, or other means of communication

How would the lack of instant access to information, social media, and apps impact daily life, social relationships, and global events? 

What would be the cultural and psychological implications?

2. What if the electric car had been mainstreamed 50 years ago?

Suppose electric cars had become the primary mode of transportation since the 1970s, rendering gasoline engines obsolete. 

How would this earlier shift have impacted global climate change, geopolitical relationships centered around oil, and urban development?

3. What if women had been equally represented in all sectors since the 1900s?

Imagine a scenario where women have been equally represented in politics, science, and all work sectors for more than a century. 

How would this have shaped technological advancements, social dynamics, and issues like work-life balance? 

What would be different about the global culture and economic systems?

4. What if the internet was strictly regulated from its inception?

Consider what life would be like if the internet had been under strict government regulation from its very beginning. 

How would this have impacted freedom of speech, the proliferation of information, and the success of tech companies? 

Would the internet have grown as rapidly as it did, and what would be the global implications?

5. What if the age of retirement was universally reduced to 50?

Imagine a global scenario where everyone retires at the age of 50, regardless of their profession. 

What would be the economic impact of such a dramatic change? How would younger generations deal with the job market, and how would older generations spend their extended retirement?

6. What if antibiotics had never been discovered?

Contemplate a world where antibiotics were never discovered and bacterial infections remained untreatable with modern medicine. 

How would this affect healthcare systems, life expectancy, and the general course of human history? Would alternative treatments have taken the forefront?

7. What if the educational system was based solely on individual aptitude and interests from early childhood?

Envision a world where education is not standardized but tailored to each child’s abilities and interests right from the start. 

How would this affect professional landscapes, social mobility, and overall happiness and well-being?

8. What if humans were naturally nocturnal?

Consider what society would look like if humans were nocturnal creatures who were most active during the night

How would this affect daily routines, work environments, and even global infrastructure like transportation and energy consumption?

Would major global events have unfolded differently?

9. What if humanity had a communal memory?

Imagine a society where every individual can access the memories and experiences of others, either from their generation or previous ones. 

How would this shared consciousness influence personal identity, cultural evolution, and historical accuracy? Would secrets even exist, and how would society treat mistakes and personal growth?

10. What if all countries had an equal distribution of resources from the start?

Envision a world where every nation began with an equal distribution of natural resources, like oil, minerals, and fertile land. 

How would this balance affect global politics, economic development, and potential conflicts

Would nations have different motivations for forming alliances and trade agreements?

11. What if humans had a lifespan of 200 years?

Contemplate a reality where humans naturally lived for two centuries. 

How would this extended lifespan shape societal norms around career duration, family structures, and education? 

Would we approach relationships, ambitions, and life milestones differently?

12. What if all animals had the ability to communicate with humans?

Consider a world where animals could articulate their feelings, thoughts, and needs in a way understandable to humans. 

How would this transform our relationship with the animal kingdom, from domesticated pets to wildlife conservation efforts? 

Would industries like agriculture and entertainment be revolutionized?

13. What if the world operated on a barter system, with no concept of money?

Imagine a global economy without currencies, where goods and services are exchanged directly based on perceived value. 

How would this influence global trade, the concept of wealth, and socioeconomic structures? 

Would societies be more communal, or would a new form of hierarchy emerge?

14. What if plants had visible emotions and reactions?

Envision a scenario where plants visibly expressed joy, distress, or any range of emotions in response to their environment or human interactions. 

How would this alter our relationship with vegetation, from agriculture to deforestation efforts? 

Would urban planning and architecture integrate plants differently?

15. What if dreams were a shared experience and could be revisited at will?

Contemplate a reality where people could willingly enter a shared dream space and interact with others or revisit past dreams

How would this ability affect human connections, entertainment, or even therapy sessions

Could dreams become a new dimension of social networking?

16. What if everyone had an innate ability to see a person’s most dominant emotion?

Consider living in a society where it’s impossible to hide one’s primary emotion, as it’s always visibly displayed for others to see. 

How would this transparency affect personal interactions, politics, and business negotiations? 

Would people find ways to mask or control their emotions, or would society become more empathetic and understanding?

17. What if humans were born with a predetermined expiration date?

Imagine a world where everyone knows the exact date they will pass away, regardless of health or external factors. 

How would this knowledge shape life decisions, relationships, and personal philosophies

Would society’s approach to milestones, risk-taking, and long-term planning differ?

18. What if there were no concept of borders or nations?

Envision a unified global society without divisions based on nations or territories. 

How would this influence identity, culture, and global governance

Would resources and opportunities be more equitably distributed, or would new forms of divisions and hierarchies emerge?

19. What if humanity had evolved with four arms instead of two?

Contemplate a world where our physical evolution included an additional set of arms. 

How would architecture, machinery, and daily tasks be adapted to suit this anatomy

Would our cultural and social dynamics, including gestures and body language, differ greatly?

20. What if sleep was optional and had no impact on health or well-being?

Imagine a society that never needed rest. How would 24-hour activity transform cities, economies, and even leisure

What would become of dreams, bedtime rituals, or the concept of a ‘night’s rest’?

21. What if memories could be traded, sold, or gifted?

Consider a reality where personal experiences can be exchanged as commodities. 

Would memories become a form of currency

How would this impact personal identity, relationships, and the value placed on genuine experiences?

22. What if every lie spoken caused a physical mark on the individual?

Envision a world where deceit leaves a visible scar. 

How would personal relationships, politics, and business be affected by this undeniable accountability

Would society be more truthful, or would they find more covert ways to deceive?

23. What if humans could photosynthesize like plants?

Contemplate a life where food is optional because humans could gain energy from the sun

How would this affect agriculture, cuisine culture, and global food distribution? 

Would social gatherings centered around meals still hold cultural importance?

24. What if books became sentient once read?

Imagine a reality where every book, after being read, gains a consciousness and can interact with the reader

How would literature, libraries, and learning change? 

Would people be more selective in their readings, knowing they’d be forging a lifelong bond with each book?

25. What if emotions were audible?

Imagine a world where every time someone felt an emotion intensely, it emitted a distinct sound. 

Joy might sound like a melodious tune, while sadness could echo like a somber rainfall

How would this audibility reshape our public and private spheres, relationships, and self-awareness? 

Would places like theaters or funeral homes require soundproofing?

26. What if every human had a twin?

Envision a planet where everyone is born with an identical twin, sharing not just genetics but also a deep psychic connection. 

How would society’s view of individuality evolve? 

Would partnerships in business, art, or science become twin-exclusive endeavors, or would the bond lead to new forms of collaboration?

27. What if trees could move?

Contemplate a world where trees could relocate themselves, slowly wandering forests or even entering urban areas

How would city planning or agriculture adapt to this new dynamic? 

Would there be laws governing the movement of trees, or might we develop symbiotic relationships guiding their paths?

28. What if water had a memory?

Imagine if every droplet of water retained memories of where it’s been, from glaciers to rivers to inside living organisms

How would this transform our understanding and respect for water? 

Would ceremonies, industries, or technologies emerge to communicate or extract these memories?

29. What if we could see potential futures in our dreams?

Envision a reality where dreams weren’t just manifestations of our subconscious but glimpses into possible future events

How would this ability shape decision-making or global events? 

Could industries form around interpreting these predictive dreams, and how would society handle the uncertainty of which dreams might come true?

30. What if art was a basic human need like food and water?

Consider a world where creating or consuming art is as essential to human survival as eating or drinking. 

How would our daily routines, education systems, and economies be structured around art

Would artists be revered on the same level as other essential workers, and how would society ensure everyone had their daily “dose” of art?