6.13 Developing a story idea – OU checklist

  • Use your notebook to build ideas for your character.
  • Build a profile or outline for your main character using some of the suggested headings.
  • Consider all the influences that go into the making of your character: age, gender, race, nationality, marital status, religion, profession.
  • Get to know about your character’s inner life: what they want, think, remember, resent, fear, dream, deny.
  • Get to know about your character’s behaviour, what they wear, buy, eat, say, work at and play at.
  • Get to know how your character speaks and how this changes according to context, mood and intention.
  • See and describe your character vividly, how they look, how they move, their possessions and surroundings.
  • Focus on your character’s contradictions and conflicts in order to create a complex person and also to generate plot.
  • Remember the main methods of character presentation: summary, appearance, habit, scene, self-portrait and combinations of these methods.

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