PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

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A SCENE QUESTION is a story question on a smaller scale. Introduced at or near the beginning of a scene (or even at the end of the previous scene), the scene question is a yes/no question that will drive the tension in the scene and keep readers turning pages so they can find out the answer.

With an awesome opening sentence, Marks not only introduces the inciting incident, but creates a storm of wondering questions for the reader,

Today, let’s look at a middle grade novel–one very different in style and tone–to see how well framed questions can guide the reader through the first chapter.

One way to be sure your first chapter will have the effect you want is to focus on what questions will arise in the readers’ minds as they read, and then revise to control those questions to serve your purpose.

If you only give your readers one conflict after another without tension in between, you are in danger of exhausting, and maybe even boring them, to the point that they lose interest. Tension turns the page.