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Begin Writing Fiction
Shruti Chandra Gupta
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How would you describe her in one word? (That will be her most prominent
Once you have finished interviewing your character, you will be able to see her clearly.
Every character is born out of three sources:
1. From the writer’s imagination
2. From real life
3. From a combination of imagination and reality
If you have a fertile imagination, then you can create fantastic characters solely from it.
But if what you are good at is observing people, then you can borrow your characters
from real life. Maybe Uncle John is so obsessed with time that he even goes to the
bathroom by consulting the clock. Find out peculiar personalities who can be turned into
wonderful characters. If you can only think of one prominent characteristic in a person,
weave a character around it by using your imagination. This is how you can do it.
A jealous girl you know can also be keeping a notebook with the names of all the
girls whom she would like to leave behind. Sometimes, she makes maps of their
houses, marking out loopholes so that she can steal the things she wants. One night,
she even tiptoed out of her house and went to Martha’s to see whether they were
awake or not. Can she turn into a murderer? Is she suffering from Impulse Control
Disorder? The answer is ‘yes’ if what you want to write is a murder mystery.
Choose your words carefully when you are describing a character. Try to replace
generalities into particulars. The above paragraph could have written this way too.
A girl, around 15 years of age, is intensely jealous. Her notebook has names of all
those girls she would like to leave behind along with the maps of their houses from
where she wants to steal things. One day, she even tiptoed out of her house at night
and went to her friend’s house to see whether they were awake or not.
The second paragraph does not speak of the character. Instead, it speaks of the notebook,
the houses, day, night and maps. If you want to highlight your character, fix the spotlight
Another problem with the second paragraph is that the events are related, not shown.
Your reader is screaming, ‘I don’t wan to know, I want to see’. Don’t relate events; show
them through your character.
To ‘show’ your character to your readers, the only thing you need is details. That is why
knowing your character is so vital.
“I will get out of the car right now if you don’t talk to me,” she said, her quiet voice
quivering with anger.