Putting Meat on the Bones. Successful writers, (Charles Dickens was in that club!), are able to find the unusual, powerful words and expressions to flesh out characters, events, and settings. Too often we fall into the ‘using a stereotype trap.’ Especially, but not restricted to, secondary characters. Scenes should never be mundane unless the action calls for it – but even then help your reader to envisage it, tell the story of the scene, care  – not to the point of boredom. Same with actions. Do trains just stop? Or do they clank with a squealing brake, jerking buffer contacts plus a shudder? And the impatient, I’m running late, get to the doors first travelers, lose their balance and collide with their peers, sometimes to the great advantage of pickpockets and others of doubtful intent.

Particularly watch out for stereo typing of characters, it is too easy to fall into the stock character mould. Since when were all accountants boring? I had one who was so interesting he ended up at HM pleasure on the IOW. Are all footballers Inarticulate? Detectives, world weary losers? OAP’s like me or not, or as I meant to say old fashioned ‘fuddy duddies?’


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