Monday, May 23, 2005

Steven's Theory of Writing Fiction

Focus on characters. When I started writing seriously, it was in response to reading Anthony Trollope's Autobiography. Trollope was a Victorian novelist, rival of Charles Dickens. Better than Dickens in my view. One of his provisos in that book was that one should be careful to create characters that people would care about -- not always likeable, but always interesting. Give the reader a good character, and they'll watch that character even as he ties his shoelaces. Present a character they don't like, and it won't make any difference what he or she does -- the readers won't care.

My Gonzalo character is supposed to be likeable. He's a good man, a smart man, a real man -- or so I hope. And a good man in a bad situation, that's drama. I think.


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