Monday, July 27, 2009

What's in a question?

Perhaps I am a little sensitive about questions because of my day job. When I was in college and learning to do the things I needed to know how to do to make a living in journalism, I had a professor who concentrated on questions. He stressed the importance of asking the open-ended question. You never want to give an interview subject the opportunity to give a yes or no answer.

A horrible example, but the only one that comes to my head.

Did you enjoy the camp?

Tell me about your favorite part of camp.

See the difference?

Anyway, I like Ally Carter's blog. She writes the Gallagher Girls series. The books are about an elite girls' school that secretly trains its students to be spies. I have read none of them, even though I kind of want to. If they weren't geared so much toward girls I probably would. Heaven knows I am not against reading a book for kids. But my stupid machismo gets in the way.

Still, I like Ally's blog and link to her from the right side. She had a post last year about questions that you shouldn't ask a writer and then follows those with the better way to rephrase your questions. I liked it. You might too. Read it here.

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