On Holiday and Question Sets

If you’re reading this, I’m currently on holiday (read, at another bluegrass festival, being mobbed by banjo players). In lieu of my usual post, I’ve decided to present to you an excellent chapter plotting technique. Okay, so I’ll admit that I learned this during Literary Theory class–it’s actually an excellent paper writing prep. Nevertheless, here’s introducing the wonderful entity called the Question Set.

Basically, pick a topic (i.e., you chapter “topic”) and force yourself to write a paragraph (100+ words) in question format. You’d be surprised at what ideas may come to you–and the cool part is, your ideas are open ended. You don’t answer the question, only pose them.

Observe:

What kind of injuries does Collette get in her auto accident? Are any life threatening? When will she be able to continue work on the case? In what capacity will she be able to work? If she is stuck in the hospital for awhile, how will I have her work on the case? Can a witness or evidence expert come to her? Will she be doing any deep thinking? Will she remember something important? What is Clacher doing while Collette is in the hospital? Has he followed up on the current main suspect? Will he stumble across anything else? Should the information he stumbles across be obviously connected or should the connection become apparent later? Do I have enough main suspects in my novel this far? Should I go back and insert one in chapter seven? Does Collette see a suspicious individual before Clacher stumbles across information implicating him? Will Collette stay in the hospital as long as she is supposed to?

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