Slug: creating-the-backstory Date: 2001-10-14 Title: Creating the backstory layout: post

(I'm ready to change my whole label system, so a lot of stuff these days is going into "Personal Ramblings because I don't have categories anymore for what I want to say. I think I'm going to simplify my categories, and use keywords to group similar postings.)<p>

I emailed David McCusker the other day, and I liked what I wrote, so I'm going to simplify and paraphrase it here. I sometimes ask what I think of as "discussion questions", open-ended questions that are related to ideas I've had that I want to explore collaboratively with someone else (sometimes just myself in a written dialogue). I mailed David a while back with one of these, but I recently realized a flaw in the development of my question. I ofen ask questions that are too vague - too open-ended. Their broadness leads in no particular direction. or, they are more declarative than inquisitive, and again no direction is indicated. This makes poor fodder for conversation. <p>

So I have begun to think of a thought or discussion as a novelist might think of his plotline - there often needs to be a well-developed backstory to the plot, so that when the story is written it has depth, the feeling that with more exploration, something deeper may come to light. This is exactly the kind of feeling I want a discussion question to invoke. Must think on this some more.</p></p>