As we start to get near the end of this week, I am reminded of nearing the end of a story.
One of the things you must do as an author is tie up all the loose ends. If you have written your story well, you will have posed a lot of questions to the reader.
Unfortunately, as the writer, you are extremely close to your tale, and some things can slip through the cracks. Unanswered questions is one of the most common.
The go-to method for resolving this issue is to have a team of beta readers that go through your book and report back to you any questions that weren’t answered. This is by far the best method, as fresh eyes are always going to spot things you miss.
Is there a way, though, to do this all yourself? Or at least help your beta readers out some while you wait for their feedback?
Of course there is!
Let’s have a look at the prompt.
Read through each chapter of your book. Write down the questions those chapters ask. Mark off any questions that have answers.
Seems simple enough, right?
As you read your story you will start to pick out the questions that chapter asks. You can also mark it down as a question if you believe the reader will come up with it on their own.
As you progress through your story, cross off any questions you answer. What you are left with, then, is a list of questions that have no answer.
It is possible you missed the answer, and if you are certain it is in there, cross it off. However, if you can’t find the answer, you need to add it.
Missing answers ins’t the end of the world. You must catch them before publication, though. Otherwise, you end up with some angry readers.
Take your time here. It is a valuable tool and combined with the beat reader results, you have everything you need.