Sage Advice 10: Making The Story

The other day I found myself once again eating ice cream and crying while watching the film Julie and Julia, because that is the only way I know how to express the feelings I have for that movie. As the spoon hit the bottom of the empty ice cream container, I realized just how powerful a fictional narrative can be on the psyche. Just watching the parallel yet distant lives of two aspiring female chefs had me in the fetal position as though I had just accidently drowned my first born in the tub again.

If you’re anything like me, and I’m sure you are, you probably wonder how you could create a powerful story that contains interesting characters and a strong plot. Well, luckily for you and me, I am an expert in the area.

Let’s start with tips on character creation. Remember, stories are all about characters. People have to love your fictional beings. So how do you create a character that is unique enough to be interesting while being realistic enough to be relatable? Easy! Just take a normal occupation and add a debilitating disease or weakness.

HIV positive fireman? How about a taxidermist with scoliosis? Here’s a good one: independent grocer who has an addiction to mainlining bleach. You could call the story ‘Cleanup on Aisle Vein.’ See, the possibilities are endless.

Try making a few of your own, and next time we’ll go over how to create an interesting plot for your characters. Spoilers: Conflict.


-Matthew Fugere

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