When you’re writing a story, there’s obviously some things you need to know. Here’s a list of important questions to ask yourself as you write, divided into several sections: What, Who, When/Where, Why, and How.
The first question you should ask is What is my story? I recommend keeping this answer as short as possible–one sentence is all you should need.
Other What Questions:
-What is the protagonist’s goal?
-What is the antagonist’s goal?
-What is the purpose/moral of the story?
-What are the ultimate consequences?
You’ve heard it once, or maybe a million times: Character is key. Make sure you know all of your characters better than the back of your hand.
-Who is the story about?
-Who affects the main character?
-Who is trying to stop the protagonist?
-Who is trying to stop the antagonist?
-Who are allies?
-Who are enemies?
When doesn’t seem as important to plot, but the reality is, it changes everything. Make sure you know your whens just as well as you know everything else. I’ve combined this section with where as well.
-When does the story take place?
-Where does the story take place?
-Where is the character at in their life?
-When is the deadline?
-When is there a change?
-Where is there a change?
Why is the motivation behind each and every character. It is essential in a sorry worth reading. If your character has no motivation, then the story is shallow and unimportant. Take some risks!
-Why is the antagonist 'evil’?
-Why is my protagonist against him?
-Why does anyone keep fighting?
-Why do they care?
How is the story itself. It’s the characters’ journey throughout, and without the how, you have nothing.
-How does the character get out of this situation?
-How did they get into this situation?
-How do they get from this point to this point?
-How do they change throughout the story?
There are many, many more questions you should ask yourself–these are merely the bare essentials. Asking questions is important in making a plot, so question everything!
This isnt directly related to Elsewhere U, but imagine a story of a Liminal Space denny’s - where both the Gentry and mortals can go to dine
A dennys on the side of a highway - you can never quite remember which one, but you always find your way to it on the nights when you want to - that’s only open in the evening and night hours, where humans aren’t the only ones who come to dine
A place that, If you try to go during the day, and somehow manage to find your way to it, it’s broken down and abandoned.
A place where you cant see the cooks, and the server’s back is hollow
A place where, If you’re unlucky enough to stay til dawn, you may find that you disappear in the sunlight
A denny’s that bridges the worlds, and serves any hungry soul that comes asking, though whether your soul is being served or fed is up for debate
Crucially, the Denny’s is the only fast food joint inside the rough triangle formed by the two highways and the train tracks that contain Elsewhere U and a good part of the countryside around it. When the sun rises it takes everything in it to…wherever it goes. (Somewhere shimmery, say the people who tried to look through the windows from the parking lot. The ones who were inside never say anything else at all). The change in your pockets turns to wet leaves when the sun rises. But the food is safe, or at least as much as it ever is. And the coffee is very, very strong.