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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > April 2018 > SETTING OFF


Plan the journeys your characters need to undertake in your fiction with advice from Margaret James

Characters’ journeys: where are yours going? Also, when, how and why are they going?

Or, to put it another way – as they travel through your narrative, for whom or for what are your character(s) searching? What are he/she/they hoping to find? There will need to be someone or something.

Otherwise, you won’t have a story. A few weeks ago, one of my most talented creative writing students (I don’t habitually try to see into the future, but I am almost certain this student’s work is going to be commercially published and up there with the bestsellers one day) was lamenting that however hard she tries, she just can’t plot. But she loves creating characters and getting to know them. So I suggested that rather than worrying about plotting, she should spend some time talking to her characters and asking them where they hoped to go?

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BUMPER ISSUE including your 2018 Competition Supplement with details of writing prizes worth over £450,000 Inside, read our writer's survival guide to discover how to beat writer's block, learn what you need to do to make your writing dreams come true, and how to make the most of London Book Fair. Discover what made Michael Bond's beloved bear Paddington such a popular character, and keep up to date with all the opportunities to get published in Writers' News. If you want to know how to take readers on an rollercoaster ride, read our star interview with Dorothy Koomson, the bestselling author of unputdownable emotional thrillers.

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