Posted in Tips for Young Writers

The Best Question A Writer Can Ask…

…and Keep Asking! It’s one little word, and yet it is vital. WHY?

Source: The Best Question A Writer Can Ask…


When you’re writing a story one of the most important things to craft well is your character’s motivation. In other words, why do your characters do the things they do.

Let’s say you’re writing a story about in which the least popular girl in school manages to snag the most popular boy in school (or any combination of girl/boy, boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy). Not only is this a story played out time and time again in books and on screens, I also wrote A LOT of these stories (guess my social status in high school). It will only work if the motivation of both these characters is believable. Why does the girl want him? Why is he willing to commit social suicide and hook up with her? Why, Why, Why?

Click on the link above and nick over to Shannon Donnelly’s article. She makes some great points about the importance of ‘why’.

In the last story you wrote, what was your character’s motivation? Was it believable? What would you change?


I'm a writer, reader, wife, mother and lover of chocolate. I write fiction for children and young people, as well as quality content for those who want to create meaningful engagement with their audience. You can see samples of my work at I also blog at, providing advice to young fiction writers.

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