If you think your book would be something a class or book club would enjoy discussing, consider adding a section with open-ended questions in the back matter. This part might be called Discussion Questions or Book Club Guide or any number of imaginative monikers.
The questions might talk about the theme, historical significance, character development or symbology. Don’t be hesitant to pose questions about controversial themes. The idea is to provoke further thought and meaningful conversation.
Make sure the questions you include can be answered either through something the reader can find in the text or with a bit of research. Other questions can be expressed opinions.
Try to include a good mix of the following:
- How would you explain….?
- What is the importance of ….?
- What is the meaning of …?
- Contrast …
- What is the difference between…?
- What is the similarity between…?
- What are the causes of …?
- What are the results of …?
- What connection is there between…?
You can divide the questions by chapter however try to keep them in the same order as the topics appear in the text. You can choose to number the questions if you like.
Designing discussion questions is a great way to put yourself into your reader’s shoes. Is there something that should be explained more or is unclear in your book? Now’s the time to go back and edit it.
Assignment: Even if you don’t plan on including this section, take the time to create at least 20 questions that would be useful in leading a thought-provoking discussion about your book. Are there things you need to change?