Monday, 9 December 2013

Rosie Garland

Palace of Curiosities is Rosie Garland's debut novel. Without divulging too much of the plot, the events she writes about take place in and around a Victorian show of physically unusual people.  

The characters she has created are outsiders, different. They drive the story forward in unexpected ways and yet symbolise all people who find themselves on the margins of society.

Rosie Garland herself is an interesting person - a performer and poet and now novelist - have a look at her website

How do writers create interesting characters? 
What constitutes an interesting character?

To start with they need purpose and motivation. A writer must decide what a character wants, and set them on the path of finding those desires - giving them flaws and situations that reveal how they behave when challenged, who they are, what they will and won't to to get what they want.

Think of memorable characters in books - Captain Ahab in Melville's Moby Dick - Miss Haversham in Dickens' Great Expectations. Both of them have strong reasons  for being as they are and behaving as they do.

It isn't enough to have a character. A plot and story and other characters are needed to make a piece of writing work. However, look through a piece of writing that you have completed but would like to improve. Could the characters be stronger?

Create a character based on someone you know. Give them a couple of dark characteristics that  aren't immediately apparent or that they usually manage to hide. See if the character you create inspires a story.