Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Allie Pleiter on Discussion Questions

Questions about Discussion Questions?

These days, it seems you can’t open the back of a book without finding discussion questions.  It’s no doubt book groups are a big trend, and us authors are often asked to create discussion questions along with our manuscripts. I had to whip up a batch just today (gosh, they sound like brownies when I put it like that, don’t they??)

I have mixed feelings about these questions.  I have been in great conversations launched by discussion questions.  I have been in arguments...ahem...heated discussions sparked by discussion questions.  I have books where I never even glance at them.  

Now, some of this variation may stem from the fact that it takes very little to get me started talking about books.  I discuss books by nature; I don’t need a nudging list of inquiries.  Just this morning a friend and I had a long conversation about books that touched us.  But I spend a lot of time thinking about books.  Probably more than your average person.  Maybe not.

What about you?  Do you utilize discussion questions?  What do you think of such “added features”--especially in fiction works?

Oh, now, look at me--I just asked a “discussion question,” didn’t I?


  1. I've always thought we should include a day here on the Craftie site where we take one of the LI books and do the discussion questions with the author.

    But, it's a lot of work LOL

  2. I have a hard time making the questions fresh but I try to remember the main theme of the book and go from there. My worst fear is that one of my books will be read by a Book Club and someone will say "This was a book about nothing." Like Seinfeld!!!

    Good question, Allie!!

  3. I have to admit that I never looked at the reader questions in any Love Inspired books until I started writing for LI and had to come up with questions for my books.

  4. I often have wondered if the discussion questions at the back of books get utilized. The only book club I've ever been in was a mother daughter one. We had a great time discussing The Princess Academy even without discussion questions. Though now that I think about it, the woman leading the club may have had questions prepared to spark the discussion. Which I guess is the purpose of the questions at the back of the book. LOL

  5. I actually rarely look at the discussion questions. Maybe to see what may happen in the book but not very often.
    But then I am not in many book clubs only a few online and lately haven't read the books for them either. (So behind in reading its not funny.)
    Its a worry when you see you are 50% through a book go to the back to see how much filler is there only to find its less than 5% so I still have 45% of the book to go. I like the book but I want it finished. (been on it 5 weeks now)