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I want my readers to identify with my main character/s early on.
I therefore try to involve the reader right from the start by
a) showing character’s ‘“Bum!” Poppy punched her pillow!
... How could Mum be so mean?’ (When Poppy Ran Away. Andersen Press)

b) intriguing them by something mysterious or funny eg.
‘No one saw the pig. No one saw it trotting down the church path, which seemed to flow beneath its hoofs. The clock of St Anthony’s had just struck midnight.’
(The Ghost of Tantony Pig. Andersen Press)

or both a) and b)

‘Georgie Bell was off computers - right off. Weird things had been happening recently. She’d been sucked in twice! Yes really! Into her computer! And she’d nearly been eaten by a dragon. Her brilliant brain had saved her - just - but she was definitely going to get a new hobby. Something safer ... like bungy jumping.’
(Georgie and the Computer Bugs. Collins)

To summarise:
1. I introduce a character early on.

2.I give the character a PROBLEM.

(I want my readers to care whether my character copes with or solves the problem.)

3. I include the setting, so that readers can SEE ( and maybe hear, feel and smell the scene) and to create a particular atmosphere which can be mysterious, jokey, realistic or fantastical.

NB. As a writer I need to name my characters early on. I can’t get going with the plot till I have correctly named my characters. This involves collecting names and their meanings, searching in Name your Baby books etc.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 14 March 2009 13:56 )