The Most Important Question of Your Novel

With just 8 days to go before the great verbal land grab known as NaNoWriMo begins, are you prepared for it? Are you going to just “play” at writing a novel, or are you serious about getting down a novel-length story in 30 days – and have a good time doing it?

If you’re serious and you’re still having trouble solidifying an idea for a story, try this approach:

The one thing that pulls everything together in a successful novel is identifying one pressing question.

This one question, better known as the Main or Major Dramatic Question, is usually a straightforward yes or no question which is answered by the end of the story

As an example, the major/main dramatic question in Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls is whether Robert Jordan will escape his seeming fate by surviving his military mission.

Identifying the major or main dramatic question of your story is a great way to stay on track as you plot, characterize, understand the motivation of your characters and help you focus during the revision process.

So tell me, what’s the major dramatic question of your novel? Let us know…


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