October 27, 2010

What's Your Question?


Every novel, picture book, easy reader, or short story has a question waiting to be answered.

Will she survive to the end?
Will he win her heart?
Will she realize her beauty within?
Will he overcome the villian?
Will she buy that doggy in the window?

I've been editing lately and reminding myself to keep focused on the main question. While there may be many questions throughout the story, there must be one overriding big one to keep the reader reading.  And the more creative the answer is, the more satisfying the read.

So, what's your question (if you feel free to share)?


  1. Big Question: When will we be able to leave on our adventure?

    Small ones: Is the house going to sell before Christmas? Will we be able to all fit in an RV? Am I crazy????!

  2. Will Scott make it home from The Naughty Boy Factory without being turned into a boring, well-mannered mama's boy? :-)

  3. Jema and Shannon, your questions are so good!

  4. Well, surviving until the end isn't really an issue if it's in first person.. I usually just assume. ;) Although, Bree Tanner was first person, and she just closed her eyes at the end when she died, so there goes that. nevermind. hahaha.

    I guess when I'm reading, I find myself asking, "When is this going to get exciting?" "Why should I believe any of this?" and "Is this going to leave me hanging at the end (please no)?

  5. My question is really a two part thing:
    Is she going to tell them? When is he going to mess up and she'll find out?

  6. Hmm... how about: will she choose her own way, or keep serving others?

    That's a great tip. Thanks, Catherine!

  7. I'm loving all these questions. Makes me salivate for a book to answer them!

  8. Catherine, I have a photo I would like to send you. Do you have an email address? jema@artbyjema.com

  9. Very true! My current WIP's question is, Will she ever meet her father? Great post!


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