Life flummoxes me at times. Okay, most of the time. It leaves me with more questions than answers and yet, it’s one of the things about life I find most fascinating. I’ve always been fascinated by questions, in fact, it’s what drove me into education and a love of learning. Most of my students always think teaching and teachers are about answers, and I’ve met my share who are but not most. The truth is a lifelong learner is one who will never stop asking questions, never stop being curious, never be satisfied with “the answers” as given.
As a writer, this is particularly beneficial. The entire process of building a story is one of asking questions. My character is a cop but is he a street cop or a detective? Or is he with a federal branch? Does my character make his bed by mining his corners or slap the covers up over the pillows and call it good?
Will I tell the story in first person or third? Which character needs to tell the story? Where is it taking place? Will the setting be a production as in science fiction world building? What genre is this story?
The questions don’t end with the first draft. In fact, they multiply. Are my chapters well-developed? Are my scenes effective in propelling the story forward? Is there a strong character arc for my MC? Are any surprises or twists earned? Does the ending satisfy or frustrate the reader?
The polished draft is ready for submission? Who do I submit to? How many at one time? Simultaneous submissions okay? Do I pursue traditional or self-publish, and at what point do I make that decision? Do I need an agent? If so, where do I find one? Which one will be best for me? For my novel? What about best for my career overall?
Questions. I have them. I’m surrounded by them. Finding the answers is always both the fun and the burden of the art. I cherish every minute of it.
How about you? What questions are your favorite in the process of creating? What questions do you dread finding an answer to?