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Start writing fiction: characters and stories
Start writing fiction: characters and stories

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2.3 The blank page

Figure 9

A blank page can seem daunting. You can prepare by taking time to research and review your notebook. Then start writing – but remember, sometimes the best inspiration comes after the first few pages.

Your ‘preparation time’ might be:

  • Gathering information or research: check that you know enough about a character or place or period before you begin to describe them or it.
  • Visualisation: perhaps your story stems from a single image? Focus on that; turn it over in your mind. You might not know where it came from or why, or even what it means. Composing a story around this image might be your way of ‘unpacking’ it, and discovering its significance through writing about it.
  • Regarding length: have in mind an approximate idea of the length you imagine your story will run to, before you write it.
  • Considering shape: will there be much dialogue or description? Will the story be divided up in any way, perhaps into sections or scenes?