I don’t care if you use these before you start to write, or if you’re like me, and you puke out a first draft before you know what your book is about, but here are a few BIG PICTURE QUESTIONS to help your WIP. Or a project you’re just beginning. Or something you’ve been thinking about writing for a while. Or if you’ve been trying to sell your novel, and an agent or publisher hasn’t picked it up…

  1. What are books that are similar (ish) to mine, and what made them great?
  2. Does my book have some/any of those traits? Or my version of those traits?
  3. What are the traits of characters I’ve read and loved, and which of those traits do I want my MC to have?
  4. What do I love about my character? What do I not love so much?
  5. How do I want readers to feel at the end of my book?
  6. Am I being too nice to my characters?
  7. Am I being too mean?
  8. Is there a “theme” or a level of understanding, or a concept that I’d love for readers to pull from my book?
  9. Now that I have a rough draft AND/OR a loose outline, does my novel start in the right place?
  10. Does it really?
  11. Am I playing on my MC’s worst fears?
  12. Have I taken a trope or an idea or a situation and made it TOO familiar?
  13. Am I using stereotypes (too much)?
  14. Would my MC choose something different at the end of the novel than at the beginning? HOW DID THE EVENTS OF THE BOOK CHANGE THEM?
  15. Does my general idea have good flow? (I actually find Snyder’s Beat Sheet not as helpful as snowflake method. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. (BEAT SHEET and SNOWFLAKE – if you’re curious)
  16. Can I summarize my book in one simple sentence? (if you’re having a hard time, try a favorite book or movie, and then go back to your project. If you still can’t… might need to tighten that idea)

Wanna add something? PLEASE PLEASE DO!!

And now for one of my fav-ever writing quotes:


Now. Go forth and WRITE!

~ Jo

2 thoughts on “Questions: THE BIG PICTURE

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