“Because I said so.”
I never thought I’d be the parent to speak those words. But it turns out, I was wrong. At least fifty times a day, I’m asked why. And most of the time, I manage to answer patiently. But sometimes I honestly don’t know what else to say. All I know is the question makes me grind my teeth at the end of a long day. I even swear the word why haunts me even when I’m alone, especially when I’m trying to sleep, and trying to write.
But asking this question also helps improve my writing. These are some frequent ones that pop into my head:
Why does this matter?
Why does she love him?
Why does she react this way?
Why does this motivate her?
Why is she afraid of this?
Asking these questions, and others like them, are a great way to dive deeper, to make sure I understand my characters on every level. My readers might not know the whys of everything I write, but I want to make sure I do.
What are some other great why questions that help you as a writer?