Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Quirks, Passions and Guilty Secrets

Rejections. We all get them!

All too often the ensuing silence means eventually you accept it’s a ‘No’. If you’re lucky then you receive a polite ‘No, thank you’. But if you’re really lucky then you will receive some feedback: ‘This didn’t work because...’

One of the frequent reasons I received for rejection was ‘the characterisation was too weak’. But as I only write short stories, how can I make room for character development within a limited word count? So I asked the question of my fellow writers at the weekly #writingchat on Twitter (every Wednesday at 8pm, all welcome!).

Amongst many useful ideas I received, one which I found worked well was to assign each character a quirk, a passion and a guilty secret. These three simple pointers do indeed help to add depth to the inhabitants of a story who have only a few short lines to make their impact on the reader.

Those three ideas became the basis for an A-Z of character development which has now been published in the April edition of Writers’ Forum magazine.

So my thanks again to the writing community of Twitter. What useful advice have you received from fellow writers?

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