It’s the ultimate challenge.
It’s the writer’s equivalent of the quest for the Holy Grail.
What is it?
Creating characters that leap off the page and live on in the mind of readers long after the last page of your book has been turned.
If you want to write a book that goes beyond providing a few hours entertainment to the reader and you want to create a book that helps transform their lives, it starts with creating transformational characters that will deliver a message that allows readers to see their own life in a new way or to see the world around them from a new perspective.
Here are the steps I use to create transformational characters.
It’s a long old slog, isn’t it?
Writing your novel, I mean.
You’ve been writing for months, but you’re still nowhere near finishing.
And now you’re starting to lose impetus. What’s the point of all this work if no one’s ever gonna read it?
You need some feedback on your writing.
OK, you’d really like a bit of praise to encourage you to carry on, but that’s not the only thing. You’re worried that your novel is going in the wrong direction, or your characters are cliched…
Or is the whole thing just total rubbish and you should quit trying to write a novel and take up the banjo instead?
You’d just like to get a few opinions on your book before you go any further.
And then you get this great idea.
Why shouldn’t you publish your book, chapter by chapter, on your blog?
A golden arch to a magical world.
The smug, newly-painted door to a neat suburban house.
A mysterious wooden door in the side of a hill.
Doorways can have a key significance in writing, because the act of passing through a doorway is more than the move from one place to another; it can also be the change from one state to another. The hidden door under the ivy in The Secret Garden, the wardrobe door in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the tiny door in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland all make the most of this possibility.
Ten years of writing experience have given me Paranoia.
Don’t worry – I’m talking about my first novel, not my mental state!
It’s been quite an experience, and I’ve learned a lot of useful stuff along the way.
If you’re just getting started writing your novel, here are my top tips:
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That’s the noise of your beloved novel hitting the floor.
After all those hours of work, all those carefully-chosen phrases, all that inspiration you poured into its pages, the reader never got beyond Page 1.
Because you didn’t have a killer first sentence. You lost their attention right away.
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