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

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Start writing fiction: characters and stories

6.3.1 Ideas and techniques for working on your story

Figure 12

Once you’ve identified the idea you want to develop, you will find it helpful to make use of the ideas and techniques we have discussed so far:

  • Use your notebook to build ideas for your character.
  • Get to know about your character’s inner life: what they want, think, remember, resent, fear, dream, deny.
  • Get to know about your character’s behaviour, what they wear, buy, eat, say, work at and play at.
  • Get to know how your character speaks and how this changes according to context, mood and intention.
  • Consider all the influences that go into the making of your character: age, gender, race, nationality, marital status, religion, profession.
  • Build a profile or outline for your main character using some of the suggested headings.
  • Focus on your character’s contradictions and conflicts in order to create a complex person and also to generate plot.
  • Remember the main methods of character presentation: summary, appearance, habit, scene, self-portrait and combinations of these methods.
  • See and describe your character vividly, how they look, how they move, their possessions and surroundings.
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