What is a MDQ?

Question book
Question book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know what a MDQ is?

Well, i didn’t know until today. i was reading about creating moments in a story on LiveWriteThrive and saw that she mentioned MDQ. What is that?

i clicked on it and read this.

MDQ – Major Dramatic Query (Question).

Now it is clear and it has made me re-think the opening scene of my WIP (Work-In-Progress). So i have decided that for the next few weeks i will try to work on that.

i like how she explains the difference between the “visible” goal (or plot goal) MDQ and the spiritual one.

The MDQ or major dramatic query is a yes-or-no question you ask at the start of the book. Very simply, it’s a question that MUST be addressed in the first scene, as it sets the stage for the entire novel. It is also called (by Michael Hague) the “visible goal” or plot goal …

…But . . . it’s not the heart…

…When I say “spiritual” question, I am not talking about faith or faith-based stories. Every good story has one. A question that involves the character’s spirit—her heart—is what we’re concerned with…

…Now, what it crucial to realize is that BOTH questions get answered AT THE SAME TIME AND IN THE SAME SCENE at the end of the book! This is amazing, and when done well, makes your book a winner. Dorothy gets home (plot MDQ) but at the same time she realizes she’s always been home; that here, with Aunty Em, is where her heart truly lives (spiritual MDQ)…

That is quite a lot to think about.

So i’m off to think and, hopefully, write 😉 Maybe i’ll have a new opening scene to share soon?


2 Replies to “What is a MDQ?”

  1. I hadn’t heard of MDQ either. But I like that. It’s true when you stop to think about it–all the good books start with an underlying question that the story answers by time its done. We usually just don’t think about it–hurrying through our reading to be entertained.


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