Thursday, April 19, 2012


"Question the answers" is one of my favorite phrases. As a scholar you are supposed to question what the world is saying and propose differing views culminating in a dissertation. Bottom line is you have to look at the premise of whatever you are researching.

Why did that writer write what they wrote? 

What was the underlying premise for that opinion to be formulated?

These are the questions that not only scholars, but all writers should incorporate. Even in fiction why is your character doing what they are doing, saying what they are saying, or, in general, described the way they are? This is fundamental to good writing, digging up why the character is doing what they are doing and are in the situation they are in.

In Theatre, we call this motivation.

You will hear it bandied about by acting teachers, what is your motivation? Why is your character saying what they are saying? Why are they doing what they are doing? These are fundamental questions to build characters and every writer should know this as they build both rich characters and interesting settings. And, an intriguing plot, as a bonus.

Asking these questions should be like breathing.

If this questioning doesn't permeate into the rest of our life we are probably not going deep enough with our thinking and this may spill into our writing. Remember, practice makes perfect. No, perfect practice makes perfect, which is a perfect example of not looking deeper at the premise.

Everything is up to debate, really. As writers we have a particular obligation to ask these questions as we are expanding the boundaries of our imagination by doing so. We must uncover the mask of ourselves, our characters, and our lives--only by asking the questions are the masks revealed.


  1. Great post! Motivation is really what it's all about for our characters. They need to want something or want something to happen if there's to be a story at all! :)

    1. So glad you stopped by and thank you! :)


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Emily's books

Mutant Message Down Under
5 of 5 stars
Sometimes things aren't what they seem and can be amazing
The Alchemist
5 of 5 stars
A journey that helps to enlighten one and takes the rest of us along for the ride
Anahita's woven riddle
5 of 5 stars
This is classified young adult but is one of the most fantastic stories and shows what life was like before the Shaw was overthrown in Iran.
Think and Grow Rich
5 of 5 stars
must read for those who enjoy prosperity