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

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4.3.1 Hunches that matter

Figure 9

The starting points for stories can come from many different directions. As an ongoing exercise in your journal, keep a note of any lines or images that present themselves to you in this way.

Also, note down a ‘menu’ of what you consider to be your overall ‘concerns’. This exercise aims to help you build up a self-portrait of who you are as a writer, and to help you to become clearer about the kinds of things that matter to you, that are likely to be your overall subject matter or material when you write. Remember, your list will (and should) be highly personal.

For example, it might include:

  • my children’s safety
  • passion for travel
  • hatred of liars
  • fascination for the movies
  • fear of ageing
  • interest in local politics
  • love of animals.

Over time, your list should extend to include much more detailed descriptions of your concerns.