What if and Why?

July 15, 2009

Current word count: 13,139

Words written today: 511

Words to goal: 26,861 / 344 words a day til end of September

The beginning of many good story idea starts with what if? What if a boy befriends a bear that loves honey? What if a girl falls down a rabbit hole? What if a 10-year-old boy discovers his parents were magical? (In honor of the release of the new movie.)

What if is a great way to brainstorm ideas for new stories as well as plot points for stories we’re already playing with.

I read a Writing Tips article today that offered another very important question: Why?

Every time one our characters makes a decision or an action, we should ask why? If we don’t have a good answer that’s motivated by the character, it won’t be real in the story and readers won’t buy it.

What other questions do you ask when writing?

Also, tonight I’m going to see the new Harry Potter movie (yep, I’m braving the crowds), but if you’re not, you might want to check out the children’s literature chat on Twitter. It’s starting at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT and you can find it with the hashtag #kidlitchat. Writer Gregory K.’s GottaBook blog has more.

Write On!


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