I’m no expert, I’ve only just finished my first proper work of fiction, but creating characters is the part of fiction writing that I enjoy the most.

Over the years, I have barely scratched the surface of my characters’ persona in short stories, but that is about to change.   You can write a story, but you need a strong protagonist to make it fly and the good news is that the inspiration is all around you.

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I’ve always been an avid people watcher.  For example, in a restaurant, I am guilty of allowing my attention to drift and find myself focussing on the body language and banter of fellow diners; much to the annoyance of those actually on my table.

When I was younger, I used to write everything down.  Every earwigged conversation, every out of the ordinary interaction between strangers, whilst I was waiting for a train or out shopping.  I used to wake up during the night and jot down a summary of the weird dream I just had.

I’m not sure why I stopped doing it, maybe because at the time I was focussed on writing factual content and not creating fictitious characters whose personalities would be moulded from the traits of every single person I have ever met.  But, I have started again and it’s such a useful thing to do… especially when your memory is not quite as razor-sharp as it used to be 😉

It’s such a simple thing to do and I was reminded of the importance of writing down your observations by Sally Wainwright who, to me, is a character building virtuoso.