Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Know Your Characters

“Once we truly know our characters, we’ll discover our story.” -- John Dufresne, as reported by Chuck Leddy in his review of "Is Life Like This?: A Guide to Writing our First Novel in Six Months." [The Writer, February 2010]
I’ve struggled with a few stories. They just wouldn’t come together. Then I sat down and thought about my character, or had a conversation with her, or tried to put myself in her position, or had another character tell me about her. It wasn’t until I felt I understood how the character would react that the story finally worked. On the other hand, I have a story in my to-be-worked-on pile that I may never finish. I’m having difficulty imagining how this mother would react to the situation I’ve put her in.

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