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

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3.3.1 Generate and share something new

Figure 8

Beginning a new project should be made easier if you have been using your writer’s notebook frequently and wisely.

In this section you will generate a new story and share it with others.

Activity 3.2: Generating a new story

Part 1

Look through your notebook to see whether there are any ideas there you might be ready to use for a story. If there are, remind yourself of the things we have already said about getting started. Try to start something new – different from the character sketch and the story prompted by the radio.

If you don’t have an idea in your journal you want to develop, try looking at newspaper headlines to see if something sparks off an idea. If you still don’t have something that grabs you, try the Prompt cloud PDF [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Remember that stories are about characters, so once you have an idea for a story make sure you have a strong impression of the characters that will be at the centre of the story.

There is no specific target to meet here. Just start writing and see where it takes you. It might become a story that you want to develop further, and you might carry on working on it. It might be something where you write the first paragraph or two and then decide you don’t want to proceed further, and you’d rather try another idea. That’s up to you. Try to write at least 200 words, up to a maximum of 350 words.

Something you work on now could become the basis for a longer story later in the course.

Part 2

Share the start of the story that you wrote in Part 1 with others. It may not be as polished as you would like but getting feedback on your work helps you to improve your writing. Other people will read your work and offer helpful comments.

Remember: if your writing contains graphic material, you should warn people about this.

Guidelines for your posting

You should consider the following aspects when writing, and ask reviewers to read with these points in mind too:

  • How was the central character portrayed and was this portrayal clear and interesting?
  • What made you think this piece was a story and did you want to read on?
  • What were the most, and least, successful aspects of the writing?

In the next section, you will be invited to exchange feedback with other writers.