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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

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.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371