I am preparing a new course and at the heart of it, as so often, will be the subject of characters.

Creating strong characters – not necessarily strong people but well defined characters – is crucial because you can create the finest landscapes, the greatest stories, the most remarkable writing but you can not make your stories live unless you have characters. They are the vehicle that allow you to tell your story.

A key consideration  is that every character you create should have a job to do - you are employing them to work for you.

Very often that job revolves around supporting the main character– eg the confidante for the main character, the foil whose actions allow the main character to reveal something of themselves, the antagonist who opposes the main character, the bit-part player who is there to drive the car etc.

The reason is that all characters have jobs to do within a story, making things happen, imparting information, allowing other characters to react to them etc.

Understanding that makes the process of writing so much easier.

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