Monday, January 17, 2011

Flash Blogging and Characters

Stories consisting of a few hundred words, maybe a thousand words are referred to as "flash fiction."

I've been thinking about brevity in writing, and I've decided to start "flash" blogging. We're all too busy to read long posts, no matter how much we may enjoy taking in a well developed column. So, starting this week, as I resume my blogs on writing technique, for the most part, I'm going to keep my posts brief, but highly informative (hopefully).

Character creation is challenging for beginning writers. They wonder, how can I make the people in my stories as real as possible?

Here are two easy ways to jump start creative juices when inventing believable fictional characters.

1. Let your character emulate a real person you know or let him be a composite of two or more people you know (know personally or through the media, etc) Write a complete description of these real people, embellishing where you see fit in order to create the character you envision for your story.

2. Let your character emulate a fictional character you see as very real, someone who is as messed up, evil, good or heroic as you want your fictional character to be. Write a complete description using this fictional character and embellish as liberally as you need to in order to create the character you want.

Naturally, character development is much more complicated than this, but these two starting points are excellent places to begin to get the creative juices flowing.

Try it!


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author

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