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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Unimportant? Moi?

Following on from my previous blogs on creating characters, a word about minor characters and the care you need to take when creating them.But why, you may ask, spend unnecessary time on insignificant characters? Some may have roles so negligible that they won’t even get names: the servant who brought the drinks; the hotel maid who cleaned the room, the policeman who jumped out of the way of the speeding car and so on.They deserve care because, although the reader isn’t supposed to care much…See More
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