Three Critical Questions

I’ve solved all your writing problems for you… except that it is for plotting, characterization, scene and setting, clue dispersal, description and dialogue issues… There are other problems that occasionally crop up, but let’s ignore them for the nonce.

I’ve distilled it all down to three critical questions for you to ask and answer at the beginning of any fiction writing project. Please read on to achieve enlightenment.

  1. Whose story is it?

Answer: Who is the story about? There can be more than one person, though there is usually a central character.

There may be more than one story line. This may demand more than one central character, don’t you know. (Writing is such a chore sometimes.)

  1. Who’s telling the story?

Answer: Will one narrator tell the entire story or will various characters take up the tale at different points?

  1. What is at stake for whom?

Answer: This may be your motive.

Who stands to win something (wealth, status, power, etc.), and who stands to lose something.
How hard are they willing to fight to achieve their goals?

Ask and answer these three questions and you will have the skeleton of your story in your hand. Having done that, all you have to do is write the blasted thing.

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