Characters Writing

Storytelling is a craft based on logic

We are dealing with a sympathetic character (the hero) who has to overcome a series of increasingly difficult, seemingly insurmountable obstacles and achieve a compelling desire (or knowledge).

It consists of assiduously asking three simple questions:
What does the hero want?
What hinders her from getting it?
What happens if she does not get it?


The Strong Character

The strong character always expresses a definite point of view. Her point of view is the way she sees the world. Such a character is active, not passive – she ‘acts’ from her point of view, not just simply reacting to what goes on. She has plans. She has opinions. She is interesting.

Characters Dialogue

Develop your characters through action and dialogue

Show us, don’t tell us, what’s going on and why.  Don’t write ‘She was loud and rude’ but “Get outa my way, you jerk!’ she bellowed.

Is the character interested by what’s going on? Keep her active – no sitting around, doing nothing as she might walk off stage. Where does she go? Round out the character by showing complex psychology and emotions such as fear, frustration, anger, rage and envy.

Brainstorming Characters

Step into Character

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 photographs on the mantelpiece. Photos of a marriage or a friend or the Nepalese mountains?  What nicknames and keepsakes does he have on his desk?

Where does he hide his addictions? Cigarettes, drink? In the cupboard, behind a copy of Charles Dicken’s Bleak House?