Bringing Characters to Life

On Saturday I attended the 8th annual Shire Writers’ Festival. It was a great event with some truly inspiring speakers.

PM Newton spoke on ‘Writing is Re-writing’. The two take aways for me from this session were:

Make sure any extra characters in the book have a ‘real’ place and know them well. They shouldn’t just be there as devices to move the plot along.

and

In scenes ‘In late and out early,’ Think about what is important in the scene, what is the turning point and keep it tight around that point.

Jaclyn Moriarty spoke on ‘Create that Character.’ She gave us a fascinating insight into Isaac newton’s character. The big take aways were:

Unmask characters gradually, piece by piece, so that the reader gets to know them gradually in the same way that we would get to know someone in real life.

and

Give characters secrets, things that the world doesn’t know about them. Aspects of the characters childhood can really bring authenticity to a character, as can describing a characters bedroom furnishings or house.

Kylie Fornasier spoke on ‘History to the Page.’ The take away from this session, was that historical fiction requires a huge amount of research, but at some point you have to stop reading and start writing. It was also interesting to learn that all libraries can do inter-library loans, so you can get your library to order a book for you from any library in Australia – Good to know, Thanks Kylie!!

Published by Shelly Unwin

Children's Author. Born in the UK in 1977 I grew up and was educated in the small country side town of Ashbourne in the Midlands, my childhood was spent surrounded by animals and children. I was one of three children but my wonderful parents also fostered 11 little children whilst I was young. Riding horses and reading books were my main two loves. Upon leaving high school I studied teaching and biology at university in Birmingham and left with a first class honors degree. My teaching degree re-ignited my passion for beautifully written and illustrated children’s literature. I moved to Australia in 2002 where I forged a career in sales. In 2006 I married my Australian husband in 2006 and we now have two young children. Given my teaching background I had always wanted to write children’s stories that truly engage the reader, and reading to my children has again brought children’s literature to the forefront of my life. Most of my stories are aimed at children between 0-6 yrs, but they will also appeal to the reader through their beautiful rhythm and ability to take your imagination on a wonderful journey.

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