Writing Prompt: Story Starter Character Cocoons

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A lepidopterist is someone who specialises in studying butterflies and moths.

A hobby or career like this is a great place to start your character, if not your story.

I read a very good submission last week. It had a real sense of place, but the characters were all very one dimensional. By the end of the story I still didn’t feel as if I knew anything about them despite being part of their “journey”.

Get Real

It’s so important to make your characters real. Not only should you describe what they look like, but give them a bit of a background too. What are their interests? What about their job or hobbies? You may know your characters like they’re real people, but the reader won’t.

That’s why an extra layer can make them jump off the page and straight into the reader’s mind. Perhaps their interests will spark a whole new plotline of your story, or bring them into contact with other characters and places.

So to spruce things up or to approach your characters or your story in a different way, why not begin building your characters and plots in a different way. Think of your character as a cocoon about to grow and break free as a fully formed and engaging character!

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!