The Question Flashlight

Use questions to build your stories. Sit back, put the keyboard aside, or the pen down, and let your mind wander. What things do you want to know? Allow yourself to think up questions.

List these questions in your notebook and then put it away and go make yourself a cup of tea (you know by this that I am a Londoner). Later, return to your notebook. What are the answers? Fill the book with your answers and watch your story grow.


Have some fun with your brainstorming. Start by thinking up some absurd situations and then look at ways at making these rational.

As you brainstorm, list scenes and moments. Dig into your characters’ lives. Plot the story as you go along and if you need a major plot point, but haven’t come up with the idea, then just write “Something happens here” on a card and slip it into the mix.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Wrath, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, avarice, and lust.

These unconscious forces achieve more power when they are repressed or denied. Unacknowledged, they can drive us to do and say things against our will. Suppressed, they have more potential to get us into trouble.

Use these in your writing to add complexity to your character.