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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > June 2017 > When characters collide

When characters collide

Characters drive story in a modern classic, explored by Helen M Walters

This month we ‘re looking at another contemporary story for our master class: Dido‘s Lament by Tessa Hadley. As usual, spoilers follow and you ‘ll get the most benefit from this article if you read the story for yourself (see, and I‘d also urge you to read a few more of Tessa Hadley‘s stories as well as they all have a lot to show us about how to create characters who are interesting and authentic.

On the face of it Dido‘s Lament is a fairly straightforward story. Toby and Lynette used to be married. Following a painful divorce, they haven‘t seen each other for nine years until one day they meet on the London Underground. In this month‘s masterclass I‘m going to explore what it is in the writing that lifts this story out of the ordinary.

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