While the concept of the fictional character has been widely discussed at interdisciplinary level, a foundational theory of character creation is yet to follow. As a result, creative writing students and beginner writers refer to post-construction analysis, as well as the step-by-step advice often suggested by popular writing manuals. Aiming to fill this gap and at the same time reconcile approaches in writing and criticism, this book proposes a theory of character creation based on the in-depth analysis of the concept, as well its place within the narrative. The approach suggested herein consists of two interrelated stages: conceptualisation and exposition.
Conceptualisation entails the in-depth understanding of what constitutes the fictional character, as well as the dynamics of its correlation with the reader, the author and its real counterpart, the human person; Exposition refers to the conveyance of such understanding on paper. Viewing creative writing as an art and craft, the author builds her theory on the notion that comprehension of the world and the concept of character itself is an essential prerequisite in order to construct consistent and believable fictional persons.
Varotsi also introduces her four stages of creation: Observation, Perception, Empathy and Imagination to inspire a method of work according to which personal craftsmanship and artistry can be successfully combined with pedagogic technique.