5 Great Questions Writers Ask Themselves
Are you like me? When I write, I only hear myself say: “I need to finish writing this.”
When I feel pressure to complete my story, it’s hard to stop, step back, and ask the right questions. Writers ask themselves questions not out of insecurity but to focus and find a solution.
My writing moved forward and I wrote faster when I asked these five questions. That’s because these questions led to solutions, motive, and inspiration for my writing.
If you’re stuck, pose these five questions writers ask themselves before, during, and after writing the story:
Question 1: Where Am I Going With This?
- Do I know what’s going to happen several scenes ahead? To the end of the plot?
- Do I know the character progression from scene to scene?
- Do I know what I need to accomplish in every scene for the plot & character development?
- How do I plan to solve plot flaws?
Question 2: How Can My Characters Struggle More?
- What are my characters’ biggest fears?
- What situations make my characters most vulnerable or uncomfortable?
- How can these situations play out?
Question 3: Why Must I Tell This Story?
- What is my purpose in telling this story?
- What do I want to accomplish in telling this story?
- How will telling this story further my writing goals?
- How will telling this story affect my audience?
Question 4: Who Is My Audience?
- Do I think of my audience as I write?
- Would my audience enjoy this story?
- What are the best ways to reach my audience?
- Am I meeting the expectations of my audience?
Question 5: Why Do I Want to Be A Writer?
- Why am I compelled to write?
- Am I fulfilled as a writer?
- What can I do today to further myself as a writer?
These questions make for great journal entries, especially if you’ve hit writer’s block in your story. Write down or record yourself answering these questions. Writers should ask these questions periodically throughout the writing process to stay in check with both the writing and the inner writer.
Did I leave any off the list? What great questions do you think writers should ask themselves? List them below.
I find it fascinating how each writer has his own strengths and weaknesses. Some of the concerns implied by your questions are a non-issue for me, while others are a struggle (particularly structuring a plot in a longer piece… my first full-length manuscript had a 25-page flashback followed by a long scene that was nearly a copy of the flashback. That’s what you may consider a rather poorly rendered twist/reveal).
Nowadays, if I can’t construct an air-tight, logical plot, I try to make it so fast paced and entertaining that you don’t notice none of it makes sense.
I find that some of these questions are easy to answer at one point in my writing, then difficult at another stage. It shows how our writing evolves over time as well as how important it is to stay focused on the quality of writing we produce.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!