What question am I trying to answer?

In today’s Guardian, the scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee writes about his love of writing and tells us the question he asks before he starts to write.

  • My single rule for writing about science is that you cannot know the answer if you don’t know the question.
  • Before I write anything, I ask myself ‘What is the question that I want to answer?
  • When I read a novel or encounter a poem or painting, I ask myself ‘What question is the painting or novel trying to answer?’

To read the full article:

Brainstorming Questions

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.