This is a compendium of various questions any competent FictionPress user should be asking himself while writing a story. Most are based off my other writing-related essays, and some are just random. Writing is all about asking questions and then answering them. While your story may have sprouted from the question, "What if I fell into my water bottle?" these questions are focused on the mechanics around your water bottle tale. So, in no particular order, here we go:
Have I named my character something I want to name my kid?
(Hint: the answer should be "no")
What does my character want?
Why does my character want that? What about that thing will push them through the whole story?
What could go wrong right this second?
What ELSE could go wrong?
How will my character react?
Why does my character hang out with the people he does?
What does the villain want?
How does the villain justify his villainous actions?
(Hint: no villain is villainous for the sake of being evil - we're not five anymore.)
Are the names of all my main characters significantly different from each other? (Different letters, different vowels, different number of syllables, etc.)
What role does my setting play?
How does my character react to his surroundings/the setting?
Would my character really do THAT? Why?
What ultimate crisis will the plot lead to?
What hasn't gone wrong?(Hint: maybe it should be going wrong.)
What is my character's greatest flaw?
(Hint: a C- in math does not count.)
What does my character view as his greatest flaw?
What is my character's greatest strength?
What does my character view as his greatest strength?
Have I used the word "orb" to describe an eye still in somebody's skull at any point in my writing?
(Hint: the answer, once again, should be no.)
Have I spent more than a paragraph describing anything that is not really, really, really, really, really important?
Are my characters speaking in trite, cliched phrases?
Are my characters spouting information like encyclopedias?
Does my first chapter end with a catalyst that MUST, for whatever reason, spur my character into action?
What is that reason?
Does every scene I write have a beginning, middle, and climax/end?
What "group" does my character belong to? (Jocks, businessmen, convicts, cheerleaders, stoners, etc.) How does my character differ from all the others in his "group"?
What is one threat that will make my character risk everything?
How does my character define "everything"?
What is going to make my story different from all the others in its genre? How?
What is going to be the bombshell that changes it all?
Have I started chapter one with my character waking up and looking in the mirror, getting ready for school, going to the first day of said school, introducing himself, philosophizing about the day "it all went wrong" (think Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" music video), or singing ALL the lyrics of his favorite song (which also happens to be your favorite song)?
Is my setting a fantasy world? If yes...(Hint: if not, disregard these next couple of questions.)
Is it pre- or post- industrialization?
What is the government like?
What virtues/traits (physical and mental) are valued? Why?
What's the money system?
What is the social hierarchy like?
Is it by sea or in the middle of a continent?
(If the latter, where do they get their water and how do they trade?)
Have I actually read the site rules and rating system?
Does my summary mention anything about being a bad summary?
(Hint: your answer should be no.)
Why should people read MY story instead of the one above it or below it on the list?
And, finally, the most important questions for writers throughout history:
Asking why is what turns your story from a generalization into a masterpiece. For more information on any specific question you are confused on, please PM me or stop by my profile to see if I've written any essays that might cover that topic. Hope this has helped you and given you renewed excitement for your current project!
P.S. If you're a little discouraged/confused on how to answer these questions, pick your favorite book and try answering the questions with that. It should help, and it should give you a new appreciation for your favorite author?Note: if your favorite book is Twilight... pick your second-favorite book. Twilight may be a cute story or whatnot, but it's not the most exemplary writing.