Friday, April 19, 2013

Q - Questions

Questions abound. No matter what topic I decide to write about, whether here on my blog, in one of my novels, or in a puppet script, I always have to answer questions. Most of the time, the answers to the questions are what make up the story. For example, in a novel, the questions may be "What happened to the Admiral after the war and why did everyone believe he was dead?" The answers to those questions will move the narrative in a specific direction and have impact on other characters and the answers to their own questions.

Oftentimes, the questions themselves can be the story. Many good stories don't give you all the answers and allow the reader to furnish those answers for themselves. This makes the story more personal as each reader may answer it in a different way. "Did this character survive at the end?" "Why did that character betray his comrades?" "Is the story really over or will there be a sequel?"

Sometimes when I write, even I don't know the answers to all of the questions. Often, the story will simply tell itself and I feel like I'm just taking dictation. If the story doesn't tell me the answer, I can't tell the reader. While this can be very frustrating at times as a writer, I've found in rereading that it can make the story much more interesting.

It is always good to ask questions about everything you read, hear, or see. But don't always expect to get an answer right away, if at all. Sometimes you just have to answer it yourself, or leave it ambiguous. What is best left ambiguous you ask?