Saturday, 27 August 2011


There are times when it is interesting to discuss how our creative writing is progressing. I have learnt quite a bit recently. Some of the things I am going to mention, may sound common sense; but if put into practice take more consideration and time.

As a general thing: Anything that happens in a story, ought to have consequences.  Rather than something happens and then you don't hear it mentioned again; or it doesn't have an effect further down the line.

Otherwise happenings can fill-in; but they are still for a reason. The character visits his/her Mum, or he/she does errands, may sound everyday, but they are included for a reason. i.e. to give a sense of everyday routine. Plus these everyday events show how they get on with others and the sort of relationship they have with others. These happenings can also show their thoughts, daydreams and having something making them come back to the here and now.

It is better to have your character have something happen, to prevent him/her going somewhere/doing something, rather than just deciding against it. i.e. some sort of emergency or argument, or something cropped up. Or why was he/she late? This ends up creating more of a word count, than just writing that he/she walked down the road and toyed with the idea of going to the place and changed his/her mind etc. This is a bit dull really and does not give a sense of the unplanned; or a sense that he/she almost did something.

Another of my concerns is that I'm sure it could be easy to make a character one-dimensional. i.e. he/she is somebody who has done these things.  These things he/she has done may be defining moments, but isn't there more to the person?  It is easy to think of your character's taste in music or books or TV; but what about other experiences? e.g. relationships, what made their relationship work? Why did they fall in love? If the defining moments are negative experiences, what are the character's experiences that are more positive?  There doesn't need to be a scene about your character doing somebody a favour, but it can crop up in conversation, between characters, that he/she used to help somebody out.

No doubt if you bring out these things, the reader will care more about what happens.

No doubt a story is only as good as your ideas and twists. I'm sure it is hard to find that one event/thing that makes the penny drop in your character's mind. i.e. something happens to make him/her have a change of heart. Yet it is easy to think of people they meet along the way, or little things that happen along the way, but are they big enough?

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