5 Questions You Can Ask Yourself About Stories

A little more from Glimmer Train this month—from the bulletin they just
e-mailed to their writers. Go read the full bulletin here.

From Ingrid
Hill:  The Devil’s Trampoline

sweet grandmother used to murmur consolingly, when I crabbed about the
misery of sitting with hot rollers burning my scalp, “Honey, you have
to suffer to be beautiful.” Not till I was grown did I realize
the deeper meaning: not till you have been cast into tribulation’s
depths, suffered in your core, can beauty shine out of your eyes or
your art.

From Charles
Baxter:  Five Questions
(Baxter pictured above):

are about five questions you can ask yourself about stories, and
they’re not foolproof, but they’re useful. One is, what do these
characters want? Second is, what are they afraid of? Third is, what’s
at stake in this story? Fourth is, what are the consequences of these
scenes or these actions? And the last one is, how does the language of
this story reflect the world of the story itself?

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