Writing Inspiration: Ask key questions

Even if you have the seed of a story idea, imagining how it might grow into something greater can be daunting. Asking yourself some key questions about the story idea, however, can help you develop it. For example, if writing fiction, you might ask: What is the story’s main conflict or what upsets the order of the world? Who is the main character that must solve this conflict or re-establish order? What internal conflict does the main character possess that prevents her from going forward to resolve this conflict? What compels her to overcome this inner conflict and re-establish order?

The above questions work well for fiction, but what if writing nonfiction? Some key questions you might instead ask include: What is the one piece of information that I want readers to get from my book? What are some subpoints to that one idea? What are some different ways that this information can be explained to readers? Why do my readers need to know this information?


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.