Characters / Writing

What is a story question?

A story question. It sounds so abstract.

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve got a pit of anxiety opening in your stomach. I like facts, figures, research, so the idea of searching the wide universe for a particular philosophical, or God forbid political, question had me frozen. But what I’ve learned came straight from Jeff Gerke, summarized and ready to go.

Will the hero get what he’s hoping for?

The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke

Damn, that’s simpler than I thought. When I boiled all the research down, I wasn’t looking at themes like forgiveness, tolerance, or freedom. I was looking for hope, because every story, in all of existence, is about Hope.

If you find yourself stuck, then ask what does the character hope for? What are their dreams?

Ask it in the beginning before you ever start the draft. Ask it in the middle of that scene that’s been giving you issues. Ask it over and over and keep track of each time you answer it.

Watch it change as you progress, because if it doesn’t change, you’ve done something wrong.

People grow, so your characters should, too. Just remember to keep checking back in with them to ask what it is they’re hoping will happen at the end of the scene, hell, at the end of their story!

This is the simplest method I’ve come up with to date, because all you have to do is ask and as long as it changes, you’ll have created a multi-faceted character with multiple Transformations.

Keep Writing, Lovelies


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