THE DRIVING QUESTIONS:
Alison McMahan is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker, and author. Her most recent film is Bare Hands and Wooden Limbs (2010) narrated by Sam Waterston. She is currently in post-production on the feature documentary The Eight Faces of Jane (2019). She is the author the of The Films of Tim Burton: Animating Live Action in Hollywood (Bloomsbury 2005); the award-winning book Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Bloomsbury 2002), translated into Spanish by Plots Ediciones, adapted as a play by La Recua Teatro in Toledo, Spain (2012) and adapted into the documentary, Be Natural, by Pamela Green (2018). Her fiction includes: a historical mystery novel, The Saffron Crocus (Black Opal Books, 2014), which won the Rosemary Award for Best YA Historical in 2014 and the Florida Writers Association's Royal Palm Literary Award in 2015. Her short mystery "The New Score" appeared in the Fish Out of Water Anthology (Wildside Press), and "The Drive By" in the Busted anthology (LevelBest Books), both April 2017, both nominated for Derringer Awards. “Kamikaze Iguanas” appears in the MWA anthology for middle grade readers entitled Scream and Scream Again, edited by R.L. Stine, (HarperCollins, 2018). "King Hanuman" is forthcoming from the SinCLA Anthology Fatally Haunted. She is represented by Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary.
This is the second article in a three-part series on how to use driving questions to generate suspense in fiction. You can find the first part of the series here. The series turns to Jack London's story "To Build a Fire" for examples of different kinds of driving questions.