To me, engineering is about asking the right questions to get the answers you're looking for. Since The Mortal Instruments Series is my favorite book series, I used some quotes to demonstrate:
“Is standing by the window muttering about blood something he does all the time?"asked Simon.
"No," Jace said. "Sometimes he sits on the couch and does it.”
“You said you were going for a walk!? What kind of walk takes six hours?"
"A long one?”
“We came to see Jace. Is he alright?"
"I don't know," Magnus said. "Does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?”
And you must be sure to express what you really mean:
“Jesus!" Luke exclaimed.
"Actually, it's just me," said Simon. "Although I've been told the resemblance is startling.”
“I don't want to be a man," said Jace. "I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can't confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead."
"Well," said Luke, "you're doing a fantastic job.”
“You guessed? You must have been pretty sure, considering you could have killed me."
"I was ninety percent sure."
"I see," Clary said. There must have been something in her voice, because he turned to look at her. Her hand cracked across his face, a slap that rocked him back on his heels. He put his hands on his cheek, more in surprise than pain.
"What the hell was that for?"
"The other ten percent.”
Alec looked down at the shattered pieces in disbelief. “You BROKE my PHONE.”
Jace shrugged. “Friends don’t let friends keep calling their exes and hanging up.Seriously.You have to stop.”
Alec looked furious. “So you broke my brand new phone? Thanks a lot.”
Jace smiled serenely and lay back on the grass. “You’re welcome.”