Step into the character and experience the world as he does. What can you smell, seeing, tasting, hear? Rummage through his pockets. An old piece of string? A penknife? A snotty handkerchief? Feel the cloth of his clothes. Is it fine or rough? Bought on the high street or in Savile Row? Look at the [...]
How do you know what to write? Where do you begin? You have an idea and you want to build it into a story. So, put your protagonist in the dock Start with the Opening Statements Before the prosecution and defence present evidence and witnesses, both sides have the right to give an opening statement [...]
The way your characters react is the way we get to know them. Write a scene in which your characters are forced to react. Thought or emotion crosses the line into plot when it becomes action and causes reactions. Until then, attitudes, however interesting in themselves, are just potential, just cloudy possibilities. This is not [...]
When developing story ideas, think about your characters' attitudes towards family, friends, sex, freedom of speech, work, law and order, personal rights, abortion, drugs and drink. With one character supporting one side of the argument and the other character supporting the opposing side, suddenly you'll see plenty of potential story ideas with clear and strong [...]
Get to know your characters before you start to write. Write about their background, upbringing, religious and political beliefs and attitudes. Let them tell you their motivations. The reasons they want to live (or die). And then start your story.
Just as the natural inclination of snow is to melt in warm weather or freeze in the cold, now your character well enough to know what his natural inclination is to act when around friends, with family or with business colleagues. And then, as the story develops, ask yourself if you can change the character's [...]
Keep the main antagonistic off centre stage. His physical presence should be rare and reserved for climatic scenes of confrontation. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Count seems more fearsome by his absence. Remember: the more we know a character, the less they frighten us.