[handout from a beginning fiction class]


Knowing ignorance is strength. – Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

What are some important things that you know, but the reader doesn’t, about a significant character? (This is NOT to imply that the reader eventually must know.)

Write down one significant way the protagonist is not like you. What does that attribute have to do with the story?

Write down three important things you don’t know about the protagonist.

Write down one thing about the protagonist you may never know, no matter how long you write this story – the side of them that is so obscure, so hidden that even you can’t see into it.

What is the part of this story that you could write, but you couldn’t show to anybody?

What is the part of this story that you cannot write?


You can download this as a Word document here: Knowing ignorance