Asking the right questions allows your subconscious to begin putting your characters through the motions before you ever start writing. It can also serve as a technique to find a new path when you're stuck.
Having an idea – hopefully, a good one – is where all great stories start. That idea may be shaped like a premise or a character or a setting or a thematic question or a mood or even a genre or subgenre. Whatever your starting point, next comes brainstorming, the spitballing of more ideas, some of which you’ll keep and some of which you’ll hastily move past. Brainstorming is an oft-neglected art that can make the development stage of your project more fun and productive. I’ll be talking about the different forms these questions can take and how you can put them to work for your process.
Asking the right questions allows your subconscious to begin putting your characters through the motions before you ever start writing. It can also serve as a technique to find a new path when you’re stuck. Whether you’re a natural outliner or a pantser through and through, answering questions can help you shape your idea into the story you want to tell.
Gwenda Bond is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the first official Stranger Things novel, Suspicious Minds. She also clearly escaped from a classic screwball romantic comedy. She lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, author Christopher Rowe, and a veritable zoo of adorable doggos and queenly cats. Visit her online at www.gwendabond.com or @gwenda on Twitter.