Questions: Part of the Writer’s Make-Up

Hi all,

Hope all is well with all of you. I’m trying to stay consistent but no promises for now. Life has this loverly way of getting in the way while I make plans. Ever happen to any of you?

The other day I caught up with a post about asking questions from my good friend and author, Stacey Wilk. This article in particular sparked one of my longer-winded comment responses, which I figured would work nicely as a post of my own. Doing so also gave me an opportunity to point those of you interested to check out her li’l corner of the WWW.  She always brings up highly relatable topics of interest, and does better than I keeping her thoughts short and to the point. 🙂

Stacey talked about people misinterpreting the intent behind many of the questions she poses in the many settings she frequents. (Reading her post will give you a bit more background. She definitely got me thinking.)

MHO: asking questions is this writer’s nature. I want to have a first-hand account of information whenever possible, as I believe it lends authenticity to the situation in any story. And yes, people have looked at me strangely, ESPECIALLY when I was so focused on my question I didn’t think ahead to how the recipient might perceive the inquiry…

Case in point: I wanted to know about survivor benefits in the event a police officer is killed in the line of duty. AFTER I introduced myself to our school’s DARE officer as a writer, I went right for it. Don’t remember her answer, just the look on her face.

Another time, I queried a Yahoo! group about a fairly serious pediatric condition relative to one of my novel’s storylines. Not only did I get responses based from medical personnel who did this for a living, someone connected me to his daughter, who’s infant son had lived through this condition. (I’m an east coast girl; she hangs her hat at the Pacific end of the continent.) I spent a good 90 minutes on the phone with her, and took tons of notes. She even offered a photo  of her son from the recovery room, hooked up to tubes galore. Let me tell you, I believe there is authenticity in the related fictional write-up.

I have no plans to stop asking questions or looking up information. Person on the receiving end is free to NOT reply, and I typically preface my inquiry saying so. Nor do I know where my query will lead. I’m a firm believer in “the only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked.”

Anyway, thanks again, Stacey, for inspiring me in more ways than one. And as always, my gratitude to all of you who so kindly scare precious time to stop in, read, comment and/or share.  Words cannot express how appreciative I am.

Take care and have a great day and week,


4 thoughts on “Questions: Part of the Writer’s Make-Up

  1. You’re so right about a writer asking questions. How do we come up with well rounded characters if we don’t know everything about them? And I believe you “write what you know” after you’ve learned about it. Like you, I will always ask questions. I can’t help myself! I was at Yankee stadium last season and sitting behind a young man whose pants were hanging a little too low and his Fruit of the Looms were hanging out. I was about to tap him on the shoulder and ask, “why do you wear your pants like that?” I really just wanted to know why and if young women today actually find that attractive. My husband grabbed my hand and said, “Don’t.” He knows me so well. I didn’t ask the man, but I did find out why men wear their pants like that. I feel better now.


    1. Yep, my hubby might get a bit funky when I’m asking too many questions to strangers, lol. Being a people person though, I’ll stop and talk to anyone: the next person in line, etc. As I said, one never knows where a conversation will lead, and what this writer-girl could do with said information, lol. Thnx again, Stacey!


  2. This is still difficult for me. I had to confirm something with a pharmacist for my last novel, and I felt bad emailing him, as if I was wasting his time. He was very gracious to help me, and I’m sure, in retrospect, he probably didn’t mind at all. Still hard to do though. But you’re right, the only stupid question is the one not asked.


    1. I’ve found people to be quite open to asking questions about themselves or their work. Then there are those who offer to chat or do email and never respond. Guess it takes all kinds. Thnx, Carrie!


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