Questions and Answers
Here are the most common questions we are asked about storyline questions and answers.
What do you do when you truly have more than one question?
Occasionally there are two questions, or even more. When that is truly the case – and you can't synthesise them into one single overarching question – go with it. Answer them and provide a summary answer rather than a synthesis to help the reader have true context.
A summarised answer might say something like this: “There were three issues we needed to resolve before we could proceed with Project x”
A synthesised answer might say something like this: “There are too many risks associated with Project X to proceed this month”.
Why just one answer at the top level?
Being able to articulate the answer, or governing idea, as one short sentence demonstrates that you are clear about the purpose of your communication. If you are clear, then your audience will also be clear.
As a result, we encourage all of our clients to articulate the single purpose – or question – that their communication will address. If you do this, then there will naturally be one answer.
Why just one overarching question?
Distilling the communication purpose into one short sentence is as challenging as it is valuable for both reader and writer: once you are able to articulate the question, it is much easier to answer it and much easier for your audience to follow your explanation.